Time has become a rare commodity. Many of us are rushing around relentlessly trying to meet our responsibilities to family, friends and ever tighter deadlines at work. This leaves us with very little time for ourselves – to relax and chill out. This can all lead to stress and if we are regularly stressed out, we are going to damage our health. A major concern that many people have in this situation is the relationship between acid reflux and stress.
So…..can stress cause acid reflux?
Stress And Acid Reflux
First of all, it is important to make it clear, that stress does not cause acid reflux or GERD. Acid reflux is a term used to describe stomach acid flowing back up (reflux) into your esophagus. The condition is a functional problem relating to a valve located in your esophagus, called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
The LES is a circular muscle at the bottom of your esophagus. When working properly the valve opens to allow food to enter the stomach. However, in certain people the LES can fail to close properly and this allows the stomach acid to enter the esophagus.
There are many contributory factors that can increase the symptoms of acid reflux and stress is one of them.
How Stress Increases The Risk Of Acid Reflux
When you are stressed it can affect your body and central nervous system in many ways. It can interfere with your digestive system and if the level of stress is high it can actually shut it down.
When your under stress your body will begin to transfer blood from your internal organs to the muscles as a coping mechanism to deal with stress. This transfer of blood to the muscles means less blood for your digestion system to carry out its functions.
The lack of blood slows down the digestion process resulting in food not being digested and remaining in the stomach longer than it should. Undigested food is one of the most common factors that leads to acid reflux.
With more food in your stomach the volume level of gastric acid rises. This builds up pressure against the LES, forcing it to open and allowing the acid to escape into the esophagus.
When the gastric acid enters the esophagus it can trigger a number of acid reflux and stress symptoms. One of the most common is heartburn, which is a burning sensation that travels up your chest area causing pain. This is a reaction to corrosiveness of the gastric acid irritating the sensitive lining of the esophagus.
The Way You Cope With Stress Could Be Making Your Acid Reflux Worse
When we become stressed out we can find ourselves unable to cope mentally and emotionally. Some of us may turn to drinking alcohol or eating fatty foods as a way of comforting ourselves. While these actions may provide some degree of comfort they will in the long run make the acid reflux worse.
For example, lets take alcohol. This substance irritates the lining of your stomach and intestinal tract. It also destroys a lot of your friendly bacteria, which are essential for a healthy digestion. Alcohol can also relax the functioning the lower esophageal sphincter making it stay open for longer periods.
Comfort foods in the form of fried foods for example, are hard for your digestive system to digest. Your stomach will need to produce more gastric acid to break it down and this can increase the risk of more acid reflux.
Ironically, the worst thing you can do is eat when you are stressed out because your digestion is not going to work. Therefore, you need to be in a relaxed state when you eat to enable your stomach to digest your food properly.
Acquire the habit of taking time out - no matter how busy you are - to relax yourself when you are eating. This can involve finding a quiet place where you can eat and contemplate or have a meal with people whose company you enjoy.
Acid Reflux And Stress Natural Remedies
You will find literally hundreds of pharmaceutical drugs and medications on relieving acid reflux and chronic heartburn. However many of these proton pump inhibitors and antacids can do more damage than good. These drugs can actually increase your acid reflux because they reduce or inhibit the production of stomach acid.
A lack of acid is a common cause of acid reflux. It can prevent the proper digestion of food and the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. A lack of acid can affect the functions of the LES because it is acid sensitive. If it detects low levels of acid in the stomach it will relax more.
It is better to try natural relief remedies first to see if they work. A popular treatment is raw apple cider vinegar. This contains ascetic acid, which has a lower acidity than your own stomach acid. This dilutes the gastric acid in your stomach, which helps to rebalance your ph (acidity) levels.
Why Not Stop Your Acid Reflux For Good
Although acid reflux disease as a result of stress can be alleviated by omitting alcohol and fatty foods from your diet as well learning how to relax - they will not cure the condition.
You see – acid reflux is a warning sign that your digestive system is unbalanced. Antacids and over the counter medications provide short term relief from your acid reflux symptoms – they do not address the cause - they just hide it!
An unbalanced digestive system is one that has being overrun by pathogenic bacteria and disease causing microbes. To rebalance it, you need to create the optimal environment for your good bacteria to grow and repopulate your digestive tract.
A good place to start is by eating foods that are high in dietary fibre and prebiotics. The dietary fiber will keep you regular and remove toxic waste from your system fast. The prebiotics play the important role of feeding and strengthening your good bacteria so they can keep the bad bacteria in check and under control.
Foods that you can add to your diet are fruit, raw vegetables and wholegrains. It is better to eat vegetables in their raw state as cooking can diminish the prebiotics and enzymes. These enzymes are important for breaking down food more efficiently. By doing so, your stomach does not have to produce as much acid.
I understand raw vegetables are not to everyone’s taste and there are people who won’t have access to fresh organic produce all the time. For these reasons, a prebiotic dietary supplement can be very useful to ensure your digestion gets the prebiotics, dietary fiber and enzymes it needs.
A great supplement we believe delivers all the digestive health benefits you need for a balanced digestive system and more is MX Kiwi Biotic.
This is a completely natural supplement is made entirely from 100% seasoned kiwifruit. This fruit is highly nutritious and has high concentrations of prebiotics and dietary fiber. Maxalife who produce MX Kiwi Biotic, use an exclusive water based extraction process that preserves the kiwifruits natural enzymes.
When your digestion is functioning perfectly your body and mind also function at their optimum level. This is because your digestive system can either be the source of your health or your emotional distress and anxiety. For this reason you need to look after it. Simply – click here - and find out how MX Kiwi Biotic can help you achieve this.