Understanding Acid Reflux: Causes And Symptoms
Acid reflux is caused when stomach acid leaks back up to the esophagus and irritates the sensitive tissue there. The leak occurs when the sphincter, which separates the esophagus and stomach, is weakened or impaired. Most people experience an episode of acid reflux at least once or twice. However, frequently occurring episodes of acid reflux, known as GERD, affect millions of people worldwide. Common symptoms of acid reflux and GERD include:
- Chest pain
Acid Reflux And Anxiety: 19 Proven Facts To Feel Better
There are many millions of people who suffer from heartburn and acid reflux.
Unfortunately, many of them also suffer from anxiety, as well as other psychological and mood problems.
This is a concerning fact, especially because of the deep connection between mind and body that still is to be understood in its full complexity.
In some cases, psychological issues determine a disease, while, on the other hand, the presence of a disease aggravates the psychological situation.
Its a vicious circle difficult to escape.
When it comes to acid reflux, things are not so different.
Thats why we want to deepen more about the special relationship between acid reflux and anxiety.
We know that there is a proven connection between heartburn and anxiety. In fact, the typical sensation reported by heartburn sufferers determines, in many cases, a feeling of worry that often turns into real anxiety.
The point we need to understand is whether heartburn can cause anxiety and vice versa.
Both of these possibilities have important consequences for the treatment and for the improvement of quality of life.
So, lets dive deeper into the topic.
Which Types Of Doctors Treat Indigestion
You might first see your primary care doctor who will diagnose your indigestion. You may be referred to a gastroenterologist, a specialist in disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
If you have a problem that requires surgery such as a severe ulcer or gallstones you may be referred to a general surgeon.
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The Importance Of Sleep Quality
As you adjust your lifestyle to treat anxiety and GERD, it may be helpful to focus on your sleep quality and length. Research has found an association between anxiety, GERD, and poor sleep quality.
We do not know the exact relationship between these, but it has been theorized that improving sleep quality could also improve GERD and anxiety symptoms.
Discuss your sleep patterns with your healthcare provider or therapist. They may recommend a supplement like melatonin or changes like using blackout blinds, removing electronics from your bedroom, and more.
Can Lpr Be Caused By Anxiety
To answer if anxiety can be caused by LPR the quick and simple answer is yes it can. Of course there are potential reasons that things like stress and anxiety do that will only make LPR worse or can even bring it on in the first place.
Anxiety is one of the causes of LPR that is not often talked but what is the correlation between LPR and stress, anxiety and depression? I will cover it below in more detail from my research and own experience.
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Evaluation Of The State Of Anxiety And Depression
The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory scale was used to assess the level of anxiety in all subjects.20 The STAI is a well-known psychological instrument comprising 2 self-report rating scales with 20 items each, for the measurement of 2 types of anxiety: state anxiety and trait anxiety . Each item is rated between 1 and 4 depending on the frequency of target complaints , and overall scores are obtained by summing the ratings for the items . We considered subjects showing moderate-to-severe state or trait anxiety by using a cut-off value of STAI-X1 57 or STAI-X2 59, respectively.
The depression status of subjects was evaluated using the Beck Depression Inventory scale, one of the most commonly used self-report instruments designed to detect and measure the severity of depression in the general population.21 The BDI comprises of 21 items describing symptoms and attitudes to depression, and each item is rated between 0 and 3 in terms of intensity. The total score ranges between 0 and 63the higher the score, the greater the degree of depression. By using the cutoff value of 15, subjects were classified as having no-to-mild depression or moderate-to-severe depression .22
Acid Reflux Anxiety And Heart Palpitations
This is a fairly common situation and certainly, these are very worrying episodes for those who suffer them.
In some cases, they are true panic attacks.
But theres more: in fact, according to the American Heart Association, panic attacks can also be the only ones responsible for chest pain, another typical symptom of acid reflux.
This might make things more complicated.
This because a person can have both anxiety-related heartburn, and GERD-related heartburn together.
There is evidence that anxiety are associated with increased severity of retrosternal pain and heartburn.
