Can Stress Cause Heartburn?

There are a lot of people who experience heartburn symptoms in their everyday lives. They take it so easily and never keep an eye on it. But is it really easy to let it go? And can stress cause heartburn in our day-to-day lives?

Heartburn is something that is also known as acid reflux, and it can be experienced anytime and by anyone. With much acidity in your stomach, this can happen, which can make you feel miserable.

However, like other diseases, this does not really make you feel that way that you cannot even do any job. But if this is not treated in a proper manner, then there are high chances, it can hamper your health.

1. What Is Heartburn or Acid Reflux?

Heartburn or acid reflux is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, which can make you feel miserable even at the worst time of your life. If you sometimes feel the symptoms of this feeling, then it is better to keep a check on that.

It is also advised to everyone that, anytime you feel acid reflux or heartburn, you should strictly avoid chilly-rich foods and anything which is spicy. At this time, it is better to have something more natural like orange juice and fruits to have.

can stress cause heartburn
Chest Pain due to Heartburn. By Robystarm / Pixabay. Copyright 2023.

In our liver, a certain acid called, peptic acid is secreted all the time, which helps in digestion. When we do not have anything to eat for long, then the peptic acid starts getting secreted more and more in our liver.

This deposition of peptic acid in our liver for a long makes the liver filled with peptic acid, resulting in acid reflux. This acid reflux then starts rising up and goes all over the body resulting in heartburn, creating stressful events.

2. The Connection Between Stress and Heartburn

Lifestyle always plays a vital role in discovering how a human lives his daily life. If you have having healthy lifestyle, then there is a chance that you may feel acid reflux disease in your daily life.

But in case, you are living with unhealthy lifestyle factors, which include drinking alcohol, stressful situations, etc., then there are high chances of you feeling heartburn. Heartburn symptoms mainly start rising after a few minutes after the initiation.

However, stress can be one of the reasons you feel heartburn. This stress mostly is work-related, which can create significantly more risk for acid reflux disease.

2.1 Daily Life Problems and Heartburn Symptoms

Nowadays people are way more unsatisfied with their jobs and daily lives. This helps the stress to grow more powerful, causing higher stress-related heartburn. However, it is also found that these people who are unsatisfied with their daily lives face this stress-related heartburn symptom.

Although not all your heartburn needs to be due to stress, there are also chances of this causing frequent heartburn. In this case, it is better to choose to avoid stress and start leading a stress-free life, by focusing on positive things.

3. Does Stress Really Make It Worse?

The health of a human being is affected by a lot of factors, and when it comes to stomach diseases, we really need to take care of it. However, stress can sometimes be the reason behind this acid reflux, which results in increased heartburn symptoms.

While not proven, there are quite enough reasons to believe that stress-related heartburn symptoms can be seen in those who are really not happy in their day-to-day lifestyle.

Can anxiety and stress cause heartburn?

Many researchers found that when a person is a lot stressed, they become more sensitive to acid reflux which creates more amount of acid in the esophagus. One may also feel uncomfortable after having a lot of stress-related heartburn and this can also cause digestive changes.

However, having more stress during the whole day does not guarantee you an increase in stomach acids. Low job satisfaction can be the reason for producing this stress more often.

4. Is It All in Your Head?

After you get these heartburn symptoms, you might start thinking is it all stress reactions in your head only? This question is quite normal to pop up in your head during this time.

Sometimes occasional heartburn can be due to fatty and spicy foods that you might have had.

Fatty foods make the heartburn worse and the stress response can be very unpleasant. In the other case, this stress can also keep on depositing and can gradually go on degrading substances such as prostaglandins.

These substances in our daily lives help protect our stomachs from the acidic effects. This development in the degradation of pain receptors can make our body feel stressed and more uncomfortable.

4.1 How Does It Affect Our Mental Health?

Stress happens mostly when we put a lot of overload on our mental health, pushing a little more than our limit. However, when this stress gets multiplied with exhaustion, it presents a way more complicated series of events, resulting in increased acid reflux.

Anxiety & Heartburn, Acid Reflux, GERD Symptoms & RELIEF!

