Acid reflux and anxiety/panic

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Orchid221
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 3/28/2012 12:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I read some posts about people who have GERD or acid reflux and it's linked to their anxiety.  Their anxiety makes their acid reflux worse.
 
Let me explain my situation a little and if anyone can comment if they relate or for support that would be great. 
 
I've had acid reflux for many years now, started out as just really bad burning in my stomach.  The doctor put me on prilosec and it helps me a lot.  I just take 1 a day right now.  The doc wanted me to have an EGD so I did and sure enough it was just mild acid reflux and they said to keep taking my meds and watch what I eat.  Well, with the prilosec I've gone periods of time where I could eat or drink anything and those were also the times I had no anxiety or panic attacks.  The acid reflux actually started several months after a bad bout of anxiety(coincidence??).  And this time it started again with a very stressful event in my life.  I started getting nauseated from eating and drinking certain things-but no real burning, upset stomach or sick feeling.  So I don't know if the nausea was from anxiety or the acid reflux.  Well since then everything's gotten worse, the acid reflux and anxiety and panic attacks.  And this morning while I was drinking my coffee I started feeling naseous(like the start of a panic attack so I took an anti-anxiety med) then it turned into severe nausea, was in and out of the bathroom thinking I was going to throw up.  This severe nausea came out of nowhere.  I've never had it that bad or that long.  It finally went away and I took some meds.  I was feeling a lot better so decided I better eat something and fixed a sandwich, took a few bites, now feeling a little nauseous again.  This is not normal for me, this level.  No, not pregnant!  And don't feel sick.
 
But I have been going through some emotional issues lately that have made me feel very rejected and depressed, like I just want to die.  So I'm wondering if it's all tied together, the emotional with the physical.

new_2012
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 3/28/2012 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   
@orchid221 I used to have panic attacks but I am able to control them using meditation. Writing down your thoughts in a venting journal helps too. Mild exercise can also combat depression and help with acid reflux.

Tinlou
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 3/30/2012 9:58 AM (GMT -6)   
If you don't mind me asking, how old are you? I have been nauseated on and off for years. Diagnosed with gastritis/gerd however, I do believe it is hormonal. Gerd/gastritis symptoms have become worse over t he years, started in my early thirties and I am now in peri-menopause. The nausea/anxiety have been pretty bad over the last decade and if you can keep track of your symptoms you might be able to find a connection to your cycles/hormones.

This might sound like a cliche but once i started exercising everything started to get a bit better.. well that and one zegerid a day for my stomach. Do you take anything now for your GERD symptoms. Sometimes, once you get that under control and feeling better the panic and anxiety will calm down a bit as well.

Orchid221
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 3/31/2012 7:00 AM (GMT -6)   
@ Tinlou I am 36 now and have been suffering with this for about 5-6 years now. I am taking prilosec everyday. I'm wondering if the nausea is caused by a weakened LES. That's the only thing I can think of when I feel nauseated without an upset stomach or sick feeling.

I think you are right about exercise, that it would help. I am currently stuggling with low dopamine levels, most likely due to a medication I've been taking. So it's very hard for me to even get off the couch. But regular exercise would probably help all my conditions-acid reflux, anxiety, panic, depression.

I'm so sorry you have been suffering for so many years. I haven't found a link to my hormones. You said you started exercising and noticed improvement in everthing? Can you describe how it's made you feel?

Tinlou
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 3/31/2012 8:02 AM (GMT -6)   
So sorry you are struggling too..it isn't fun to never know if you are going to feel good from one day to the next. When I started to exercise (mostly because i was starting to get high blood pressure) I started to lose some weight and I think that helped overall with symptoms and did ease the panic and anxiety too.

Have you modified you diet at all? I know that I can't eat wheat, barley, oats, anything greasy like oily salad dressings, a lot of chocolate bothers me too. Maybe you can make a connection there somehow. The main thing is to try to get off the couch and maybe just take a little walk if you can..anything small to start might help. I know when I am anxious i get very nauseated too and trying to get your mind off of it and on something else for a while does help. It is hard to get the "get up and go" but once i do i feel so much better afterwards.

Firefighter173
New Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/3/2012 2:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey everyone, not sure if you are still watching this thread but I am just looking for some support.  I started having symptoms of acid reflux a little over a month ago.  It started as a burning in the center of my chest and an irritated throat.  I ended up in the ER due to the burning that I believed was from something I was exposed to at work.  The ER doc sent me home and said probably minor exposure take some ibuprofen. So...I went back that night with worse burning and this different ER doc suggested acid reflux.  My anxiety level at this time was through the roof and I just wonder if it triggered the reflux or if the reflux triggered it?  The gave me some nasty GI cocktail to drink and gave me a perscription for prevacid and rantadine and sent me on my way.  I took them both for about two weeks and was feeling back to my normal self with no anxiety.  I stopped taking the medication and felt great for about two weeks.  One night I was eating pizza and drinking beer followed by a couple shots (unlike me) and there it was again.  The extreme anxiety with the burning in the chest.  This was a little over a week ago and I cannot get a grip on either.  My family doc switched me to Prilosec and referred me to a gastro doc who switched me to Dexilant and scheduled me for an upper GI scope next week.  I am still very anxious and the burning still comes and goes.  This SUCKS!

drtinsac
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 5/3/2012 4:29 PM (GMT -6)   
The "which came first" question is a good one. Hopefully others can chime in on that.

