Everybody gets heartburn now and then. You may develop gastroesophageal reflux disease if it becomes chronic — defined as two or more times per week (GERD). GERD is quite widespread, with the American College of Gastroenterology claiming that approximately 20% of the population in the United States suffers from it.

Many people with GERD also suffer from anxiety, according to studies. According to experts, the link between GERD and anxiety is complex and circular.

It's distressing if you're in pain in any part of your body. And that stress can exacerbate any physical issues that are already present.

What Causes The Link Between GERD and Anxiety?
Many variables, according to researchers, could explain the link between anxiety and GERD, especially when it comes to the impact of stress on the gastrointestinal tract.

The first is that anxiety can lower pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, a muscle band at the bottom of the esophagus that permits food and drink to pass to the stomach. Stomach acid can run back up through the esophagus if this sphincter relaxes abnormally, causing heartburn. Anxiety-induced stress may have an impact on esophageal contractions, which force food toward the stomach. Reflux might occur if these contractions become irregular. Finally, excessive levels of stress and anxiety might lead to an increase in stomach acid production.

Psychiatric Conditions and Pain Perception
This isn't a one-off occurrence; it's part of a larger issue with determining the severity of disease. Correlating patient-perceived symptoms with physiological measurements is always tricky.

There's a neurobiological reason for this called the pain modualtion network.. Electrical signals are transformed into pain and sent to the brain. The frontal cortex interprets it there. As a result, anything that occurs in the frontal cortex, including mental problems, exacerbates pain perception.

Experts stress, however, that this is not the patient's fault and that it is not entirely in their brains.

This exemplifies the complexity of human beings. When you put the system under stress, it causes greater malfunction in the system as a whole, which means we'll interpret what's going on in our bodies as more dangerous. That doesn't mean it's all in your head; there are actual issues with our bodies.

When the engine starts to have issues, there's nothing wrong with it. It's just that the stress of running it at such a high level that can cause issues. Inside the human body, it's the same thing. As a result, stress has been related to a variety of health problems.

GERD and Anxiety Management Tips
Proton pump inhibitors, antacids, and H2 blockers are examples of traditional medical therapy. These are treatments that will address any physical issues that may arise as a result of acid imbalance or stomach malfunction.

GERD symptoms can also be relieved by making the following lifestyle changes:

- Avoid common trigger foods and drinks such as fatty or fried foods, citrus, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions, caffeine, and alcohol.
- Eat small and frequent meals.
- Keep a healthy weight.
- Avoid lying down after meals.
- Do not wear tight-fitting clothing.
- Elevate the head of your bed.
- Give up smoking.

Finding techniques to manage stress and anxiety should be part of the treatment approach, in addition to these procedures for treating physical symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness meditation, relaxation techniques, and hypnosis are some of the options.

These therapies can aid with the regulation of symptom detection and lower the load on the central nervous system. The medications that are aimed to treat acid reflux will be less successful if the patient detects things that aren't truly happening due to developed sensitivities.

Author's Bio: 

I am Amelia Grant, journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people. Being an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle that keeps improving my life, I wish the same for everyone.