GERD and fatigue: What is the link?

Medications for GERD can also have side effects that cause insomnia.

Results of a study published in 2013 suggest that there is a significant link between stress levels and inflammation caused by GERD. Stress and depression can also lead to sleepless nights.

In this article, we explore the link between fatigue and GERD in depth. We also describe treatment options and when to see a doctor.

Is fatigue a symptom of GERD?

Fatigue is different from feeling tired. A tired person who has not slept well may struggle the next day and want to do less than they normally would.

In contrast, fatigue can have a significant impact on day-to-day life.

A person experiencing fatigue will feel that they do not have the energy to complete everyday tasks, and this feeling will continue over an extended period.

While a person can usually identify why they feel tired, fatigue is often a symptom of an underlying health condition that needs to be investigated. A doctor will need to make a diagnosis before the person can be treated.

GERD is one condition that can interfere with sleep patterns and cause fatigue. It occurs when stomach acid flows upward into the food pipe, which is called the esophagus, rather than staying in the stomach and aiding digestion.

Symptoms of GERD include:

  • heartburn
  • chest pain
  • increased belching
  • a sore throat
  • a dry cough
  • extreme tiredness

If a person has the symptoms above and believes that they are experiencing fatigue, they may have GERD and should make an appointment with a doctor.

Feeling permanently exhausted and lacking the energy to complete simple tasks is a sign that something is wrong.

Fatigue can be a symptom of various underlying conditions, and it is important to see a doctor, who can rule out unrelated issues.

Anyone experiencing fatigue should make a note of other symptoms.

This will help the doctor make a more quick and accurate diagnosis.

Other conditions that can cause fatigue include:

  • a poor diet and a lack of exercise
  • overexertion
  • stress
  • medications
  • depression
  • anemia
  • autoimmune disorders
  • sleep apnea
  • drug or alcohol misuse
  • liver or kidney failure
  • heart disease
  • thyroid disease
  • multiple sclerosis
  • myalgic encephalitis, or chronic fatigue syndrome
  • cancer

If GERD symptoms, such as heartburn and coughing, are interrupting a person’s sleep, they should seek advice from a medical professional. Treatments a can ease symptoms and help a person to get a better night’s rest.

Treatment for GERD depends on how severe the condition is.

For some people, over-the-counter medications can relieve symptoms by neutralizing stomach acid or reducing the amount produced. These medications are available for purchase at pharmacies and online.

A person with severe GERD may require prescription medications.

These work the same way as over-the-counter medications, but they are stronger and help to heal damaged tissue.

The doctor will suggest removing known trigger foods and drinks from the diet. They will also recommend simple lifestyle changes, which may include:

  • keeping the head elevated at night and wearing loose-fitting clothing
  • losing excess weight
  • quitting smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke
  • getting regular exercise
  • refraining from eating right before bedtime
  • eating only a light meal in the evening
  • reducing caffeine intake
  • avoiding alcohol in the evening

Successfully managing heartburn can help a person get to sleep efficiently and sleep for more extended periods. This can result in fatigue gradually disappearing.

If GERD is not the cause of fatigue, the doctor will recommend other treatments, which may include medication and lifestyle changes.


People can manage symptoms of GERD and any associated fatigue, with a combination of medications and healthful lifestyle choices.

If another medical condition is causing fatigue, this will also need to be diagnosed and treated.

We picked linked items based on the quality of products, and list the pros and cons of each to help you determine which will work best for you. We partner with some of the companies that sell these products, which means Healthline UK and our partners may receive a portion of revenues if you make a purchase using a link(s) above.

Source: Read Full Article