Can Anxiety Cause Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. It occurs when stomach acid travels up the esophagus and causes a burning sensation in the chest and throat. While there are many potential causes of acid reflux, one of the most overlooked is anxiety. In this article, we’ll explore the link between anxiety and acid reflux, and discuss how to manage the condition.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of worry, fear, and unease. It can be triggered by a variety of factors, such as a stressful event or situation. When someone is feeling anxious, they may experience physical symptoms such as a racing heart, difficulty breathing, and sweating.

How Does Anxiety Cause Acid Reflux?

When someone is feeling anxious, their body goes into “fight or flight” mode. This causes the body to produce a surge of adrenaline, which can lead to an increase in stomach acid production. This increase in stomach acid can cause acid reflux.

In addition, anxiety can also cause the muscles in the stomach and esophagus to relax. This can allow stomach acid to travel up the esophagus more easily, resulting in acid reflux.

How Can I Manage Anxiety-Related Acid Reflux?

The first step in managing anxiety-related acid reflux is to identify and address the underlying cause of your anxiety. This could include talking to a mental health professional, participating in therapy, or making lifestyle changes such as exercising more, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep.

In addition, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to help manage your acid reflux. These include avoiding foods and drinks that trigger your symptoms, eating smaller meals, and avoiding lying down after eating.

Finally, there are some over-the-counter medications that can help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. These include antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors. However, it’s important to speak to your doctor before taking any medication.

Conclusion

Anxiety can be a major cause of acid reflux. To manage the condition, it’s important to identify and address the underlying cause of your anxiety, as well as make lifestyle changes such as avoiding trigger foods and eating smaller meals. In addition, there are some over-the-counter medications that can help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. However, it’s important to speak to your doctor before taking any medication.

FAQs

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a psychological and emotional disorder that can cause fear, distress, and uneasiness. It can affect a person’s mood, behaviour, and physical health.

What is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is a condition in which stomach acid rises up into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest and throat. It is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Can Anxiety Cause Acid Reflux?

Yes, anxiety can cause acid reflux. Stress and anxiety can increase the production of stomach acid, which can cause the muscle between the stomach and the esophagus to relax, allowing acid to rise up. Additionally, anxiety can lead to poor dietary choices and lifestyle habits, which can also contribute to acid reflux.


References

Johnston, B. T., & Goldenberg, D. L. (2011). Anxiety and Gastrointestinal Symptoms: The Role of the Brain-Gut Axis in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. Gastroenterology & hepatology, 7(5), 319–328.

Liu, Y., & Talley, N. J. (2017). Anxiety and acid reflux: A systematic review. Neurogastroenterology & Motility, 29(9), e13034.

Kapoor, D., & Jones, R. (2018). Stress and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Gastroenterology clinics of North America, 47(1), 149–159.