Does GERD cause Anxiety, or does anxiety cause GERD

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/13/2013 10:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi I just signed up and I know there is a lot of information, but here is my story.

about 3 weekths ago I had really bad food poisoning where my stomach would just not get back on track, ever since then I had horrible heartburn 24/7. A week later I went to my doctor for stomach pain and chest pain and he said I have GERD. I have tried prilosec for 5 days, didn't work, I also tried pepcid AC for 10 days, some comfort, now it is not working. about 2 weeks into this "GERD" I had a very very severe panic attack ( at the time I didnt know what it was) and landed in the ER. After that I realized I have GERD and since then, which was one week ago I have had agoraphobia where I have problems driving. I went from not leaving the house one day to driving with my husband on busy freeways and driving around town on my own, but only around town on my own.

I noticed that when my GERD has flair ups my anxiety is through the roof and I have bad panic attacks. I still cant drive to work, so I am telling them I have GERD with complications bc the panic attacks are soo bad on the freeway but my fear of driving alone is getting better.

Does GERD cause anxiety or does anxiety cause GERD? I have never had panic attacks until the GERD started, but I am under a huge amount of stress, and due to situational issues i have a strong problem learning how to de-stress.

Should I treat the GERD to treat the anxiety and agoraphobia, or should it be the other way around?

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 11/14/2013 4:47 PM (GMT -6)   
In my opinion GERDS may cause the anxiety. I have dedicated the last 3 months to studying this disease. I have never seen anywhere that anxiety causes or have anything to do with GERDS. However, before I got diagnosed with GERDS but was having the problems of it and not knowing what was wrong with me drove me into anxiety/panic attacks. They are two separate problems that both need addressing, I would start trying to fix the one the bothers me the most first. Try changing your diet, there are a lot of fruit, vegetables, and herbs that help with both problems. I have recently started a all plant diet to work on my GERDS and I can't guarantee it will fix me but me the doctors are helping me much either. Most of the medications we are on only causes more side effects to deal with later on down the road so I am trying to prevent causing a problem by trying to fix a problem. Good luck!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 11/20/2013 1:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi there,
Its really the chicken and egg question - which comes first.  In my case though, the anxiety began when the diagnosis was purely based on my symptoms presented.  I know that I easily get anxious but all those attacks were manageable. 
GERD is very subjective, the heartburn, the something is being stuck in there feeling, the dry, itchy throat, the post nasal drip, etc.  My anxiety became controlled when I finally underwent an endoscopy and my gastro enterologist saw esophagitis and gastritis.
Most often, our mind will wander and we think of a "dreaded disease" and asks a lot of what ifs.  This forum helped me a lot in understanding GERD.  Only a person who suffers GERD can understand what you went through.  Even my friends told me to just relax and dont think about what im feeling.  The heartburn is very frustrating and leaves you with many sleepless nights.  People who would not understand your illness would presume you are just too pre occupied with things that is why you cant sleep.
Xanor helped me but it didnt cure my sleeplessness. Its been more than a month now with PPI and the side effects that I experience include sleeplessness, alternating constipation and diarrhea, lethargy, ringing of the ears, never ending post nasal drip, lightheadedness and headache.  It was my GI who gave me Xanor for insomnia and anxiety.  What helped me to calm down is the sitting meditation that a psychotherapist has taught me.  For my sleeplessness, its our company doctor who told me to stop Xanor and prescribed me with Itarax (an antihistamine actually) which is non-addictive.  By the way, for the almost one month duration, i was only able to take 6 (500 mcg Xanor) since my dose is only 250 mcg so i would cut it into half.
Anxiety causes GERD.  Stress plays havoc to our system so if we dont keep ourself calm most of the time, hyperacidity level also rise up.
I still have another month to go with PPI ( since end of October I am on Dexilant 60 mg, OD).  I have to endure all the side effects for another month.  I am claiming once im done with PPI, my old self will come back.  I am very conscious now of what i eat - non fatty, non acidic, non spicy..No coffee for more than a month now -- huhuhuhu..
Keep on reading the posts here, these would help you understand GERD better.
Have a great day ahead.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/20/2013 4:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi I just join an really like the information that's is given I'm scheduled to have surgery on Nov.29th I suffer with gerd and I also have a haital hernia and both will be repaired then I have been waiting on this for awhile now and the day is finally coming an I'm getting a little scared what should I do
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