Does Stress Cause Heartburn?

The idea that stress directly causes heartburn is a very popular misconception, and has been passed along through generations. The fact is that routine stress plays only a small role, if any, in creating the original problem of GERD. However, I distinguish the daily stresses of life from the extreme physical stress encountered in very sick and very traumatized patients.

By very sick, I mean ill enough to require admission to an intensive care unit after a serious head injury, severe burns, or injuries requiring machines to help with breathing and so forth. Under such circumstances, ulcers can develop in the stomach and can be accompanied by heartburn. Other significant problems, such as severe stomach bleeding, also may occur in these extreme cases.

Although I want to emphasize that stress doesn't usually cause heartburn, it's important to acknowledge that stress can play major role in worsening heartburn as well as in impeding recovery from GERD. For this reason, I have included a chapter on stress in this blog, offering you practical and easy stress-reduction tips and tactics.