Your body has a specific pH level for good health. Different areas of the body have different pH measures. The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline an environment is. Usually your body maintains the right pH levels for different areas of the body. However, chronic stress can raise acidity and cause acid reflux. To understand why this is, you need to understand the biological responses to stress.
When your body reacts to external threats and stresses, it is trying to protect you. All of your stress reactions are meant to save you from the actual threat. Your ancient ancestors needed these stress responses to keep them alive. The releases of stress hormones such as adrenalin were meant to stimulate the body and mind to react swiftly to threats. This is part of the ‘fight or flight’ response. Your ancient ancestors would have faced the threat of vicious beasts and enemies. When these external threats became apparent, the body’s physical response to stress was meant to enhance biological processes to promote the chances of survival. This stress response encourages alertness and focus.
The problem with these biological responses to stress is that they aren’t as valuable as they used to be. Nowadays in the modern world we rarely need to actively use these ‘fight or flight’ responses. But we still have reason for stress. Although causes of stress have changed since our ancient ancestors time, our body still creates a physical and biochemical reaction to chronic stress.
There are some benefits of the stress response though. It helps you to focus and stay alert when most required. It can also spur you on through challenges and hardships. Some people find that stress actually encourages them to get things done efficiently. Stress can get you through many things. However, this is mainly beneficial when you are facing temporary challenges. If stress is ongoing and chronic, it sends your body into overdrive. The physical reaction to chronic stress can cause damage to your health and wellbeing in the long run. The constant release of too many stress hormones, and the increase of certain biological process and reactions, can cause harm. This is when your body can start to become too acidic.
There are many different potential causes of acid reflux or imbalance in the stomach. Unhealthy habits such as drinking too much alcohol or consuming a nutrient deficient diet can increase your risk of acid reflux. Chronic stress is a significant cause of acid based health problems. This is mainly due to the release of stress hormones. Specifically, it is because of high levels of cortisol being produced in the body. Cortisol is important for the fight or flight response. However, high cortisol levels in the body can cause unnecessary weight gain, Insomnia, high blood pressure, and damage to stomach linings. The weakened stomach walls are less able to withstand the highly acidic environment of the stomach itself. Stomach acid scores near 1 on the pH scale, meaning that it is very acidic. Eventually, chronic stress makes acid reflux much more likely.