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  • GERD caused by anxiety??

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    Old 02-26-2006, 05:39 AM   #1
    debbie2862
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    GERD caused by anxiety??

    Just wondering, does anyone know if GERD can be brought on by extreme anxiety?
    I was doing fine until recently when I was under a huge amount of stress. I am prone to anxiety and tend to feel everything in my gut. Now I've developed all this irritation in my esophagus and stomach and I'm wondering if the two aren't connected somehow. I haven't spoken to my doctor since the endo to find out if its true GERD or what.

    How many of you GERD sufferers also suffer anxiety (aside from the kind CAUSED by GERD!!!)?

     
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    Old 02-26-2006, 08:10 AM   #2
    tdonline
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    Re: GERD caused by anxiety??

    My GI doc hasn't brought it yet, but I'm pretty sure stress/anxiety/depression are the primary factors in my LPR. I'm going to get a double probe test and according to the doc, the results should give me a good idea the pattern of my reflux and hopefully, from there we can figure out the cause(s). But I'm pretty sure it's due to what's going on in my head. I had my first episode last May while going through a relationship breakdown. And it has only gotten worse as I'm trying to finish grad school and look for employment.

    I will only probably know in May, after graduation if it is in fact stress. If I get better...For now, I've started yoga and meditation. I've also been seeing a psychologist for my depression, but that hasn't worked so well. She and I have decided that I should continue my counseling with someone else. She also from the start advocated Lexapro and in the back of my mind, I think it would probably help or stop the refluxing. I'm just very leery of taking anything that has to do with my mood. So for now, I take 80mg of protonix daily.

    I'm really down about this issue...mainly because it gives me really bad breath and it has paralyzed my social life, but I know three people who have had this problem and they are all now medication-free and pretty much live 'normal' lives, without diet restrictions. All three attributed to their problems to stress and eating/drinking habits and when they addressed these issues, they got better. One of them had the problem for about a year. I'm now about 9 months into this myself.

    So I'm really hoping that it is stress because it means I can eventually get better without medication or surgery.

     
    Old 02-26-2006, 03:03 PM   #3
    ssborrow
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    Re: GERD caused by anxiety??

    I think that GERD is not caused by stress, but that stress and anxiety can worsen symptoms. That said, I DO think that GERD causes stress and anxiety, especially when your symptoms are more elusive - such as "lump in the throat" or chest pain. What happens is you go to the dr. they do tests and say you are fine physically. It must be in your head. In reality, they just haven't taken the time to dig far enough down to make a correct diagnosis. In the meantime, we are freakin out!

     
    Old 02-26-2006, 08:35 PM   #4
    KJHChemist
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    Re: GERD caused by anxiety??

    I can certainly correlate my major flare-ups with major stress. But as to which came first, I have no idea. I know stress can really hit the digestive system hard, so it's not a far-fetched idea.
    -Karen

     
    Old 02-26-2006, 10:07 PM   #5
    jaboop35
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    Re: GERD caused by anxiety??

    im not sure if GERD can actually be caused by stress, but it definitely makes things worse. i had some esophageal inflammation taken care of because of GERD, even though i never had any reflux, just stomach issues, which were in my mind and the doctor's pretty much anxiety related. if you tend to worry about GERD or the symptoms theyre going to get worse. If you can calm down when something starts to feel funny or whatnot it definitely wont flare up as much.

     
    Old 02-27-2006, 07:44 PM   #6
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    Re: GERD caused by anxiety??

    I think stress has been the primary factor in my GERD. It all started during a time of stress and I notice that stress/anxiety will really worsen my symptoms. I want to remain positive and believe that addressing the way I deal with stress will improve my symptoms! I usually tend to worry and over-think everything, so I'm working on that...

     
    Old 02-27-2006, 11:35 PM   #7
    pohaku
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    Re: GERD caused by anxiety??

    it is stress and lots of soda and some big meals cause the GERD.

     
    Old 02-28-2006, 06:00 AM   #8
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    Re: GERD caused by anxiety??

