Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Patricia in Greenville, Pennsylvania. Can anxiety and stress cause heartburn?
Heartburn is that awful burning sensation followed by the rise of acid into your throat and mouth. If the lower esophageal sphincter remains open, acid escapes and causes heartburn. Gastro esophageal reflex disease is experienced by people of all ages. Antacids can bring relief within a few minutes.
We know that eating certain foods, wearing tight-fitting clothes, pregnancy, and having a medical condition such as diabetes can trigger heartburn, but can anxiety and stress cause heartburn? Yes. It can. In fact, chronic anxiety affects our daily lives and the excessive use of drugs, alcohol, and overeating as a way to seek relief for stress exacerbates the problem.
It isn’t simply a case of living with the discomfort of heartburn. Left untreated, you end up with serious long-term side effects. One of these is a chronic cough and a condition known as esophagitis, inflammation of the esophagus, where you can develop ulcers on the lining of the esophagus. Long-term acid exposure also leads to Barrett’s Esophagus, where abnormal cells can turn cancerous.
There are some home remedies for heartburn like avoiding drinking alcohol while eating, avoiding the foods which form gas, cutting back on meat and coffee, and increasing your intake of green leafy vegetables. Drinking chamomile tea and eating licorice neutralizes stomach acid. Sometimes a trip to the doctor may be required because the lower esophageal sphincter requires surgery.
One of the most important treatments for heartburn is to reduce your stress. When people are stressed, they don’t exercise or prepare proper meals, and stress-related heartburn is your body’s way of telling you that its resistance is falling and that changes will need to be made.