Symptoms Of Gerd And Anxiety
GERD and anxiety can cause a number of different symptoms, though there are a few that both conditions seem to have in common.
GI issues, such as heartburn, nausea, and stomach pain are common symptoms of both conditions. Another symptom common in both is globus sensation, which is the painless feeling of a lump in your throat or a tightening or choking sensation.
People who experience globus sensation also often have hoarseness, a chronic cough, or a persistent need to clear their throat, which are also common symptoms caused by GERD and acid reflux.
Disrupted sleep is also a common symptom of both conditions. Acid reflux may be worse when lying down, which can cause you to wake up often. Anxiety affects your sleep pattern and can make it hard for you to fall asleep or stay asleep.
Other symptoms of GERD include:
- chest pain
- regurgitation of sour liquid or food
Other symptoms of anxiety include:
- feeling restless or nervous
- a sense of impending doom or danger
- rapid heartrate
- difficulty controlling worry
- chest tightening or pain
Both conditions can cause chest pain and other symptoms that are also symptoms of a heart attack. Call 911 if you have chest pain, especially if it is accompanied by shortness of breath or arm or jaw pain.
Treating GERD and anxiety may require a combination of medications for both conditions, though acid-suppressing drugs commonly used to treat GERD have been found to be less effective in people whose symptoms are related to anxiety.
Acid Reflux Disease During Pregnancy
Pregnant women tend to suffer from acid reflux disease, especially those who are entering their third trimester, as the womb will have increased to such a size that it will be impacting upon the stomach. This means that food being digested there is likely to be reflux into the esophagus. Moreover, hormonal changes taking place during pregnancy will result in decreased efficiency of digestion.
Pregnant women experiencing this problem should be sure to refrain from purchasing over-the-counter medication as some such products might negatively impact the health of the fetus or the mother. Instead, consult a doctor who will prescribe treatment based on the symptoms being presented.
Acid reflux disease can disturb a persons daily life and cause them to lose face due to its embarrassing symptoms. If left untreated until it becomes a chronic condition, it has the potential to lead to esophageal cancer, which could ultimately be fatal. For this reason, be sure to take good care of your health, avoid potential risk factors that could lead to a flareup of the condition, and consult a doctor regarding treatment and advice. Then, ensure that you strictly adhere to your doctors recommendations if you wish to stave off acid reflux disease.
Can Stress From Anxiety Mess Up Your Digestive System
Experiencing chronic worry can wreak havoc on your digestive system, as well as your , so finding healthy ways of reducing stress is crucial for achieving total wellness. Whether your tummy troubles stem from a brief period of stress and anxiety or a more serious medical condition, working yourself up even more, wondering can stress cause stomach issues?, isnt going to make the issue resolve itself any more quickly.
If youve tried decreasing your everyday stress levels on your own and are still having digestive problems, its time to to talk to a doctor about your digestive health today.
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The Link Between Anxiety And Acid Reflux
Can anxiety cause acid reflux? While it doesnt always, it can.
Anxiety and reflux can be related because anxiety causes problems with the bodys relaxation response it is a physical reaction to stress. When we are stressed, our bodies release cortisol and adrenaline . These two hormones make us alert and ready for action: fight or flight mode. While this was an important survival tool in our early days, it is not that helpful today. Our bodies perceive the physical symptoms of anxiety as dangerous like fight or flight. To protect our stomachs from damage, we subconsciously inhibit them by contracting muscles in our esophagus during times of stress this can lead to acid reflux symptoms.
Since anxiety and acid reflux are related, it makes sense that our bodies release cortisol and adrenaline when we get stressed out this helps us to deal with the stressful situation at hand by either fighting or fleeing. However, because of these physical reactions , they can lead to stomach damage if we inhibit our stomach muscles. Basically, our bodies are not able to tell the difference between anxiety and a dangerous physical situation, which can cause acid reflux symptoms.
Comparison Of Stress Levels In The Reflux Esophagitis Peptic Ulcer Disease And Control Groups
The stress level of the reflux esophagitis group was compared with that of the PUD group and controls. Subjects with reflux esophagitis had significantly higher BEPSI-K scores compared with controls . BEPSI-K scores were also higher in the reflux esophagitis group than in the PUD group, but the difference did not reach statistical significance . There was no significant difference in BEPSI-K score between the PUD group and controls .
Comparison of stress levels or fatigue severity score among the reflux esophagitis group, peptic ulcer disease group, and controls group. *, comparison between reflux esophagitis versus controls **, comparison between reflux esophagitis versus peptic ulcer disease. BEPSI-K score was significantly higher in reflux esophagitis group
The mean BEPSI-K score in LA-C reflux esophagitis patients was 2.05 ± 0.96, that in LA-B was 1.78 ± 0.70, and that in LA-A was 1.74 ± 0.66. The severity of reflux esophagitis was positively correlated with BEPSI-K score in correlation analysis . The proportion of subjects with high BEPSI-K scores was greater in the reflux esophagitis group compared with the control group .