This leads to a significant impairment of the quality of life
Given that, we can better understand why the best remedies for people who suffer from these conditions is a more comprehensive approach, that works on both reflux and anxiety as well.
This has not to be done with drugs, but with natural elements that make everything safer and more lasting over time.
Such an approach will help you get rid of symptoms, that may be very serious, as were going to discover in the following section.
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Why Omeprazole Is Your Best Treatment Option For Acid Reflux
With moderate to severe cases of acid reflux, making simple lifestyle and dietary changes may not be enough to curb your symptoms. The good news? Prescription drug Omeprazole has been proven to be incredibly effective treatment, alleviating all symptoms!
Take control of your treatment by speaking with one of our online doctors today. They can help you discuss your best course of action, including prescription medication Omeprazole.
The best part? Omeprazole works the same as brand name acid reflux medicationsat a fraction of the cost! It works by reducing stomach acid, effectively preventing recurring episodes of acid reflux. Plus, most adults, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, can safely take Omeprazole.
Schedule a virtual doctors appointment, today.
Treating Gerd And Anxiety
If someone has GERD and anxiety, it is particularly important for a treatment plan to be devised with both of these conditions in mind. This is because common medications used to treat anxiety have been found to worsen GERD symptoms.
Medications to avoid in treating anxiety and GERD include:
- Tricyclic antidepressants:These have been shown to lower esophageal sphincter pressure.
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors :These impair esophageal motility, which can lead to episodes of acid reflux.
- Benzodiazepines: These can lower the bodys pain threshold, which may increase a persons sensitivity to and painful perception of reflux symptoms.
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are another medication that is commonly used to treat anxiety, which has not been shown to worsen GERD symptoms. It is important to discuss the best medication for you with your healthcare provider, taking into account your personal history and unique situation.
Healthcare providers use a combination of over-the-counter and prescription medication to treat GERD. In rarer cases, surgery might be indicated.
Typical treatments for GERD that are not contraindicated if you also have anxiety include:
- Over-the-counter antacids
- Sleep hygiene
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How To Help Anxiety Stress Depression Etc For Lpr
For me personally one of the things that really helped me was reading this book called How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. This book is excellent at teaching you effective ways to stop worrying which for me was one of my main problems. I could be worrying and anxious about a host of different things it could be my health at the time or it could be me attending an interview for a job.
The important thing to mention was that me worrying caused me to be more nervous and anxious which undoubtedly negatively effected my digestion and in turn worsened my LPR symptoms and even brought them on in the first place. The advice in the book really helped me with properly tackling my mentality and attitude when getting anxious or stressed about something.
One of the important things I learnt was to think more logically about things. When I say this, I mean for example if you have a health problem in this case LPR I would think about whats causing and what you can do to make it better. Then I would make a step by step plan to make it better and write it down on paper to help emphasize it in your brain. Another thing to think of logically is to not get stressed over silly things like attending an interview. Before when I attended a job interview I would get very nervous but now I think about it more logically and I say to myself why I am getting anxious I am simply just talking to other people there is nothing to be anxious about!
Acid Reflux And Anxiety: Learning Body
Anxiety is defined as the natural response to stress, and depending on the duration, it may become a true anxiety disorder.
This happens when anxiety lasts for several months, and, more important, it impairs the normal quality of life.
This is the most important reason to wonder if anxiety could be included in the list of ascertained causes of acid reflux.
Talking about trends, we can say that both of these conditions are always more frequent, thats why is important to investigate any possible relationship between them.
According to some studies, anxiety and depression may play an important role in the occurrence of GERD.
This evidence is even more relevant for people who suffer from NERD, meaning that they do not have esophageal erosion.
The table below is taken directly from the official study and presents the perceived level of anxiety among people who suffer from heartburn and reflux.
A more recent study reported that anxiety and depression levels were significantly higher in subjects with GERD than in healthy people.
This is a further confirmation of what was found before.
However, theres consideration to add.
Anxiety effect on people who suffer from reflux has nothing to do with the acid and/or the burning sensation in the esophagus.
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When Should I Call A Doctor For Indigestion
Indigestion symptoms are signs of other medical conditions or problems.
