To answer if anxiety can be caused by LPR the quick and simple answer is yes it can. Of course there are potential reasons that things like stress and anxiety do that will only make LPR worse or can even bring it on in the first place.
Anxiety is one of the causes of LPR that is not often talked but what is the correlation between LPR and stress, anxiety and depression? I will cover it below in more detail from my research and own experience.
LPR & Anxiety – Correlated?
When I think back to when I myself first started having the symptoms of LPR I was highly stressed and generally speaking I was quite a nervous person who had anxiety. Of course, if you have a host of LPR symptoms anxiety could be the cause of it and the LPR and general bad health could make your anxiety worse just by simply worrying about your health like happened to me initially.
When I first had problems with my throat I wasn’t aware I had LPR though further down the road I figured out that was what was affecting me. Once I got to that stage I did all of the best proven LPR treatment and it definitely helped me.
Though I feel my mindset change and addressing my anxiety, stress etc. was an extremely important element for me to go that extra step. Not only for me personally as someone who had nervous tendencies and anxiety, but for a lot of others who suffer from LPR also have these tendencies.
I have read a lot of posts from people suffering from LPR everyday and it’s clear to me there seems to be a relation between stress, anxiety and depression with LPR. Of course, this could be how the person was before they developed LPR or this could be because of the havoc that LPR can cause to someone which can amplify these problems.
Don’t just take my word for it, there was a study done to see if there is any relationship between LPR and depression. The result of this study showed a significant association between the depression and LPR. You can check this study here.
If you have LPR, I would suggest you not only treat LPR as I have suggested in my complete LPR guide but also treat and address any of these problems alongside it to get the best effect possible.
Can LPR be Brought on by Stress?
Just like with anxiety stress creates pressure and problems for the whole body especially if the stress lasts for a longer period of time. Anytime you have felt stress or some form of pressure you often sense the body starting to feel worse. One thing in relation to this is how the stomach feels. While not everyone has this sensation but for some people when they get really stressed they can sometimes feel the stomach feeling woozy or nauseous. In that situation you have actual evidence that something is happening in the stomach that is directly making the stomach feel unusual. Even without doctor advice or evidence we already know ourselves something is not quite right.
This correlation and understanding also matches up to quite a few studies that have been done where people with different forms of acid reflux are studied and they compared how acid reflux or relatable symptoms are made worse from stress, and if there is any correlation between the two.
For example there was a study completed in Korea where people where tested and the association between reflux esophagitis (sometimes called GERD) and stress where compared.
The conclusion of this study showed that people with this form of acid reflux had increased severity of the acid reflux when the stress was higher. It showed a correlation when someone became more stressed that their reflux become worse. You can check out this study here for all the details.
Can LPR be Psychosomatic?
It’s important to know and ask the question if LPR can be psychosomatic. The quick and easy answer is no. This is important to keep in mind. Because sometimes doctors are not knowledgeable on LPR and they may have not even heard of it before.
Sometimes this can lead to doctors believing a patient is Psychosomatic which is usually not the case but instead a lack of the doctors knowledge which can often lead to confusion for the patient. That’s why I felt that it’s important to mention this here.
It’s also important to mention here that LPR can be related to Laryngeal Sensory Neuropathy (LSN) which is basically when the vagus nerve in the throat sends a faulty signal to the brain. This can sometimes lead to similar symptoms as someone with LPR may have. The point of me mentioning this is to show that it could be something else causing your symptoms. It’s also essential to understand people can develop LSN from having LPR because of the damage the acid and pepsin does to the vagus nerve.
How to Help Anxiety, Stress, Depression etc. for LPR
For me personally one of the things that really helped me was reading this book called “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”. This book is excellent at teaching you effective ways to stop worrying which for me was one of my main problems. I could be worrying and anxious about a host of different things – it could be my health at the time or it could be me attending an interview for a job.
The important thing to mention was that me worrying caused me to be more nervous and anxious which undoubtedly negatively effected my digestion and in turn worsened my LPR symptoms and even brought them on in the first place. The advice in the book really helped me with properly tackling my mentality and attitude when getting anxious or stressed about something.
One of the important things I learnt was to think more logically about things. When I say this, I mean for example if you have a health problem in this case LPR I would think about what’s causing and what you can do to make it better. Then I would make a step by step plan to make it better and write it down on paper to help emphasize it in your brain. Another thing to think of logically is to not get stressed over silly things like attending an interview. Before when I attended a job interview I would get very nervous but now I think about it more logically and I say to myself why I am getting anxious – I am simply just talking to other people – there is nothing to be anxious about!
Another thing I picked up was to focus on today. What that basically means to not to worry about what might happen tomorrow or what happened yesterday. Just live for today. This is great I feel if you are suffering with LPR. I myself had a plan to help my LPR and I did that every day. I was thinking that I am positively doing my best today to help myself and that was a great way for me to ease my mind and help me relax and stop worrying.
One final thing I want to mention is having faith. When I say having faith I mean thinking that you can do something. Someone who believes they can do something is much more likely to do it. The same applies to someone who thinks they can’t, because they almost certainly won’t be able to do it.
How this applied to me was before I had a more negative mindset when I didn’t have much faith in myself getting better after dealing with LPR for almost 2 years. This negative mindset was holding me back from improving my health. By me changing my mindset to one where I thought more positively by thinking that I will get better, I believe was an important step for me to lower my anxiety, stress and depression. This in turn undoubtedly helped with lessening my LPR symptoms and allowing for me to get on the right path to curing my LPR.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Long Does it Take for LPR to Heal?
There is not a one size fits all answer for this. For some people they can return to normal after 1-2-weeks’ time whereas for others they must maintain a strict diet for many months until they can heal. Also, not everyone may be able to completely heal though luckily the vast majority of people will see improvements when doing things like following a strict low acid diet.
How Do You Treat LPR?
There are lots of ways that can help treat LPR but the best 2 things you can do are firstly following a low acid diet that avoids trigger foods. Secondly the best medicine to help LPR is Gaviscon Advance (UK version), it has been proven to be effective at helping LPR unlike other more commonly prescribed medicines like PPI’s which tend to be largely ineffective for treating LPR.
How Do You Test for LPR?
The best singular test to test for LPR is by doing a Restech pH study sometimes called a Dx-pH System. This is similar to the likes of a normal pH study though the important difference is that it is much better at detecting gaseous reflux than other pH studies. This is very important because LPR reflux is gaseous reflux unlike normal acid reflux which is primarily liquid based reflux. For this test a thin tube is inserted up the nose and down the throat and left for 24 hours where it will measure the acidity of your throat and esophagus.
What is the Best Medicine for LPR?
While best medicine for LPR is most likely any form of raft forming barrier agent usually made from a substance taken from seaweed known as alginate. The most common medications that use that ingredient are Gaviscon Advance importantly the UK version, reflux gourmet (US) and also esophageal guardian (US). All of the medications include the important ingredient alginate which creates a barrier raft on top of the stomach which in turn help lessen or negate symptoms.