Comparison of BEPSI-K according to severity of reflux esophagitis. The severity of reflux esophagitis was positively correlated with BEPSI-K score
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What Causes Excessive Stomach Acid And How To Get Rid Of It
Excessive stomach acid can be uncomfortable to live with, and while in many cases it is a minor nuisance, it can lead to serious health problems when not treated.
Stomach acid is important to the digestive system. It helps us process food and it kills harmful bacteria. The stomach makes the hormone called gastrin, which creates hydrochloric acid. When these acid levels increase, it can lead to hyperacidity. Excess stomach acid can range from mild to severe.
Our diet, environment, and even stress can be contributing factors to excessive stomach acid. There are, in fact, relatively simple ways to reduce excess stomach acid or prevent it altogether.
How Do I Know If Its Anxiety And Not An Ulcer
Its not uncommon to find yourself concerned that your struggle with stomach pain is not from anxiety or stress at all. For example, you may find yourself concerned that instead of anxiety, what you are really struggling with is an ulcer.
Only a doctor can diagnose whether or not your pain is from an ulcer, but there are some clues. The clearest signal is if you have any blood in your stool or acid burps . Thats often a clear sign of an ulcer. Also, if the pain or discomfort tends to occur after eating and isnt related to a similar condition, GERD , its possible you may have an ulcer.
However, this is complicated by the fact that ulcers can be caused by long-term stress and anxiety, as they stimulate the production of extra stomach acid. This excess acid in the stomach breaks down the gastric or intestinal lining and cause open wounds that may harm your health.
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See A Doctor For Severe Stomach Problems And Commit To Your Anxiety
If your stomach problems have become a serious issue, it’s safe to contact a doctor. There are some harmless issues that can lead to persistent stomach problems, and medical intervention can be valuable.
But you also need to commit to curing your anxiety. It’s the only way to guarantee anxiety stomach problems go away forever.
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Treating Acid Reflux Disease
- Take medication prescribed by your doctor to reduce stomach acid production. Under no circumstances should you buy such medication over the counter as improper use could lead to serious complications.
- Surgery is an option open to those with chronic acid reflux or for those who cannot treat their symptoms with medication, as well as those who suffer severe side effects from their medication.
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Are There Foods That Reduce Stomach Pain
Anxiety-related stomach pain is not usually the result of your diet , so there arent necessarily any dietary changes that can help reduce stomach pain.
That said, those with panic attacks are more prone to experiencing more severe stomach discomfort, even when no anxiety is present. In other words, when you have panic attacks, its possible to have stomach pain even without a panic attack.
Also, those with anxiety attacks and severe anxiety are prone to whats known as over-sensitization. That means that they are more likely to notice and feel smaller, normal changes in the body, and these can trigger an anxiety attack. So if your diet does contain foods that cause you gas, stomach discomfort, or mild indigestion, it may be best to avoid them because the slight amount of discomfort could feel worse than it should and may trigger a panic attack.
Thats why healthy eating is important in those that get stomach pain with anxiety. Make sure youre getting:
- Whole-Grain Carbohydrates
Also, if you suffer from stress-induced hyperacidity, then it is recommended that you consume dairy products and non-spicy foods. In moderate amounts, over-the-counter antacids may be needed as well.
In addition, if possible, try to avoid eating until youre too full. Those with severe anxiety sometimes interpret the full feeling as pain, and this could trigger a panic attack and further pain.
Can Stress Lead To Heartburn Indigestionwhether You Are Old Or Young Many People Feel The Effects Of Stress
Whilst a small amount of stress can be good and help to push you to do something, life in this day and age can be too stressful for some.
It can be a result of all sorts of day-to-day events or issues that you are faced with anything from problems or arguments with good friends, financial worries, having too many things to do or feeling under pressure to perform well at work.
In your mind, stress may cause you to feel worried, anxious or irritable as well as leading to mental health problems which can get in the way of everyday life. It is also linked to insomnia which can become a vicious cycle as one will affect the other and vice versa if you dont sleep well, you may feel stressed and if youre stressed, you may struggle to sleep properly.
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How To Deal With Anxiety And Heartburn
- Heartburn, and GERD , have several links with anxiety.
- Some people already have GERD that gets worse when they have anxiety.
- Symptoms of GERD can also trigger further anxiety, especially in those with panic attacks.
- There are at least 4 links between anxiety and heartburn.
- Treating heartburn independently can be effective, although anxiety treatment should still be prioritized.
Is Anxiety Heartburn Dangerous
Heartburn, in general, is not dangerous per se. However, there are some risks. For example, both stress and heartburn can lead to ulcers, and ulcers can be dangerous. GERD has a very low chance of causing long term disease. The problem is not just the danger, however. The problem is that the symptoms of heartburn often lead to further anxiety.
This is especially problematic if you have panic attacks. Some of the symptoms of heartburn include:
- Stomach discomfort.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Chronic cough.
