Can stress cause heartburn? Let’s be clear. Stress and ANXIETY can negatively interfere with the health of the stomach and intestines. Avoiding tension would be the best solution to prevent discomfort. When it is not possible and heartburn come, there are effective remedies to relieve it. How can stress cause heartburn? Digestive difficulties such as premature satiety, weight and heartburn, abdominal swelling and pain, sometimes accompanied by nausea and vomiting, malabsorption and diarrhea, are all manifestations of those who suffer from states of anxiety or stress.
It is not just an impression or a random phenomenon. Psychic wellness and functionality of the gastrointestinal system are modulated reciprocally, through specific pathways of the nervous system (responsible for the control of basic physiological functions ) and hormonal mechanisms. Moreover, worries, stress and anxiety negatively interfere with night sleep. Causing frequent awakenings and trouble sleep. A difficulty FALLING ASLEEP or early awakening already at the dawn. This nocturnal disage, cause residual fatigue and nervousness, involves a whole series of negative biological alterations, with serious repercussions on gastrointestinal health.
How can stress cause heartburn ,and how it affect the digestive system. Stress is a complex condition, determined by unfavourable external and/or internal stresses, which compromises the maintenance of psychological balance at various levels. The gastrointestinal system is the first to suffer the effects of acute and chronic stress.
The main negative effects of anxiety and stress:
The alteration of the motility of the digestive tract, which can be reduced or increased depending on the case, with effects that vary from person to person (slow digestion, constipation, diarrhea, etc.).
Increased sensitivity of the gastric mucosa, resulting in premature satiety and excessive fullness, gastric irritability and stomach pain.
Changes in the secretion of gastric juices, which generally increases, resulting in hyperacidity and increased risk of developing gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), inflammation of the esophagus, peptic or duodenal ulcer.
Increase in intestinal permeability, with consequent alteration in the absorption of nutrients and exposure to the negative effects of toxins and allergenic substances.
Reduction of the regenerative capacity of the intestinal epithelium and of the blood flow at the level of the walls of the digestive tract.
Destabilization of the intestinal microbiota, i.e. of all the microorganisms that reside permanently in the intestine. Modulating its functionality and reactivity to external stresses, with a consequent to inflammation.
What to eat
Given the psychological origin of heartburn and, of digestive disorders associated with anxiety and tension, in situations of chronic stress to solve the problem related to “can stress cause heartburn” effectively and feel better it is essential to provide a solution that can restore both gastrointestinal function and mental wellness.
So, as mentioned “can stress cause heartburn“ but food has a great influence on heartburn too. That why it is important to pay attention to what to eat. The recommended foods are those that are easily digestible, which help to lighten the work of the stomach and liver.
Whole-grain rice cream: Whole-grain rice, like all foods with a large proportion of fibre, should be avoided, as it may irritate the walls of the stomach. Rice cream, on the other hand, with rice cooked for a long time and then sieved or finely chopped to reduce the fibers, is a real panacea for the stomach and intestines.
Cooked fruit: Raw fruit provides many fibers that could weigh down the work of the stomach, and worsen an already acidic environment. For this reason it is useful to cook the fruit, even with the peel if it is not too thick, reduce it to puree and avoid that it retains much water, and after preparing the fruit kanten: (pears, apples, plums, raisins, and dried fruit not treated with additives or sugar, can be eaten safely.
Use seasonings correctly: vinegar and industrial seasonings, as well as spices, can worsen the heartburn. It is therefore useful to use raw olive oil.
Food combining: combining foods with similar characteristics allows you to optimize the work of the stomach and the entire digestive system.
Fresh foods: avoiding those preserved by other methods than refrigeration or freezing.
Low-fat foods: they are better digested. They are more suitable, fresh vegetables, fruit not too acidic, cereals and derivatives, legumes, lean meat and fish, lean cheese, egg white, etc..
Animal source food: white or red meat but properly cleaned and trimmed during preparation. Medium cooking is recommended.
Foods rich in fibre: vegetable products such as boiled legumes (not stewed) and whole grains (in moderate portions), leafy raw vegetables, fruits with digestible skin, etc. The portion must always be adequate.
Small portions of liquid foods (especially milk and yoghurt, preferably skimmed).
Salt-free food: Salt harms the mucous membrane of the stomach and increases gastric secretion.
Eat slowly, chewing well, reducing as much as possible in mush the food. Follow little and frequent meals throughout the day.
What to avoid
Fat-rich foods: slow down digestion and increase stomach dwell time. Consumption of fatty meat and fish, fatty cheeses (especially fermented cheeses ), sausages, preserved in oil, excessive seasonings, fried food, etc. should be limited.
All junk food: chips, hamburgers, hot dogs, croquettes, etc..
Raw protein-based foods : meat or fish carpaccio, tartare, sushi, etc.
Protein-based foods: stew, braised meat, fish soups, omelette, eggs, etc.
Foods rich in fiber: soups of legumes, bran, peppers, eggplants, etc..
Large portions of liquid foods: they dilute the action of gastric juices, relax the stomach and cause a “rebound” effect on acidity. Significant portions of milk and yoghurt are potentially indigestible foods, both for their richness in water and for their abundance in proteins and fats.
Salty foods: foods in salt, brine, sausages, salted cheeses, etc. should be limited.
Alcoholic beverages: wine, beer, spirits.
Drinks: coffee, too much tea, energy drinks.
Carbonated and acidic drinks: cola, etc.
Cold food (especially on an empty stomach): ice cream, ice-cold drinks, etc.
Hot food (especially on an empty stomach): broths, fried food, grilled etc.
Spices: chilli, pepper, ginger, horseradish, red onion, etc.
Hot water bag. It is probably the most used remedy against stomach pain. If the water temperature is at least 40 ° C deactivates the pain messages that the body (in this case the stomach) sends to the brain. In practice, the heat “cancels” the pain. The suggestion is to lie down with a bag of warm water on your abdomen, preferably wrapped in a woolen cloth. Slowly the abdominal muscles, contracted by the pain, will relax, and the pain will be soothed.
Chamomile. It acts as a first aid remedy against stomach pain. The temperature should be warm but not boiling, to avoid burning the esophagus. The gastroprotective and anti-inflammatory effect of chamomile is due to some polysaccharide, carbohydrates of which the plant is rich, and in particular a molecule present in the essential oil.
White rice. Use it when the pain is so slight that it does not cover up the feeling of hunger that occurs even when the stomach aches. In this case, the starch in the rice, calms the tension of the gastric muscles. Boil the rice for at least 18 minutes. Some people tolerate Parmesan cheese and others extra virgin olive oil.