Heartburn are painful burning sensation in the throat just below the breastbone. Heartburn is usually caused by stomach contents flowing back into the esophagus but may be caused by too much acid in the stomach or peptic ulcer.
What is the connection between heartburn and stress?
When you are hit by a stressor, your body enters a state of arousal. The blood is diverted from the digestive functions to muscles to prepare the body for action. Nerve impulses signal the heart to beat harder and faster. The blood pressure and pulse rate both rise. Changes occur in the movements of the stomach and intestines, and hormones secreted into the body mobilize sugar and blood, making more energy available to the brain and muscles. Stress can affect the motility or movement of food through the stomach and intestines. The motility causes acidic stomach contents to linger in the stomach allowing more time for acid reflux to occur. All of this is your body's effort to defend itself. Psychologically, you respond by trying to evaluate the emotional impact of the situation. This can calm you down or make you even more upset. This often depends, too, on the kind of stress you're experiencing: short-term or long-term. Short term stress is a healthy kind of stress, because it represents a challenge or a threat, which causes an alarm reaction and elicits a response, which resolves the situation and eliminates the stress. But if this level of emotional arousal continues over a prolonged period, the body pays a price for the strain.
The direct link between stress and heartburn has not been established yet. People who suffer from frequent heartburn say that stress is a factor in their heartburn flare-ups. Some people say work related stress increases their heartburn. Stress can lead to behaviors that can trigger heartburn. Long term stress, can cause some changes in your lifestyle. When you are under stress you may not follow your normal routine in regards to meals, exercise, and medication. It is important to you to find ways to alleviate the stress. Stress may also interfere with your ability to make appropriate life-style changes (such as diet, exercise, and sleep habits) which can greatly help with heartburn. That can help you make stress-related heartburn less likely. If you are under stress you are more aware of heartburn symptoms.help with heartburn. That can help you make stress-related heartburn less likely. If you are under stress you are more aware of heartburn symptoms.
Some good tips for you
Stressful life can cause some unhealthy changes in your life like: alcohol use, fast food or eating late at night, increases in smoking. All of these activities can trigger heartburn.
You should try to stay on a regular schedule and eat smaller portions. Try to avoid eating meals and snacks at least 2-3 hours before lying down. You should limit consumption of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
Try to avoid or minimize intake of fast foods and foods that are particularly spicy. You should exercise because exercise is a great stress reducer and can also help with heartburn symptoms. It helps keep the digestive system moving. You should wait two hours after a meal before engaging in strenuous exercise. The walking is always advisable. It is known that when stress increases, total caloric needs increase. Stress can be a contributing factor to heartburn.
You may have a stressful job, social concerns, family problems and some other long term stress. Ask yourself if your heart burn is in some relation with stress. If you think that there is some relation you should do something about stress. There are some techniques which can help you to deal whit stress. In a crisis, your doctor may prescribe therapy or medication. But, daily stress situations, a variety of relaxation techniques or exercises can provide the individual in stress with no medical relief.
The first step is to track down the stressors in your life, so that you are aware of where they come from. Sometimes the individual under stress discovers stressors that simply don't need to be stressors. The first step is to list all the stressors present and the area of life in which each stressor occurs. If you become aware what is most stressful for you that may motivate you to making decisions about life style changes.
When you are under stress you should find a quiet, private place and, with eyes closed, concentrate on relaxing each part of the body, beginning with the toes and concentrating on each muscle and joint, moving up the body and ending with the head. You can imagine all the stress or pain leaving each muscle as it relaxes, finally visualizing the stress leaving the body through the top of the head. You also may incorporate deep-breathing exercises into this practice. However you choose to do it, try to allow yourself time after this exercise to sit quietly for a few minutes before resuming your daily activities.
Massage is a systematic manipulation of the body tissue that benefits the nervous and muscular systems. The massage can help you to manage with stress.
Stress can also lead you to indulge in the kind of behaviors that trigger heartburn. Behavioral therapy could be helpful. Thought stopping is a behavioral modification technique useful when nagging, repetitive thoughts interfere with behavior and wellness. Such unwanted thoughts are interrupted with the command "Stop," and a positive thought is substituted.
Everyone engages in almost continuous self-talk during waking hours. When this internal dialogue is accurate and realistic, wellness is enhanced; when it is irrational and untrue, stress occurs. Centering refers to separating from outside influences to gain an inner reference or thought of stability, calm, and self-awareness; a sense of self-relatedness, a quiet place within self where the individual can feel integrated, unified, and focused. With centering you can reduce fatigue, stress, depression, or anger when working with others and increase self-control. It involves sitting quietly, relaxing tense spots in the body as you inhale and exhale, and concentrating on that breathing until you feel calm.
Assertiveness means expressing personal feelings, thoughts, and desires, defining and making known personal rights that are reasonable while respecting the other person. Assertive techniques are particularly helpful in the face of criticism and other negative reactions. These techniques include admitting mistakes, asking what specifically is bothersome about a behavior for which you are criticized. You should shift the conversation back to the subject and away from an intense expression of negative emotions. You shouldn’t respond to an inappropriate or irrational attack. In stressful situation you can use humor.
A sense of humor helps keep things in perspective and is one of the fastest ways to manage a stressful situation.