Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Mitchell in Ocala, Florida. Can anxiety cause acid reflux symptoms?
Having the body in a constant state of heightened anxiety will not only lead to more serious problems such as cardiovascular disease, but acid reflux can also leave you with a bad taste in your mouth and a burning pain in your chest. Acid reflux or gastro esophageal reflux disease, GERD, could also be brought on by stress.
How can anxiety cause acid reflux? Well, stress causes more blood to flow into the limbs, as opposed to the stomach. This means that food is digested more slowly and remains in the stomach for much longer periods. It is this undigested food which causes acid reflux.
Another way anxiety causes acid reflux is through change in people’s eating habits. Some people who are under pressure endure high levels of stress, which negatively affects the digestive and nervous systems. Often these people increase their intake of alcohol, fatty foods, and cigarettes. This increases the amount of stomach acid and also relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter causing it to open, setting the stage for acid reflux.
Making changes to your lifestyle and diet can certainly help with controlling acid reflux symptoms. This fairly common symptom when acid content from the stomach forces its way up into the esophagus occurs when the sphincter muscle relaxes, and if it is open, it paves the way for the stomach acid to back up into the esophagus.
If your anxiety levels are reaching a point of depression, it’s time to make an appointment to seek help and see a doctor to rule out more serious conditions. Acid reflux can certainly be worked through. A reputable health care provider can develop a healthy eating and treatment plan that may require making some valuable lifestyle changes.