GERD and Anxiety?

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Shemoh01
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 1/15/2012 3:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I have recently started having heartburn very badly and many of the symptoms of GERD-I feel like the symptoms I am having are causing additional anxiety and feelings of chest pain, tightness in the chest, etc. does any one else experience any thing like this?

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 15140
   Posted 1/15/2012 7:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi and welcome to the A/P boards:)

Yes, I had really high stomach acid levels when my anxiety was at its worst. I would feel generally unwell and suffer more anxiety from this, which caused quite a vicious cycle!

Managing both the stress and the GERD should really help to get you back to feeling better. We have a great GERD forum here where you can get some great advice. For me personally, probiotics helped get my balance back, but that is just one idea...check in with them for more advice.

For the anxiety, try doing breathing and relaxation exercises for relief. If you need some instructions, or some new ideas...check out our Resource Guide (main A/P page 3rd post) for links to sites that teach some good ones.

Good luck with this. Keep posting with us. It is great to be part of a group that understands and supports each other!

Scaredy Cat
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends"

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Post Edited (Scaredy Cat) : 1/15/2012 6:47:05 PM (GMT-7)


SosGirl1981
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/9/2012 2:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone. I'm a 30 yr old female. Quit smoking 2 months ago. Exercise rarely. Slightly overweight from anxiety medication. 10 years ago I was in the ER for dehydration and anxiety. I started getting panic attacks that was misdiagnosed for 6 months until I started getting stomach pains and a stomach doctor told me what I was experiencing. Gave me the name of a psychiatrist, put me on Buspar(1 year - gained 60lbs), Zoloft(200mg until I was able to lower the dosage a year later to 100mg) and Xanax(.5mg up to 3x/day). I only took Xanax when I needed it. Which was once a week if any at all. Since then, I had stomach pains that was said to be gastritis, IBS and acid reflux. Was not put on anything. Had an endoscopy and they found a hiatal hernia. I started seeing a natural doctor and was able to heal myself from the pains and was even able to lower my Zoloft to 25mgs over the next few years. In 2007 I got married and switched hospitals to one that is highly acclaimed and top 100 in the world. I had a hydascan done last at my previous hospital. When I called the next day, some girl answering the phones told me to the ER because my gallbladder needed tO be removed which scared the crap out of me. The hubby said to go to the ER at his hospital for a 2nd opinion. My doctor refused to hand over the test results until the following day so they admitted me until the paperwork was faxed the next afternoon. Gallbladder needed to come out. So I had it removed. The pains from the gallbladder went away but not the other pains. I established a primary doctor and stomach doctor at the new hospital. Had another endoscopy, this time there was no hiatal hernia just some reflux. Was put on 20mg Nexium and it went away. June 2011, I was able to get off all meds. I was fine for the following 4 months. In October, I got an upper respiratory infection which caused me to have anxiety. Stomach pains, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, tight throat, feeling like I'm going to die or have a heart attack. 2 months of dealing with this, I was referred to an allergist who automatically said I was plugged up and I was having post nasal drip that can cause throat tightness. I was given a pulmonary test and was given Albuterol for asthma symptoms and to take the inhaler when I had wheezing or cheat tightness. Because Albuterol gave me heart palpitations and jitters, they switched me to Xopenex. I am now on Fluticasone Nasal Spray once a day, Pantanase 2x a day, Zyrtec every night, sinus nasal rinse 2x a day, saline nasal gel for dryness. Not to mention I am back on Zoloft and Xanax for what is now Generalized Anxiety Disorder. And I am on Nexium 2-40mgs a day (80mg). I am scared every day from all my symptoms/sensations. I have head pressure (by the ears, in the front, in the back or all over and mainly happens when standing), face numbness, chest pain (middle & left sided), chest tightness, throat tightness, burning in throat (sides of throat hurt when swallowing - comes and goes), mid upper abdomen and stomach pressure/pain, heavy beating of the heart that I feel in the chest as well as the stomach, difficulty breathing and a whooshing feeling inside that lasts for a second and comes and goes).
Been to the ER 3 times in the past 2 months. ER stated asthma like symptoms (reactive airway disease) and hyperacidity. Had an endoscopy again this past Friday and stomach doc said she didn't see anything except for the biopsies showing chronic GERD. I also had a stress test yesterday which came back normal too. This only means 2 things: reflux & anxiety is the cause. I can stop worrying about my heart but I'm still scared. My primary doctor follows homeopathic and holistic approaches as well. She has me taking Borion's Ignatia Amara 30c (5 pellets 2x a day) for tightness/globus in throat and Bach's Rescue Remedy for anxiety. The throat burning scares me because it makes my throat tighter and makes it hard to breathe. I don't get heartburn but I get chest pain instead from the GERD. I've already been on a reflux diet for almost 3 months. Only lately have I become very strict. No chocolate, caffeine, peppermint, spearmint, carbonated drinks, fried, fatty foods,citrus fruits, any fruit ending in -erry, alcohol, onions, spices and garlic. I am only eating low-fat, fat-free, 60-80oz water, bananas, skinless meats with little seasoning. I'll use Silk Light milk instead of regular milk with raisin bran because I need the extra fiber. I'm also on a multivitamin, 400-500mg of Magnesium Glycinate, Polyethylene Glycol for constipation, Ortho-biotics (probiotics) and 1000-2000mg of Fish Oil. I hate taking all of this but all these specialists are working together to help me. Everything hit me at on e and it's hard to figure out what caused what. It's all a cycle. Everything I have can make the other one worse and even cause it. The worst feeling for me is the tightness in the throat, difficulty breathing and the heavy heart beats. I had all tests done. I have many EKG's, Chest X-Ray, Pulmonary Function Test (revealed slight asthma caused by anxiety, exercise and laughing induced, Stress Test yesterday and the heart is normal, blood work and thyroid is normal, no H. Pylori. I even saw an ENT for the throat tightness. They tubed my throat assuming I had Vocal Cord Dysfunction. All he found was that my throat was irritated due to reflux/post nasal drip. Was sent to a speech therapist for suspected vocal cord dysfunction anyway which tuned out to be anxiety, reflux and post nasal drip related. The area above my vocal cord are slightly inflamed. So I am following techniques to draw tension away from my throat so it can heal. I am also doing relaxation techniques to help the anxiety. Every day I feel bad. Sometimes I can barely make it through without crying which only makes the symptoms worse. Any ideas on what works for a tight throat/burning throat? I am out of clues and my docs are running all tests they can do. I'm sorry this is long but I had to start from the beginning. I went from panic attacks to generalized anxiety which is horrible to deal with. The anxiety makes the acid in the stomach worse and I'm afraid to eat anything that I eat too little and not frequent like I'm suppose to. I lost 20 lbs in the past 2 months. I always feel alone because it's hard to talk to someone who doesn't understand. I'm scared of being home alone because I'm always worrying what if something happened? I never use to be like this. All the pains scare me whether related to GERD or anxiety. But when it freaks me out, it gets worse. I have to lower anxiety levels to make sure I don't start panicking. I'm 30 years old and 1/3 of my life has been plagued with this. I want a normal life again. I hope everyone gets well soon!

