The more stressed we are, the more likely we are going to suffer from heartburn associated with acid reflux disease. In a recent study, more than 50% of heartburn episodes were linked to stress.
There are many reasons why an increase in stress can cause an increase in heartburn pain.
When we are stressed, our bodies naturally send more blood to the muscles to help provide the extra energy we need to manage the stress. When this happens, less blood travels to our digestive system. This in turn may slow down the digestive process. Slower digestion causes food and digestive acids to remain in the stomach longer.
This process not only increases our chances of heartburn, but it can also lead to bloating and constipation.
It is also common for people who are stressed to do things that might trigger heartburn.
Many people try to comfort themselves by eating fatty, fried or spicy foods. Some may smoke more or drink alcohol. Stress is also an excuse to 'forget' to exercise or take medication. All these behaviors may contribute to heartburn.