My opinion is that acid reflux can increase or "cause" anxiety, since anxiety is really a continuum of feelings/thoughts, not an on/off thing.

Anything that creates a tight feeling in the chest, or a tight throat (both of which can happen as a response to stress/emotions) can certainly ramp up anxiety. Personally I believe my reflux, where my main symptom is acid taste and irritated throat, increases my tendency to feel anxious in certain situations. If my throat was loose, not irritated etc., I would be more relaxed in general which would move down the anxiety continuum.

The same could really go for any physical issue.. walking around with a lemon in one's mouth would surely raise a person's level of arousal and make feelings of "anxiety" more noticeable. Same with a tie tied way too tight, something wrapped around the chest etc.

It reminds me of something I learned in introductory Psychology, where they asked people to rate the funniness of a cartoon. The people were holding a toothpick (or was it pencil) in their teeth (making them "smile" artificially) or holding the toothpick in their lips (not smiling, more like frowning). People who were "smiling" rated the cartoon as funnier. Great support for the phrase "fake it till you make it". Although it's extremely hard to ignore something that is constantly causing discomfort or pain, and this will affect a person's reactions to things.

bungielove
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 11/10/2012 7:36 AM (GMT -6)   
hi everyone, hope you are all feeling well today. I will like to know, did anyone have the hpylori bacteria when they were diagnosed with acid reflux? i did, and it was very high, which made all the symptoms worse. does acid reflux make anxiety worse or the other way around? because the first time i was diagnosed with acid reflux, my stomach did not burn, i had a feeling of fear deep down in my stomach which my doc called the pit of doom, he gave me ranatadine and dica which made it better. i had lost my job a few months before so i think it had to lot to do with my acid reflux and anxiety, i did not even realise i was stressed.

Ukyo
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 11/10/2012 9:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Reading these posts I just saw myself in there. Here is my story:

Beginning of this year I was diagnosed with Pituitary Adenoma. Had a completely unsuccessful surgery and a coma-state 10 days later due to low sodium. Had minor anxiety-attacks after then got back to normal. 3 months later had another surgery which they said was completely successful. After the surgery started to take heavy medication which caused hearthburn and stomach pains. A gastroenterologist prescribed me Nexium (40mg). Taking that relieved the symptoms. 6 weeks later had a Gamma-Knife surgery. After then everything was normal until hospitalizing 2 times due to low sodium. Now I am taking 40 mg Nexium, 125 mcg Euthyrox and 15 mg Hydrocortisone. Cortisone is messing my stomach. Everything is normal until I take my cortisone in the morning. 1 or 2 hours later, I feel great fear, anxiety like something terrible is going to happen or die. My palms and feet freeze. I did end up in ER's several times. All of the diagnose were normal, all the blood work were normal. Now I'm taking Xanax to suppress the anxiety. Read some posts about Nexium causing anxiety and nervousness. But read also other posts about quiting Nexium causes more severe symptoms than before which I experienced when I tried to quit it. I'm desperate about this condition. Hope they will end some day...

clapps
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/19/2013 3:31 AM (GMT -6)   
I have had severe acid reflux now for over 10 years. I have tried a little of everything to get a handle on it to no avail. Just recently in the past year I was diagnosed with high blood pressure as well. I started taking blood pressure med with generic nexium meds. For the first month they seemed to work just fine together with occasional night time heartburn and belching. However one night this summer I awoke with severe heartburn, numbness on my left side and a rapid heart beat like never before. I didn't know what to do, I had trouble breathing and started to panic. It got worse and I took aspirin ( Thinking it was a heart attack) called 911. When they got there my heart rate and blood pressure was through the roof. When asked what I had done or taken earlier that day I told them I had taken those meds, drank a cpl beers, smoked some cigarettes(more than usual) and had a cpl of dbl bacon cheese burgers lol. End of story they couldn't find anything, I found out I was having a panic attack caused by acid reflux and high blood pressure. I realized that my poor health habits don't help with this and have since had about 3 or 4 middle of the night anxiety/heartburn attacks. So what I believe is going on is my continual poor habits deteriorating my system along with the med side effects and high blood pressure have made this uncomfortable burning,belching, vomiting lifestyle into a pretty scary experience. Bottom line is, I need to take better care of myself. Quit smoking, quit or at least cut back in a major way on drinking, quit eating fatty boomba latty foods and exercise. Also something's got to give with the meds because I felt better without them before just getting regular old heartburn. This is easier said than done but I know I can do it and so can you! Its comforting knowing there are others going through what I am, I feel for you guys and hope that things get better. Don't be afraid to get help and talk about it as much as possible and good luck with controlling this crap.
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