Acid Reflux and Stress

Although there is no medical "proof" that acid reflux and stress are somehow connected, most physicians and health care professionals agree that there is an undeniable relationship between the two. Since stress is an unavoidable part of life for most Americans, that will probably make the condition difficult to keep under control at times.

Physicians and sufferers have long since noticed that symptoms and their severity increases significantly in individuals that are going through stressful situations for prolonged periods of time. It may be the result of behavior modifications.

It may also be because stress sometimes causes the stomach to empty at a slower rate, keeping the acid that causes your symptoms around longer. Until medicine has something in black and white, there are things you need to be aware of in order to empower yourself.

Whether the correlation between acid reflux and your stress level is direct or indirect, the link and its importance cannot be argued.

Stress throws your life-balance off kilter and typically causes you to alter your behavior. You may reach for comfort foods, you may become vegetative or you may not even realize that your routine has changed at all.

During stressful times your acid reflux symptoms may worsen because:

  • Your diet suffers. You might tend to console yourself with an order of French Fries, a super-sized candy bar or an excessive amount of coffee. By reaching for foods that are high in fat or caffeine you are sure to make your problems worse.

  • You wind down with a nightcap (or two, or three). A drink might ease the tension but alcohol has long been known to be an enemy of those who suffer with acid reflux. Alcohol of any kind can cause problems but red wine is the leading culprit.

  • You become less physically active. Exercise can keep often fend off symptoms so making time for it should certainly be a priority.

  • You begin to smoke excessively in order to relax. Smoking also relaxes the part of your esophagus that keeps acid in the stomach which means that it can splash back into the esophagus more easily.

It’s not all in your head. Acid reflux and stress are related---directly OR indirectly. By staying tuned to the way that your body reacts to certain situations you will be better equipped to handle the problems that are brought on by stress. If you are at a loss as to what triggers your symptoms during stressful periods, start a journal.

Make sure you are very detailed as you record the foods you eat, the time of day that you eat, any behavioral changes, changes in your daily schedule or routine and the state of your emotions. If you are thorough, your recordings will point you in the right direction.

You will be able to reflect upon your journal and find the point of disconnect. If you can first find out what triggers your symptoms you will be able to eliminate stress and acid reflux or, if they cannot be completely done away with, you can train your body how to react to them.

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