Acid Reflux, a Stress Reaction?

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Acid Reflux, A Stress Reaction?If you are experiencing frequent acid reflux in Macon, then it is best to speak with your GERD surgeon right away. There are a lot of reasons that acid reflux may start to develop. Some people only experience heartburn and reflux after eating a spicy meal that causes indigestion, but others experience the lingering pain more often. Lifestyle factors like lying down after eating, engaging in high intensity activities like running and even genetic factors can all play a role in causing frequent reflux.

While surgery to correct serious gastroesophageal reflux disease is the only reliable long-term solution available, there are a variety of self-help solutions for people who suffer from frequent indigestion. Here are some tips showing you how techniques such as developing healthier stress management habits can improve your heartburn symptoms.

Manage Stress to Reduce Acid Reflux

Many people are surprised to learn all the ways that stress impacts their health and bodily functions. Both your immune system and digestive system can react to increased stress levels. During heightened periods of stress your body creates more cortisol, which inhibits digestion and could prompt acid reflux and heartburn. Since your body pumps more blood to the arms and legs to fight stress, less blood goes to the stomach and this results in slower digestion, which could cause regurgitation and heartburn—especially if you eat a large meal.

Stress affects everyone differently, so it is hard to say how much stress you would need to be under to experience this type of reaction. Some people only experience physiological reactions under extremely stressful situations, but others will react to even small stressors like a hard day at work.

If you notice that your heartburn and reflux act up during times of stress, then it is a good idea to develop better techniques to manage your stress before it becomes overpowering.

Here are a few tips that can help reduce your sensitivity to reflux during times of stress:

  • Don’t overeat. A lot of people take to comfort eating to reduce stress. However, if you have GERD than eating too much can trigger reflux. Stick to your GERD eating plan and keep your snacks small, even when you are stressed out.
  • Take deep breaths. Sometimes when you are stressed out it becomes difficult to breathe, and a lot of people start taking short and shallow breaths, but this will just elevate your heartbeat more. Take big deep breaths to calm yourself down.
  • Drink water. Being overstressed can dehydrate you. If you are nervous, excited or just stressed after a long day, then make yourself a big glass of water and drink it slowly.

Stress isn’t always a cause of acid reflux, but if you are a patient of GERD it could make your heartburn worse. For more ways to manage your stress and your heartburn talk with Dr. Bagnato.

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