As it is the rain where it all starts from, maybe there are also chances that it is all in our mind. If we stop thinking a lot of the time when we are feeling jittery, then it may help in reducing stress and heartburn.

5. What Can We Practice During This?

No matter whatever the condition a human being is, he or she always wants to cope with the given situation. Similarly, this situation also needs to adopt some good coping techniques to avoid having heartburn due to stress.


5.1 Exercising Regularly

Exercising can help you in getting rid of a lot of difficult problems. Likewise, when we are too stressed with the office tension and want some relaxation, exercise helps.

It helps in loosening the tightened muscles, which in return releases some feel-good hormones. This can also provide you that satisfaction which you may not feel in your working life. Through this, you can get rid of the burning sensation.

By exercising, one can also start losing weight, which can gradually help in reducing pressure from the abdomen. This slowly makes the digestive system better.

5.2 Avoiding Trigger Food

If someone is under stress and heartburn, then they should be very sensitive to heartburn-triggering foods like chocolate. Foods such as caffeine, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and spicy and fatty foods can also be very triggering for your health.

In our everyday life, the amount of stress we deal with, the caffeine intake becomes quite regular for us. But this exhilarating caffeine intake can also affect us by increasing anxiety and also creating acid burns in the heart.

With that, fast food consumption is also high among young people these days, and can make heartburn worse.

Avoiding such foods can be very helpful for you to prevent acid reflux. As lifestyle factors matter, adopting this healthy lifestyle can prevent some from having chronic stress.

5.3 Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep hygiene is very important for good mental health. Different mental health surveys show that stress and sleep form a cycle, that goes side by side.

It does not matter how much you may be stressed, sleep always acts as a natural stress reducer. So, the less stress you have, the better sleep schedule you may follow.

If while sleeping you feel heartburn, then you should keep your head always elevated. Doing so will reduce stress, which will make your heartburn slow down gradually.

5.4 Relaxation Techniques and Laughing

Relaxing while you feel stressed always helps to reduce stress, by decreasing life stress. Lifestyle changes are also responsible for the betterment of the health. So, practicing relaxation techniques helps a lot.

The relaxation technique includes practicing regular yoga sessions, listening to relaxing music, watching some light-hearted or funny movies, or spending time with friends. As they say, laughter is the best natural stress reliever, and doing so actually helps in relieving stress.

5.5 Spending Time with Pet

Having a partner who can provide you with enough comfort and coziness is essential to live a stress-free life. So, having a pet with whom you can spend some quality time can also bring peace to your life.

With Small Pet
Spending time with Pet. By cuncon / Pixabay. Copyright 2023.

If you do not have a pet, then you should look for a pet, that can help you keep calm and make you feel rejuvenated.

5.6 Avoid Going to Bed with A Heavy Stomach

Have dinner as early as possible, and if possible have it at least 2 hours before going to bed. It is because going to bed with a full stomach can also make you feel very full, which can give you some uncomfortable feeling.

Sleeping with this heavy stomach can be very dangerous as it will never allow you to lose weight.

6. Mental Health and Lifestyle Changes

Having a proper digestion process can help reduce heartburn, which also goes well in making the stomach feel better. Additionally, good mental health includes sleep hygiene, basically having a full night’s sleep.

What Causes Heartburn? with Dr. Patrick Jackson

While maintaining proper mental health, you need to practice deep breathing. This is because physical level stress is equally important to good mental health.

6.1 Effects of Lifestyle Change

A good lifestyle can also help in maintaining good health, which can gradually help in providing you some good time without acid reflux. Acid reflux is basically a health issue, which needs to be taken care of when it gets initiated.

In this process of adopting a good lifestyle, you should never have an empty stomach longer, and help you avoid over-the-counter medication.

Look to avoid spicy and hot foods and adopt a healthy lifestyle with some good and easily digestible foods.

7. Conclusion

Having Gastroesophageal reflux disease is never a new thing for anyone, but dealing with it needs to be addressed maturely.

Acid reflux or heartburn can rarely make you hospitalized. But this needs to be treated at an early age, otherwise, it can affect your daily life.

Science says that it is mostly our digestive system that is responsible for the initiation of heartburn.

Last Updated on December 23, 2023 by riyaspeaks