Those who suffer from acid reflux are somewhat familiar with the causes and symptoms of this painful condition. However, many people are under the misconception that acid reflux only causes heartburn and that diet alone will fix the problem. In truth, reflux is much more complex and can present a myriad of symptoms, from gas to difficulty breathing. Diet does tend to play a major role in the cause of reflux, but one factor is often overlooked when it comes to acid reflux, fatigue. Not only can fatigue cause acid reflux, but it can also be a symptom.
Acid reflux occurs when stomach contents leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus. Normally, a valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) remains closed and prevents this backflow from happening. However, this valve can malfunction or relax for a number of reasons, causing reflux and any number of symptoms. There are many reasons why this valve malfunctions and triggers acid reflux: fatigue is among them. When the body does not receive the amount of rest it needs, it struggles to operate. A lack of sleep can impair many body functions because it increases internal stress. You may need to talk to your doctor about ways to ensure you are getting enough rest.
Acid reflux also triggers many symptoms. The harsh stomach acids can irritate the esophagus, causing heartburn, coughing, bloating, upper abdominal pain, and even wheezing. There is another, less common symptom of acid reflux: fatigue. Acid reflux becomes more intense at night or when you lie down. Reflux can often wake a person in the middle of the night, but it may just cause a lower quality sleep because of tossing and turning. If you have acid reflux, there are several ways to improve your sleep. First, do not lie down within three hours of eating to allow your body time to digest food. Try elevating your upper body while you sleep, which will let gravity keep stomach acids down. If your acid reflux and fatigue are not helped with this preventative tips, your doctor should be able to help. There are many different types of reflux medications, and even more medications which can improve the quality of your sleep. There is no need to suffer from both reflux and fatigue