Acid Reflux, GERD and Anxiety

Acid reflux happens when the contents of our stomach including acid pushes back up into our esophagus. Stress, which is closely linked to anxiety, is known to worsen acid reflux. 

Prescription Psychiatrists and Psychologists offers Mental Health services for acid reflux treatment in Manila, Makati, Ortigas.

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Acid Reflux and GERD

Recent findings have reported that individuals who have depression and anxiety are more sensitive to acid reflux. Acid reflux is a common occurrence among adults. It refers to the discomfort rooted from the sphincter muscle at the lower end of the esophagus, specifically when it relaxes at the wrong pace, causing the stomach acid to move up to the esophagus. Experiencing this constantly may lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease, more commonly known as GERD.

Acid reflux and GERD is typically a very treatable disease, but many people don’t know they have it because its symptoms are associated with numerous other conditions. So let’s find out these symptoms:

What is GERD?

Acid reflux happens when the contents of our stomach including acid pushes back up into our esophagus. Now, GERD is the chronic, more severe form of acid reflux. This can really be dangerous because it can do actual damage to the lining of the esophagus.

The symptoms of acid reflux are: having a sour taste in the mouth, nausea after eating, regurgitation, burping, bloating, stomach discomfort, and upper abdominal pain. In addition to that, if you have GERD, you can experience chest pain, difficulty swallowing, sore throat, hoarseness, and even sometimes a dry cough.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic condition in which stomach acid persistently flows back up into your esophagus. Experiencing acid reflux at some point in your life is normal but if you have acid reflux/heartburn more than twice a week over a period of several weeks, and your symptoms keep returning even after taking heartburn medications and antacids, you may have developed GERD.  GERD can lead to more serious problems so you should talk to your doctor, get a diagnosis, and get a treatment plan that would work for you.

Acid Reflux Symptoms

  • Heartburn
  • Regurgitation
  • Dysphagia
  • Hiccups
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Upper abdominal pain

GERD Symptoms

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarseness;
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Dry cough
Acid Reflux treatment

Depression, Anxiety and Acid Reflux

Recent findings have reported that individuals who have depression and anxiety are more sensitive to acid reflux.

Acid reflux is a common occurrence among adults. It refers to the discomfort rooted from the sphincter muscle at the lower end of the esophagus, specifically when it relaxes at the wrong place, causing the stomach acid to move up to the esophagus. This stomach abnormality that causes acid reflux is known as a hiatal hernia. Common symptoms of acid reflux include the following: heartburn, regurgitation, bloating, dysphagia, burping, hiccups, nausea, as well as, wheezing, dry cough, hoarseness, or chronic sore throat. Experiencing this constantly may lead to gastroesophageal reflux
disease, more commonly referred to as GERD.

So is there a real correlation between anxiety and acid reflux?

A recent study claims that the individual’s mental health plays a vital role in this matter. An experiment conducted in Brazil explored this discussion by involving patients who claim to have been experiencing symptoms of GERD. They were subjected to answer an anxiety questionnaire in order to determine if they have anxiety alongside GERD.

This was met with mixed results. The pH levels in the esophagus of each patient was then determined in order to discover if they have an acidic pH which is a common indicator of GERD. Surprisingly, most individuals who were reported to have anxiety and depression have normal pH levels in their esophagus which most likely translate to them not having GERD. Furthermore, an inverse relationship between anxiety levels and pH levels were discovered, wherein more anxious patients were shown to have less
damaged esophageal linings.

So what does this study tell us?

A medical doctor, who is the chief conductor of the experiment, states that individuals with anxiety and depression as well as other mental health issues, usually exhibit “hypersensitivity” or “hypervigilance” when interpreting pain thresholds. This allows us to speculate that there is no concrete physiological correlation between anxiety and GERD other than the hypersensitive perception of individuals who have anxiety and depression. Of course, this matter may be further explored by future researchers.

Pain perception among individuals with mental health issues are relatively different from their counterparts. This also proves that diagnosing a patient through self-report is not the best route. Observing a standard of objective physiological responses are as important, if not more than to personal subjective evaluations when diagnosing and undergoing a treatment plan. Of course this does not invalidate nor belittle the personal experiences of individuals with mental health issues but rather it serves as a self
preservation from unnecessary diagnosis and treatment.

GERD treatment Manila

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux happens when the contents of our stomach including acid pushes back up into our esophagus.

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic condition in which stomach acid persistently flows back up into your esophagus.

What causes GERD?

Experiencing acid reflux at some point in your life is normal but if you have acid reflux/ heartburn more than twice a week over a period of several weeks, and your symptoms keep returning even after taking heartburn medications and antacids, you may have developed GERD.

To prevent it, contact us as soon as you noticed acid reflux symptoms.

Is there a connection between GERD and anxiety?

Stress, which is closely linked to anxiety, is also known to worsen acid reflux.

There is a 2015 study where they saw a cycle between GERD and anxiety. Anxiety and depression can increase the risk of GERD. And symptoms of GERD have negative effects on quality of life which would increase anxiety and depression.

COVID19 crisis update:

Online services only are available

Following the directions of the Government, our clinics will be unavailable. Online services are available through Booking an Appointment. Mental health prescriptions and refills will be sent digitally for use in your local pharmacy.

Patients require an internet connection and a mobile phone or computer with a microphone. Pricing is between 2000 - 2500 pesos per session. Spots are limited, payment upfront is required to secure a slot.

Our mental health team will call you within 12 hours to assist you booking a time slot with a clinician.

For any appointment-related queries, please call us at +639173247110 or email us at clinic@prescriptionpsychiatrists.com.ph.

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