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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.
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. ( Check out the resources in the Anxiety and Panic Forum - top of the page)
Here are a
few tips that can help reduce your sensitivity to reflux during times of
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.Stress isn't always a cause of acid reflux, but if you are a patient with GERD it may make your heartburn worse - Talk with your Dr.