Acid reflux is a miserable situation. This condition happens when the acid produced in the stomach gets back to the esophagus. It may leave you feeling like vomiting, a burning sensation in your chest, and regurgitating food. Some people also experience headache or migraine along with acid reflux which worsens the condition. Is there a connection between these two? Various researches have found a strong correlation between Gastroesophageal reflux disease and headache.
Acid reflux is when the acid from the stomach flows back to the esophagus. This could be temporary or chronic which is called GERD. This leads to regurgitation and heartburn. Headache or migraine, on the other hand, are neurological conditions. One may experience headache or migraine along with acid reflux. As per a research, people who have migraines are susceptible to acid reflux or GERD. Also, those who suffer from frequent headaches are found to have stronger acid reflux issues as compared to those with less-prevalent headaches. Additionally, another study finds that getting treated for acid reflux or GERD can reduce the frequency of headaches and migraine in sufferers.
Why does acid reflux cause headache?
There is not much evidence about acid reflux headaches. But the studies done so far mention that headaches and acid reflux are related because of the gut-brain axis. In simpler words, our gut and brain are connected through the different systems including the central nervous system, immune system and endocrine system. Whenever there is any problem with either the brain or gut, it impacts the other. Certain functions can get disrupted due to this. Probably this is why GERD or acid reflux and headache are related. Acid reflux may trigger headache and migraine or chronic headaches can cause acid reflux or GERD.
How to manage acid reflux?
Managing acid reflux is the only way to prevent headache and related issues. Here are some tips to ease acid reflux symptoms.
- Eat a ripe banana
- Chew a gum
- Don’t eat or drink anything when you suffer from acid reflux
- If you frequently suffer from acid reflux issue, avoid eating before exercising and sleeping
- Keep a gap of 3-4 hours between eating and physical activities
- Note down trigger foods and avoid their consumption as much as possible
Acid reflux, headache and fatigue
When you are suffering from acid reflux or GERD, you may not be able to fall asleep properly. Due to improper sleep, you may feel fatigued. Also, acid reflux symptoms worsen when you lie down because it is easier for the acid to flow back to the esophagus in this case. As per the data provided by the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), GERD patients are highly likely to have sleep issues. This hampers neurological functions too and so, you may get a headache due to insufficient sleep after acid reflux.
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