If indigestion symptoms are mild or resolve in a short time, talk to your doctor about how to treat it.
If you have any of the following symptoms of severe indigestion, if your symptoms last more than a few days, or if they worsen noticeably, seek medical care immediately:
- Vomiting or blood in vomit
- Loss of appetite
- Black, tarry stools or visible blood in stools
- Severe pain in the upper right abdomen
- Sudden, severe pain in the abdomen, particularly on the right side
- Yellow coloring of the skin and eyes
- Discomfort unrelated to eating
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting due to symptoms
Heart attacks may cause symptoms often are mistaken for indigestion. If indigestion is accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, chest pain, or pain radiating to the jaw, back, neck or arm, seek medical attention immediately.
Stress And Stomach Acid
It feels plausible that stress increases stomach acid production, however, it looks like this mechanism is not as straightforward as we might think:
During the mental stress period, gastric acid output increased in subjects with high scores on the impulsivity scale, but significantly decreased in those with low scores.
Some other studies are suggesting that not all stress are created equal:
heartburn severity appears to be most responsive to major life events and not an accumulation of more minor stressors or fluctuations in mood. In addition, vital exhaustion, which may in part result from sustained stress, may represent the psychophysiological symptom complex most closely associated with heartburn exacerbation.
Looks like stress might both increase and decrease stomach acid secretion.
The above studies suggest that impulsive people might respond to stress by producing more stomach acid while others might actually produce less stomach acid.
Severe stress is also more likely to aggravate acid production, while moderate stress inhibits it.
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Can Stress Make Your Symptoms Worse
A lot of people believe that stress can make your symptoms worse. Stress is defined as a feeling of uneasiness or hardship, and its the bodys response to a situation that causes intense emotions such as anger, fear, and sadness. When the stress is too much for your body to handle, it can cause physical reactions like rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath. These symptoms may make you feel more anxious and cause you to feel overwhelmed, which can make your symptoms worse.
Stress can make your symptoms worse. Stress-induced acid reflux is a common manifestation of stress and anxiety.
Untangling The Link Between Acid Reflux & Anxiety Disorder
Beyond Blue, a well-known mental health organisation in Australia, estimates that one in three males and one in five females in the country experience at least one anxiety episode throughout their lives.
This condition is more than just being scared or worried about something you still feel scared or worried long after that thing has passed.
Anxiety disorders cause a slew of problems in the body, one of which is acid reflux or heartburn. While doctors are still studying the relationship between the two, current studies suggest a strong link. Heres a closer look into the matter.
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How Long Does It Take For Lpr To Heal
There is not a one size fits all answer for this. For some people they can return to normal after 1-2-weeks time whereas for others they must maintain a strict diet for many months until they can heal. Also, not everyone may be able to completely heal though luckily the vast majority of people will see improvements when doing things like following a strict low acid diet.
Whats The Link Between Anxiety And Acid Reflux
Its not clear if anxiety causes acid reflux, but a link has been found between anxiety symptoms and acid reflux.
Acid reflux and anxiety are both the result of the bodys reaction to life stress. When youre anxious, your body produces excess stomach acid in response to worry or fear that can cause pain and discomfort. When you have acid reflux, you may also experience muscle spasms during digestion because of anxiety or stress, which can cause pain and discomfort. So, there is an association between anxiety and acid reflux.
Additionally, some people may experience anxiety as a symptom of acid reflux.
Anxiety is associated with many physical symptoms, including heart palpitations, sweaty palms, nausea or vomiting. Researchers have found that these bodily sensations are all related to the bodys fight or flight response which prepares you for dealing with danger by speeding up your heart rate and breathing, making you stronger or faster. These physical symptoms happen in response to anxiety or chronic stress, not because of them. Unfortunately, these are also the same things that can cause acid reflux when theyre overactive by thinking about something stressful, nervous, or worrying.
Recognizing the connection between stress and your symptoms can help people with anxiety better manage them both in the long term. As with many other types of anxiety, practising relaxation techniques like deep breathing, yoga or meditation can help reduce acid reflux caused by stress.
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