anxiety and gerd

by (3)
Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 06, 2012 at 3:42 AM

i have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for the last two months, Now I randomly just started having bad acid reflux and chest pressure and bloating. I am on omeraprozole 20mg but does not seem to be working. I went to the e.r. last night and they did panels and everything came back normal as well as my ekg. .Now I feel like my anxiety is worse because im so worried about my reflux. It doesnt really hurt coming up since im on some kind of medication. But it is so debilitating. Im afraid to eat. The e.r. said Everything checked out fine. They diagnosed me with Gerd. I never really had chest pressure with my panick and anxiety before just heart beating out of control and shaky as hell. Has my anxiety gotten to the point of chest pressure now like your supposed to get? or is it reflux? Can anxiety and panick trigger what i have as now Reflux. Im miserable...Thanks for reading.

1836 · December 22, 2012 at 5:17 AM

Awesome! Glad you are feeling better.

837 · December 21, 2012 at 5:46 PM

NewPaleon's advice worked for me (thank you! thank you!). I recently cut out all starches (I was eating rice & rice products) from my otherwise good Paleo diet and the Reflux/Gerd went away that day and has been good ever since.

687 · December 06, 2012 at 8:13 PM

How long have you been paleo?

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10 Answers

1836 · December 06, 2012 at 3:50 AM

My acid reflux went away after a couple of weeks of Paleo. Make sure you are eliminating ALL grains, sugar, and starches. Whenever I eat even a cup of rice, I get acid reflux again. Now that I'm better, though, I can tolerate some starches, such as sweet potatoes.

837 · December 21, 2012 at 5:46 PM

NewPaleon's advice worked for me (thank you! thank you!). I recently cut out all starches (I was eating rice & rice products) from my otherwise good Paleo diet and the Reflux/Gerd went away that day and has been good ever since.

1836 · December 22, 2012 at 5:17 AM

Awesome! Glad you are feeling better.

0 · October 31, 2013 at 6:05 PM

The same has been with me.i had anxiety for two months and it came out of nowhere.they diagnosed me with chest wall pain 2 weeks ago and now a week later I have gerd. Ive been to er doctors did every test numerous times and everything was normal.im on omeprazole and everytime I miss taking it I have an acid reflux attack and my anxiety comes right after.it sucks because all the test they did I still feel theyre not telling me something because they want me to keep coming back (my theory)

424 · December 21, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Not sure if this is helpful at all, but might be useful if you've tried all the obvious avenues.

I've heard anecdotally that anxiety problems can result from bacterial imbalances in the gut. I have high levels of streptococcus (discovered via a CDSA test) and heartburn, reflux and anxiety are among my symptoms. I also know of someone who suffered from a panic disorder that was brought under control when she started taking antibiotics to treat a streptococcus overgrowth. Personally, I've had some success with apple cider vinegar in water, lactoferrin (an antimicrobial) and probiotics (specifically bifidobacteria).

This may not be the cause of your problems but it might be worth trying a probiotic in any case, or looking into something like the GAPS diet, especially if this is a long standing problem and you've got other issues too.

Hope you get to the bottom of it all soon!

20 · December 21, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Agree with the above! I suffered for years before having an op to cure mine, but I'm sure if yours came on suddenly there's a different reason. Ditch the medication, Omeprazole is a protein pump inhibitor (google it) its not ideal. Paleo will certainly help especially if you're carrying a tad too much weight. I found 2 great natural remedies to be Organic apple cider vinegar, yes acidic, but tells your brain the stomach doesn't need any more acid. Second, Red delicious apples. The bright red ones. A natural version of Gaviscon! Good luck!

78387 · December 21, 2012 at 2:41 PM

GERD IS the cause of your anxiety, just fyi.

GERD prevents proper assimilation of hormones to regulate fight-or-flight (anxiety).

Treat GERD, you'll treat your anxiety.

However, it's not as simple as "eliminate ALL sugars, starches, etc."

Consider your gut flora. (Maybe try probiotics?)

Consider foods which may trigger GERD that are even Paleo approved. FODMAPS for instance, could be an issue.

It may take a lot of trial and error, as well as some detailed investigation with a naturopath before you realize and are able to cure the true cause of your GERD.