The first three symptoms are known to be triggers for panic attacks. The last symptom can cause hyperventilation if the coughs are too frequent or too hard, and hyperventilation can lead to panic attacks.
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Gastrointestinal Problems In The Military
Gastrointestinal problems are also prevalent in military personnel, says Mark Riddle, MD, DrPH, a researcher at the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Md. Servicemen and servicewomen, he says, are under a lot of stress as you can imagine during deployment.
Riddle says the fourth leading cause of visits to VA Medical Centers is gastrointestinal disorders.
To find out more, Riddle and his colleagues evaluated data from the Defense Medical Surveillance System, identifying nearly 32,000 cases of gastrointestinal problems in active duty U.S. military personnel between 1999 and 2007. Among the problems were constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome , and indigestion after an infection of the stomach and intestines .
When Riddle looked for links between the past gastrointestinal problems and current ones, he found an association between a history of gastroenteritis infection of the stomach and intestines caused by bacteria, virus, or other organisms and all types of gastrointestinal problems later.
The highest risk was for diarrhea and IBS. Having a history of gastroenteritis boosted the risk of diarrhea sixfold, and of IBS nearly fourfold. The increased risk for constipation or indigestion was less, each about twofold.
The gastrointestinal problems persist, Riddle found. Nearly 30% of the military with problems were still getting care two years after the diagnosis.
We are developing vaccines to hopefully prevent , he says.
When To See A Doctor
Struggling with ongoing symptoms of acid reflux that is not going away with medication, over-the-counter treatments, and home remedies?
Experiencing heartburn more severely and frequently?
These are signs that its time to see a doctor or your primary care provider. Another tell-tale that you should see a doctor is when you have difficulty swallowing.
Your health care provider will examine you to determine if you have a more serious condition and then diagnose the right treatment plan for you.
Most acid reflux can be diagnosed with a physical exam and thorough history alone.
Your doctor may also conduct a blood, breath, or stool test to determine if you have a bacterial infection that will need antibiotic treatment.
In severe or prolonged cases, they may refer you to a gastroenterologist who can perform more advanced testing such as endoscopies or esophageal pH measurements, if indicated.
If you experience severe chest pain, pressure, difficulty swallowing, pain in the neck, jaw, or arm, and you are vomiting blood, you should seek medical advice immediately.
Mild cases of acid reflux can be cured with over-the-counter medicine, but recurring symptoms or strong symptoms could indicate a more serious health condition and you should see a doctor.
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An Uncomfortable Cycle Of Stress
Stress makes acid indigestion and heartburn worseIts proven. In fact, the American Journal of Gastroenterology wondered about the correlation between stress, acid indigestion, and heartburn. So they researched a group of adults with heartburn.
What they found is that participants with higher stress levels showed more severe symptoms than those with lower stress levels. So on top of that delicious plate of triple-volcanic buffalo wings with your favorite fizzy beverage, stress can cause physical symptoms.
This is how it goes: your potential new boss starts drilling in on some fussy detail. Your accountant reveals a huge, expensive tax error. You hit a big pothole with a towering wedding cake in the back seat. Or OMG! your drive-thru order is all wrong and youre already late.
Suddenly … ugh. You feel acid indigestion or heartburn.
Your stomach is making sure you know how stressed out you are.
Because stress can cause stomach acid to build up. That can create all the discomfort and acid indigestion associated with heartburn.
But what if youve had all those spicy wings as well? The fat, spice, and salt all contribute to producing more stomach acid and relaxing your lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle that seals the connection between your stomach and throat.
So now theres more acid and its leaking up into your esophagus. Thats acid indigestion and heartburn.
Uncommon Signs And Symptoms Of Low Stomach Acid
These are the ones that you most likely dont associate with stomach acid. It can be difficult to tie many health issues to low stomach acid because these health issues can take years and even decades to develop and therefore may seem like they have nothing to do with stomach acid.
Its not like one day you develop low stomach acid and the next day you develop depression. It takes time for these health issues to slowly develop.
Amazing at how many health conditions can be traced back to low stomach acid!
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What Are The Side Effects Of High Stomach Acid
Having high levels of stomach acid can increase your risk of developing other stomach-related health conditions. These include:
- Peptic ulcers:Peptic ulcers are sores that can develop when gastric acid begins to eat away at the lining of your stomach.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease :GERD is a condition in which stomach acid backs up into your esophagus.
- Gastrointestinal bleeding: This involves bleeding anywhere in your digestive tract.
Medical Management Of Gerd
GERD symptoms reduce the quality of life, so it is always better to seek medical treatment. Your doctor upon assessing your condition will prescribe any or a combination of medicines to treat GERD.
- Over the counter antacids provide quick relief and work by neutralising stomach acids.
- Proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole, esomeprazole and rabeprazole are stronger than H2 blockers in reducing acid production.PPIsalso aid in healing the oesophagal lining.
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