Does anyone know of a connection between GERD (acid reflux/indigestion) and anxiety/panic attacks?
.... Any information that can be shared would be most appreciated.
- julyLv 710 years agoFavorite Answer
Adam has given you great information. As someone who suffers from both GERD and anxiety, I believe that GERD can cause anxiety, and anxiety can worsen GERD.
People with anxiety are said to greatly increase the risk of developing GERD due to a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK). CCK is released when the duodenum (small intestine) receives partly-digested fats from the stomach. CCK when causes the pancreas to deliver digestive enzymes to the area and it also causes the gallbladder to contract, delivering bile to the area too. (This is why if you have gallbladder trouble, eating a fatty meal can cause pain--the gallbladder is contracting.)
So what does CCK have to do with anxiety and GERD? This article mentions one reason: http://panicdisorder.about.com/od/relatedcondition...
I've done some reading that suggests CCK is associated with visceral hypersensitivity (defined as an overly sensitive neurological sensory system) and that visceral hypersensitivity is linked to GERD. This is a link with several posts that, although they're rather technical, make very interesting reading if you suffer from anxiety and GERD: http://forums.heartburn-help.com/archive/index.php...
When I am anxious, my GERD worsens, and my esophagus and chest feel painful. Although I'm not convinced that anxiety can "cause" GERD by itself, I think that GERD definitely causes anxiety and even panic.Source(s): Healthcare teaching assistant.
- 4 years ago
Of course you can have both. Why would those two conditions be mutually exclusive? GO BACK TO YOUR DOCTOR! The GERD can cause damage. i take nexium and have not had a problem since i started five years ago. But, there are other meds he can give, and they could do a scope to see what is going on and possibly a surgical repair of a defective sphincter. There are several great medications to help stabilize your mood too. Sounds like he should also do a heart stress test, ECG, etc.
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- 10 years ago
Absolutely. Research has shown a strong connection between reflux and stress. According to an important UCLA study, "stress clearly led to an increased sensitivity to acid." But it also showed that stress doesn't necessary *cause* reflux or GERD; rather, it found that the same type of people are more likely to suffer both. But to answer your question directly, the study found that "GERD patients that are stressed report worsening of typical heartburn symptoms."
- 4 years ago
Reflux can present in a number of ways. Learn how to cure your heartburn https://tr.im/acidrefluxremedies
The most common symptoms include burning in your chest or regurgitation of food or saliva. Other symptoms include a feeling of something in your throat (called globus), chronic cough, throat clearing, indigestion or an upset stomach, or chest pain that feels like a heart attack.