244 · December 07, 2012 at 2:19 PM

I had acid reflux so severe that I lost my voice for two months (acid burnt my vocal cords). I went through every medication on the market, with no relief.
I tried all of the dietary modifications mentioned above- coffee, tomatoes, etc.--nothing helped. Until I got on the Paleo diet and now I have no reflux symptoms at all. How long have you been following Paleo and are you strict with it? Do you cut out all dairy? Acid reflux medications were never meant to be used long-term and now there is evidence coming out that they can cause a variety of health problems, including perpetuating the acid reflux cycle. Many people with acid reflux actually have low stomach acid, not too much as you may think. I supplemented with Betanine HCL for a few months when I first started Paleo and I think that kickstarted the normal production of acid. Check out this article: http://scdlifestyle.com/2012/06/hypochlorhydria-3-common-signs-of-low-stomach-acid/

3752 · December 06, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Have you been checked for a motility disorder? It has high prevalence, increasing with age, and a low diagnosis rate. Definitely don't rely on an ER for diagnosis since they're only going to test for life threatening conditions. Best would be to see a GI.

Your Omeprazole dosage isn't that high so you might also try increasing that. Get a prescription, though, don't just take multiple pills since you don't know how the pill is formulated. It also takes 1-2 weeks for the medication to kick in if you didn't realize it and if you stop expect a rebound effect for a few days. You can combine it with Zantac but that only works for a month or two typically. You can try different formulations of Omeprazole as well, such as Nexium. Zegerid was my favorite when I took them. I've also found that d-limonene works pretty well against reflux if you need symptomatic relief in the short term but it's not well studied so I wouldn't go crazy with it.

I'm assuming you've already tried the dietary modifications - no coffee, chocolate, tomato, etc but if not try that as well. Give yourself 4 hours after eating before going to sleep and drink lots of water to neutralize the acid. I've also found that relaxing controlled movement exercises like Tai Chi help a lot, since it reproduces the digestive effect of the stomach. About 15-20min should be enough after a meal.

274 · December 06, 2012 at 5:09 AM

I have had severe reflux linked with anxiety. Food could be part of the issue, but if your anxiety is very bad it could be the anxiety. You are going to have to treat the anxiety first and foremost. You don't mention getting professional help for anxiety, if you haven't already, you should. If your company insurance (if you live in the US) offers a counseling line, call it and get an appointment to see someone or call your national or GP folks, get an appointment. Start on your own by doing some MSBR meditation (look on youtube for some nice videos). The pain sucks, get the pain down by whatever means you can (antacids) and start on some breathing meditations until you can get to see someone about the anxiety. It could all be food, but from my own experience (where i thought it was food, and i took a long time to figure out it was anxiety, which causes all sorts of physical symptoms that medicine is very bad at explaining) please try to focus on reducing your stress, get whatever is bothering you figured out, and take care of your mental self. Check out authentic happiness: http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/

4642 · December 06, 2012 at 4:52 AM

What have you been eating? I had a similar problem almost two years ago, and it caused my health to fall apart, because my anxiety about eating got to the point where I basically didn't anything other than a few sips of juice per day for a few months, and lost over 60 lbs. It was awful because the fear of the fear builds up like crazy.

I did not have reflux, but I did start to have anxiety/panic attacks, that only seemed to occur after eating (horrible diet at the time, super stressed with Wall St. job, family, everything for months). So I thought I just had a legit physical problem, they told me I might have GERD but I had no reflux, so my first string of doctors were just guessing at stuff. They put me on a PPI, I think the same as yours, Zegerid, and I felt even worse. I took it for about 3 weeks and that was what led to me not being able to eat without nausea. Then I dropped it and felt much better, but had to deal with the fear that built up. I would say to really try to not let the fear get as bad as it did with me. I still have issues with it to this day, and I never eat out as a result, which is a huge change in lifestyle for me still as I live in NYC.

What are you currently eating? Did you make any recent changes? Have your stress levels increased?

I found that I am least anxious with a balance of carbohydrates in my diet. Keto can increase my anxiety, but that doesn't mean it would be the same for you. Bone broth did wonders in helping me get back on track, as did fresh fruits, and fresh juices. I had a lot of liquids for a while as I journeyed back to solid foods, and there are lots of good ones out there that might help, especially for the meals that might give you the reflux symptoms in particular.

I think the gut and anxiety are really tied together, and some things from the GAPS protocol helped me too. Exercise did wonders as well, something that I wasn't getting in the months leading up to my rapid onset of GI symptoms.

Good luck and I hope you get well soon!

363 · December 06, 2012 at 4:28 AM

A keto diet helped me dramatically in the past , when i came off of it symptons returned and worse! Will be getting back in check asap ! Sleeps been messed up now and all , really sucks !!!

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