It seems almost no one in this world has never been worried. However, be careful. Excessive anxiety and an increase in stomach acid, which causes recurrent stomach ulcers, are interrelated. According to a study published in Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology in 2002, excessive anxiety can trigger digestive problems. Likewise, chronic heartburn can also make you experience excessive anxiety. So, what is the relationship between the two? Here's the explanation.
Excessive anxiety can be the cause of recurrent stomach ulcers
One of the most common symptoms of an ulcer is heartburn due to an increase in stomach acid to the heartburn. This is because the ring muscles at the end of the esophagus do not function properly so they open spontaneously. Other symptoms caused are difficult swallowing sensations, nausea, vomiting, and a burning sensation in the throat. Increase in stomach acid can turn chronic if it continues 2-3 times every week. This condition is called GERD.
A study published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics in 2007 found that people who were often anxious had a risk of two to four times getting GERD. Common symptoms of gastric acid reflux associated with anxiety include:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Hoarseness, especially when you wake up
- Dry cough
- Mild throat pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bad breath
When you are anxious, the stomach will produce three times more stomach acid than during normal conditions. Some experts believe that cholecystokinin - one of the chemicals in the brain - plays a role in increasing the development of GERD in people who experience anxiety. Anxiety can also reduce prostaglandin production in the body. Prostaglandin is a hormone that functions to protect the stomach from stomach acid.
The study states that the causes of the development of GERD cannot be explained medically. That is, a person can experience symptoms of digestive pain but there are no specific diseases found in his body.
Experts suspect that this is caused by a change in behavior. Because when someone feels anxious, they tend to do behavior that can trigger or worsen their stomach, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or eating fatty foods.
Conversely, people with digestive problems can also develop anxiety, especially if the stomach problem is quite severe. This condition can stimulate the vagus nerve in the esophagus and make a person more anxious. So it can be concluded that the effects of anxiety and gastric disorders affect each other.
So, what should be done to overcome this?
You should immediately consult a doctor if you have mild to moderate digestive problems and have occurred for several days. Including if stomach ulcers recur after so long does not appear.
But if the cause is anxiety, the first thing to do is treat your anxiety symptoms. there are several treatments that might be prescribed to treat your symptoms of anxiety. The doctor will prescribe certain medications while recommending psychotherapy. The aim is to accelerate the decrease in anxiety symptoms and to close the possibility of your anxiety developing into ongoing stress.
In addition, there are some tips that can be done to prevent stress and maintain your stomach acid balance, including:
- Regular exercise . Exercise can help relax tight muscles and help release natural hormones so you don't get stressed. Also do some relaxation techniques like yoga, tai chi, and your other favorite sports.
- Avoid trigger foods , such as chocolate, caffeine, citrus fruits, spicy foods, and fatty foods that can stimulate your stomach acid.
- Get enough sleep . Sleep deprivation can make you vulnerable to stress. So, take advantage of the rest time as well as possible and place the head position higher while sleeping. This is useful to prevent the possibility of stomach acid rising during sleep.
- Laugh . Laughter is one of the best stress relievers. So, try to watch funny movies or joke with friends. This is proven to prevent you from anxiety while preventing heartburn from recurring.
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