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 15140
   Posted 2/10/2012 11:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sos Girl and welcome!

I am sorry that you are suffering so much with these problems right now. Thoat tightness/globus and stomach problems were some of my first anxiety symptoms as well.

You are doing the right things to help yourself. I like your doctor's approach, with the Western medicine alongside the holistic treatments...I believe this combination is very effective! Progress is often slower that we would like it to be, but if you are seeing any improvement, stay the course with what you are doing. The relaxation exercises I think are particularly important.

Have you tried probiotics for your stomach acid probelms? They can help to restore the proper balance and good flora in the digestive system. Check with your doctor to see if this would be right for you.

Also, have you have any therapy, or considered it? It can be really effective in treating panic, GAD and health anxiety. If you can, look into getting a referral from your doctor...it has helped many of us here.

We have a great Resource Guide that you may want to check out. It is on our main page, 3rd post down. It has lots of great self-help ideas and links:)

It is great to be a part of a community of people who understand what you are going through, so I hope that you will stay on with us. We are here to help and support, and look forward to getting to know you better.

Take care,
Scaredy Cat

p.s. If you could break your future posts into paragraphs, you may get more responses...some members have trouble reading an all block form:)
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends"

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

SosGirl1981
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/10/2012 12:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Scaredy Cat -
I am currently taking a probiotic daily. My doctor told me about it. I am also seeing a health therapist to help with the anxiety. I am following a relaxation/visualization techniques daily to help teach myself to fully relax every muscle in my body.

I am currently following the Linden Method. It is exactly what the therapist tries to help you go through. It's just that I needed the extra help this time because I have too many things health wise going on right now.

It is so frustrating dealing with these symptoms daily and always worrying about when I'm going to have a heart palpitation or when my throat is going to close or that I'm afraid I'm breathing in the acid from my stomach into my lungs.

Even with aggressive therapy and relaxations along with Diaphramic breathing styles, it can take months. I am lucky that today (finally), I woke up feeling ok. It's just one day at a time.

It's so comforting knowing I am not alone on all these feelings. I know our loved ones try to give us that comfort but it's a little different since they really cannot share your experience. They can only imagine.

I heard eating a banana daily, even up to 3 times a day not only helps boost seratonin levels in the brain which helps promote calmness from anxiety (just like the well know Zoloft and other SSRI's do) and helps coat the stomach from acid reflux. I just read about it yesterday. :)

Thank you!
SosGirl1981
*Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.*
*God never gives us something he know we cannot handle.*

DX: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Chronic GERD, Asthma & Allergies
RX: Zoloft 50mg, Alprazolam .5mg 3x day, 80mg Nexium, Zyrtec, Fluticasone, Pantanase Spray, Nasal Rinse, Nasal Gel, Polyethylene Glycol, 400mg Magnesium, 1000mg Fish Oil, Multivitamin

Jessiepooh
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 181
   Posted 2/10/2012 1:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Sos,

After reading all your symptoms and things, I was wondering have you tried to change your diet by removing MSG, soy and artificial sweeteners from it? I see you are consuming diet foods, I haven't seen one yet that I would touch with a 10 foot pole by reading the ingredient list, I have had all your symptoms and removing all MSG (spice, hydrolyzed and autolyzed anything, natural flavorings), Soy and artificial sweeteners (aspartame etc.) has cured me of those same symptoms, and its not just you, I have some friends that also had some of the same symptoms and we all discussed it one day, the other people I know also stopped eating those things and now we never get those feelings *thank god*. I'm not sure this is your issue, I'm just giving you another thought and hopefully if you can try this diet, it will cure you as well.

Good luck.

-Jessie

joki63
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/1/2012 6:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sos,

Its been a few months now since your last post. How have you been lately? What works for you now? Is the Linden method effective? Let us know.
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