Does the way I respond to stress have an effect on my GERD?

By: Elizabeth Scherer

Stress is a major part of today's world. More than 40% of adults in the United States suffer negative health effects due to stress. In fact, research shows that stress plays an important role in all types of disorders, including heart disease, cancer, skin diseases, emotional problems, lung ailments, and immune system problems. So it's no wonder stress has also been linked to GERD. Although there is no direct evidence that stress actually causes GERD, for many people who have GERD, stress, tension, and feelings of anxiety can make GERD symptoms worse. Fortunately, stress can be effectively managed to prevent some of its most harmful health effects.

How can I learn to relax?

There are plenty of ways to relax, many described here. You can also take a relaxation or meditation class at a hospital, local college, community center, or mental health agency. There are also numerous self-help instructional videos and audiotapes that can help you relax. Look for them at health food stores, libraries, or places that sell music and videos. Once you learn the techniques, you can also make your own audiotapes.


You can use the following techniques to help you learn to relax and better deal with stress.