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Do you have acid reflux from stress?
Maybe you’ve noticed that when you’re stressed and agitated, your acid reflux seems to flare up?
This is no coincidence and not your imagination. When you suffer from acid reflux you need to be careful about the stress in your life so as to not cause any more flare-ups than you would normally suffer.
Why do we get acid reflux from stress?
What is the connection between stress and acid reflux?
When you’re under stress or are nervous and agitated, your body responds with that “fight or flight” mechanism. You might have heard that term before. This is a basic instinct we have to prepare ourselves for either conflict or for running away.
The way our bodies do this is by diverting blood and oxygen from secondary functions and systems to the larger muscles in the leg, getting them ready to run or fight.
Many women who are under extreme stress report feeling lightheaded, dizzy, numb in the fingers and arms, and nauseated in the stomach area. This is because blood and oxygen are being diverted from these areas to the legs.
This causes or irritates incidences of acid reflux from stress because your stomach gets cramped and less able to regulate its own functions when this happens. The result is that any extra acid that might be in the stomach is not going to be diluted the way it should. Also, the stomach actually produces more acid in response to stress.
Can Acid Reflux Be Caused by Stress? YES!
When your body reacts this way, the stomach acid usually has no place to go but back up into your esophagus. The stomach is overly full of acid and has no way of dealing with this extra buildup.
If you have acid reflux and are under a tremendous amount of stress, you need to acknowledge the connection between the two and take steps to do something about it. Of course, there is a wide variety of short-term fixes, but until you deal with the stress in your life acid reflux from stress will continue to be a problem.
Perhaps your job is stressful. If so, consider taking steps to learn a new skill or ask for a transfer. If you have stress because of your family, it’s time to talk to a counselor.
Whatever is causing your stress, it’s not worth the pain, discomfort, and physical danger of acid reflux. So take steps to start alleviating your stress today.
Stress and the Stomach: How to Treat Acid Reflux Due to Stress
When your body is under stress, it reacts in several different ways. One of those ways is to produce cortisol, the so-called stress hormone. Cortisol actually inhibits digestion.
The body gets many of its important chemicals and elements through the digestive system. When food is broken down and absorbed, this means the healthy minerals and amino acids can aid in healing and cellular repair.
But when we’re stressed and this cortisol is released, digestion is inhibited. We don’t get those healthy elements in our system the way we should. We’re actually starving our body of important nutrition and other elements that it needs to stay healthy.
Cortisol may also have much to do with how often the stomach produces its own acids, and how much. Unfortunately, the stomach cannot regulate its own function when cortisol is released in the system.
Posture, Chronic Stress and Acid Reflux
It may seem like an odd or unimportant thing to point out, but often when we are under tremendous amounts of stress for long periods of time, our posture typically suffers. We are literally weighed down by the burden of our own problems.
The stomach and intestines need room to work properly.
Imagine keeping your foot all curled up in a shoe that’s too small for an entire day. You would probably be in some pain, wouldn’t you? And you do the same thing to your stomach and digestive system when you’re stressed and remain hunched over all day.
Poor posture can be caused by many other things, not just stress.
We rarely sit up straight when we’re in front of a computer all day, or when driving. We learn very poor posture in school when we’re hunched over our desks. Sadly, proper posture is not given much attention.
But keeping your midsection hunched over, whether because of stress or just poor posture, contributes to acid reflux, heartburn, and other digestive disorders.
Pay attention to your posture throughout the day and make a point of working on it. Sit up straight and breathe deeply. See if you don’t notice that you begin to feel better and if this doesn’t relieve some tension in your stomach area as well.
Calming Your Stress and Acid Reflux
What can you do to calm your stress? The first step is to pinpoint what is causing your stress in the first place. If you don’t know the root cause of your stress, you can’t fix it.
Consider some of these common causes of stress, and be honest with yourself. No one wants to think that their family or poor choices is causing stress, but you need to face your stressors head-on before you can alleviate it.
Family Problems Can Cause Acid Reflux from Stress
This includes problems with your hubby, rebellious children, or siblings. A lack of communication between spouses often causes stress. Other stress triggers include unfulfilled expectations, differing views on gender roles, an inequality between sharing responsibilities. Infidelity, job-related travel and money are also big stressors.