    What are u guys taking ofr GERD, what works the best?
    Nicole

     
    Old 02-28-2006, 06:58 AM   #9
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    Re: GERD caused by anxiety??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tdonline
    I'm really down about this issue...mainly because it gives me really bad breath and it has paralyzed my social life
    I can relate to much of what you wrote TD, particularly the above. I'm not in grad school but I am in business and have to meet with clients every day... I can't tell you what a day to day struggle it has been... for a very long time. However, recently I learned about LPR here at this forum and that in itself has brought a good deal of peace as I do believe that after years of looking for answers, via doctors and otherwise, I am finally on to the problem. It also appears that the double dose of a PPI that many have mentioned here, seems to be the key from a meds standpoint anyway, to getting better.

    Like you though I wonder about the "chicken and egg" theory. Personally I believe my anxiety prone make up and a very stressful profession led to the LPR condition but I may be wrong. I do know though that the condition has led to a vicious circle and which is causing which now, who knows. I'd be curious to hear Aswander's opinion on this...

    Steve

     
    Old 02-28-2006, 09:27 AM   #10
    tdonline
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    Re: GERD caused by anxiety??

    Double-dosing has helped with the burning sore throat which I no longer have on a 24/7 basis. But I still have the bad breath though which I can't figure out. And when I'm under a deadline or something and since I have 5 classes, this happens at least a couple of times a week, my symptoms go through the roof regardless of the double-dosing or not.

     
    Old 02-28-2006, 10:09 AM   #11
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    Re: GERD caused by anxiety??

    So....just to throw the question out to everyone...what do you all do to keep your stress in check?
    -Karen

     
    Old 02-28-2006, 01:46 PM   #12
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    Re: GERD caused by anxiety??

    When I am stressed, which happens a lot, I can feel my oesophage burning like if I just ate a lot of hot red peppers. I have always been anxious, but lately some issues in my life made me super stressed and this is when I started having LPR.

    I suspect it could have caused it, because I never had hearburns and could diggest anything I ate. So now the big problem is trying to get rid of all the preassures that causes the anxiety.

     
    Old 02-28-2006, 02:29 PM   #13
    Azghoul
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    Re: GERD caused by anxiety??

    So far im at a loss to remove the stress. I have been to the ER like 5 times, which once they tell me "no its not your heart your only 24 and we did every test" that normally lasts to help for about a day or two to calm me down. However since the symptoms are still there the anxiety comes back. I bug my wife to death asking her if im okay. That helps for about ten minutes lol. Even after multiple ekg's blood work chest xrays and even an echocardiogram that are normal im still stressed! Im gonna have to guess when the symptoms are gone the stress is gone....

    Last edited by Azghoul; 02-28-2006 at 02:31 PM.

     
    Old 02-28-2006, 04:22 PM   #14
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    Re: GERD caused by anxiety??

    I also think stress has been a major factor for me. Here are some of the things I do to help relieve the stress:

    -taking walks (this has been the biggest thing)
    -taking baths with good reading material
    -getting up earlier, so I'm not "running" from the start of the day (I have a stressful job and certainly don't want my mornings to be stressful!)

    -getting more sleep
    -planning a menu for the week ahead of time, so there's no stress on what to cook/eat
    -prayer
    -saying "no" more to unnecessary obligations
    -couseling (just started this recently and love it)
    -getting massages

    If others have ideas, let me know!!

     
    Old 02-28-2006, 05:18 PM   #15
    tdonline
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    Re: GERD caused by anxiety??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KJHChemist
    So....just to throw the question out to everyone...what do you all do to keep your stress in check?
    -Karen
    I've started yoga and meditation. Meditation seems to help right away. The chest pain disspates and I'm more relaxed, unfortunately the effect doesn't last very long. Doing both of these things have kept me from going completely bonkers, but as yet, they haven't put much of a dent in the refluxing itself. If I skip a dosage=stinging throat.

    Elga, my history is the same as yours. Used to be able to eat anything anytime. Often said I had a stomach made of iron...was super fit last summer, riding my bike everywhere, actually had to ease off because I had reached and was dipping under my summer weight, etc... and the entire time I was refluxing silently according to the ENT.

     
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