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Can Stress Cause Acid Reflux?

Stress affects all people differently. Each individual’s body reacts differently to stress, whether it comes in the form of a new assignment at work or a stressful conversation at home. Stress incorporates itself into your life and must be dealt with daily. If stress always led to acid reflux, most people would experience heartburn and reflux almost every day! But this is not the case.

In stressful situations, your body responds by producing hormones that regulate organ function. During times of stress, the colon, for example, responds by contracting and emptying itself. This can cause you to experience diarrhea in times of stress. Others may experience a flushed feeling or warmth in their face.

Some people do experience heartburn in times of stress. This can occur because stress hormones cause stomach relaxation, and food can linger in the stomach for increased periods of time. Stress hormones may increase stomach acid production. Both of these stress-related factors may result in flares of acid reflux during emotionally difficult times.

Stress can also lead to other symptoms that are similar to a flare of acid reflux. Stress hormones affect the heart, increasing its workload, and also may increase blood pressure. Some people can feel angina, a type of pain related to the heart, which is increased in times of stress. This can often be confused with acid reflux because of its location in the chest. As mentioned previously heart pain and reflux pain are very similar and are difficult at times to distinguish from each other.

Each person has a different threshold for stress, and different events are stressful to each individual. However, in times of severe stress, hormones can cause reflux or other symptoms of acid reflux.

By Mortin - Copyright 2009
Last modification 31/12/2009

Can Stress Cause Acid Reflux? References