How Stress Contributes to Acid Reflux and How to Prevent It

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Suppose you try to limit your exposure to triggers that might trip a flare-up, good for you! You don’t want to induce a bout of acid reflux. Still, a flare-up could occur for reasons beyond your control. Stressful events such as work presentations or big moves can trip acid reflux. 

Stress and Acid Reflux

Acid reflux can be caused by stress. Do you have a big presentation at work coming up? Are you preparing for a big move? You know you’re stressed, so you try your best to keep your cool even though you’re nervous. You know that you tend to have acid reflux if you’re nervous. 

When you check in with your doctor, they’ll confirm that your symptoms are a stress reaction. They’ll tell you that your body is reacting to the stress you’re putting it under, whether that’s physical, psychological, or otherwise. 

Now you have to treat the symptoms of stress. You have to find the stress trigger and work on removing that stressor. You have to get some help or do something that will help you alleviate the stress you’re under. 

The Impact of Stress on Acid Reflux 

When you’re stressed, your body produces a hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol regulates the stress response and prepares the body for emergencies. Unfortunately, the body produces this hormone in response to perceived danger, even if the threat is simply psychological.

While cortisol helps you deal with the stress you’re experiencing, too much of it can make it difficult for you to cope. If you’re feeling anxious, stressed, or worried, your body produces cortisol in excess.

When cortisol is released, it causes acid reflux symptoms. Cortisol affects the digestive system; it can weaken your muscle tone, contributing to acid reflux symptoms. It can cause muscle spasms and prevent you from relaxing. It can make it difficult for you to digest food.

What to Do About Acid Reflux Linked to Stress

If you’re worried about the stress you’re under triggering an attack of acid reflux, the best thing to do is recognize stress triggers. If you’re worried about a big test or a big presentation at work, you can take steps to prevent the symptoms of stress from occurring.

You can also work to lower your stress levels while you’re under stress. Practice mindfulness to help you focus on the present moment. Take a few moments during the day to breathe deeply and relax.

Don’t forget to indulge in things that make you happy. Maybe that’s a bubble bath or an episode of your favorite TV show. Perhaps it’s a snack you really enjoy. Eating right, resting, and relaxing are all helpful.


The stress response is a complex phenomenon. The body produces cortisol when it recognizes that you’re under stress, and you could experience symptoms of acid reflux as a result.

If you want to treat acid reflux caused by stress, you’ll want to try to identify the stressor. Once you do, you can take steps to eliminate that stressor. You could take up meditation or meditation techniques. You could speak to a counselor or try to find a healthier outlet.

Reflux Away is your heartburn resource, where you can learn more about what heartburn is, how it affects your mind and body, and how you can treat it with our detailed guides and articles. If you’re dealing with acid reflux due to stress, we’ve got tons of references you can use that might help with treatment. To know more about acid reflux treatments, such as baking soda, visit our website now!