Caring For an Elderly Parent
This can mean full-time, or just being responsible for more and more of their care as they age. Things like balancing their checkbook, shopping for them, tending to their house and lawn, taking them to medical appointments and so on. Use these tips and resources to care for your aging parent without losing your sanity.
Ever been passed over for a promotion? How about dealing with an incompetent boss?
Other job related stressors include a lack of communication regarding expectations, lack of recognition for your hard work, and fear of job loss. These are all common stresses on the job.
Additional common stresses include changes in the industry that are difficult to keep up with, declining sales or performance in your department, and shifting of jobs to overseas companies.
Money problems are one of the most common reasons for divorce today, and a constant cause of stress for women. Considering the economic climate and how insecure every industry and every profession is, it’s no wonder that many women are concerned about their financial situation.
And in a marriage, if your spouse feels that you are not cooperating with his financial plan or thinks that you are not pulling your own weight with the family’s finances, this can cause all sorts of marital problems as well.
Serious Health Problems.
Waiting by the phone every day or every week to hear back about a test result, whether it’s for you or for someone in the family, can cause untold amounts of stress. And of course when the test results are not good, this just means even more stress on top of that.
How many of these different scenarios apply to you?
And what other things in your life are causing you undue stress? Is it something that’s not listed here? Maybe unresolved feelings because of past abuse, difficulty dealing with your parents or children? Perhaps a schedule that leaves little room for you to give yourself the love and self care you deserve! Or…something else? Think seriously about your stresses and what is causing it.
Stress and pressure are a part of everyone’s life and we all feel it to some extent probably every single day. But when it begins to spiral out of control or is contributing to a health problem, then we need to step up and take some action to let go of stress and fix things.
While there are no perfect solutions for any stressful situation and sometimes there are problems that we’re just going to need to deal with, there are solutions to our individual problems that can at least alleviate some stress.
Acid Reflux and Stress – Simple Remedies
If you’re stressed because of caring for aging parents, ask yourself if you’re taking on too many responsibilities by yourself. Do you have other siblings and even aunts and uncles that can help in some way? What about hiring persons to help?
Usually a monthly cleaning or landscaping service is not that expensive and can go a long way toward giving you some relief. This may be especially important if you’re working full-time yourself and have precious little time for all the responsibilities on your plate.
Even a neighbor kid can help with lawn care, walking the dog, and so on. Some medical insurance plans will also pay for visiting nurses and home health care workers, so speak to your parents’ insurance provider or doctor about such help.
Solutions for Job Stress
If you are having job stress, can you do something to help your situation? What about taking classes to brush up on your skills so that you’re eligible for a promotion or transfer?
Are you doing everything you can do to make yourself eligible for a promotion, and actually pursuing this? Might you speak to a career counselor about other options for you?
Solutions for Money Stress
If your finances are causing you stress, it’s time to sit down with your bills and paycheck stubs and decide how you’re going to get your spending under control. Keep track of every dollar you spend for a month, and this means everything . Include newspapers in the morning, soda from the vending machine, and so on. You’d be surprised at how the little things add up.
Look at your credit card statements and see what interest rate you’re paying. Consider consolidating your bills; speak to a credit counselor about your options. It might be painful to start reining in your spending, but the feeling that your finances are finally starting to get under control is well worth it.
Take Charge! Make a Plan. Take Back Control.
Usually when a situation is causing undue stress, what helps is taking charge of the problem and making a plan to resolve it. The problem or stress might not go away immediately, but when you’re taking positive steps toward a resolution, this can help tremendously.
Sit down right now and list the stresses that you think are triggering your acid reflux and make a note of how you can take control of the situation to resolve or at least alleviate it.
Are you having problems in your marriage? Find a marriage counselor. If your spouse won’t go with you, then go alone.
Are your teenagers giving you problems? It’s time for a family meeting to discuss the rules of the home and the consequences for breaking them. You need to be firm in enforcing those ground rules as well.
Whatever your stressful situation, start taking steps right now to alleviate it as much as possible. Tacking action, no matter how small, is the first step to taking back control so that you can reverse acid reflux from stress.