Acid Reflux & Heartburn

Have you ever experienced stomach and chest pains after consuming certain foods which cause the acid from the stomach to rise towards the throat. This condition is known as acid reflux and subsequent heartburn. It occurs frequently and is uncomfortable but you can overcome the symptoms by taking medication.

 

25% 50% 17.1%
of UK adults suffer from heartburn rise in acid reflux cases over the last decade due to obesity of people experience at least one acid reflux attack a week

Acid Reflux & Heartburn

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Losec (Omeprazole)

This is a Proton Pump Inhibitor or PPI medication that treats acid reflux and heartburn. It is made with the active ingredient Omeprazole. Losec reduces the production of acid in the stomach to provide relief from GERD symptoms.

£24.99
Nexium (Esomeprazole)

Nexium is recommended for stomach ulcers, hyperacidity, indigestion and more. It offers immediate relief from acidity symptoms such as persistent coughing, swallowing difficulty and heartburn by reducing the levels of acid on stomach walls. Nexium has the active ingredient esomeprazole.

£29.99
Nexium Control

Nexium Control is an effective short-term relief for GORD (Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease), heartburn and stomach ulcers. Nexium Control contains the active ingredient esomeprazole and it helps in controlling acidity, reduces acid reflux and other digestive problems caused by excessive production of stomach acid.

£10.99
Omeprazole

This is a prescription medicine for treating acid reflux. Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor or (PPI) which reduces acid production in the stomach. This medicine is available in 10mg, 20mg and 40mg capsules to be taken once per day.

£11.99
Esomeprazole

Esomeprazole is an effective short-term relief for GORD (Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease), heartburn and stomach ulcers. Esomeprazole contains the active ingredient esomeprazole, and it helps in controlling acidity, reduces acid reflux and other digestive problems caused by excessive production of stomach acid.

£13.99
Pantoprazole

Anti-ulcer medication that reduces the amount of acid produced inside the stomach. Pantoprazole helps treat conditions such as acid reflux, heartburn, GERD or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Pantoprazole has been specially created to treat stomach ulcers and related conditions.

£12.99

It is a condition wherein the acid from the stomach travels up towards the throat and triggers a burning feeling in the chest and throat tissues.

Also known as acid indigestion, it is a common symptom of acid reflux. It signifies a burning sensation in the heart due to the acid travelling towards the oesophagus situated behind it.

Acid reflux arises in the stomach, the entrance of which has a valve, the lower esophagal sphincter muscle, which is responsible for the passing of the food. The improper closing or opening of this gives rise to acid reflux as the acid escapes through the valve and flows into the oesophagus. Some of the common causes of acid reflux are:

  • Excessive alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Poor posture
  • Medications like nitrates or antihistamines
  • Eating exceedingly large meals
  • Not chewing properly
  • Snaking before bedtime
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Stress, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, stomach tumours 

Since food is a common trigger for acid reflux, it is essential to avoid certain food groups which might be worsening it for you. Although it varies slightly from person to person, certain food groups are generally not good for you if you suffer from frequent episodes of acid reflux. These include fatty and fried foods, caffeinated drinks, citrus fruits and tomatoes, high quantities of garlic, onion, and spices, to name a few. 

One of the main risks is the lifestyle choices you make as an individual. A sedentary life with overeating is the perfect combination to give rise to acid reflux. While you can control most risk factors, like obesity, smoking, lack of physical exercise, medications, pregnancy and diet, there is one that is difficult to prevent. Hiatal (or hiatus) hernia signifies a hole in the diaphragm that allows the upper part of your stomach to enter the chest cavity, causing acid reflux.

Heartburn is the first sign of acid reflux. Persistent heartburn over a certain period of time is called GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). In addition to that, there are other symptoms, such as:

  • dry, persistent cough
  • wheezing
  • asthma and recurrent pneumonia
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • throat problems
  • difficulty to swallow
  • chest pain
  • dental erosion
  • bad breath 

The best way to diagnose GERD or acid reflux is by observing the level of improvement in heartburn symptoms when you change your lifestyle and take appropriate medications. In case of a severe case, your doctor will ask you to undertake other diagnostic processes such as endoscopy, biopsy, barium X-ray, oesophagal manometry: pressure measurement of the oesophagus, etc.

Acid reflux is a common condition that affects a lot of people globally. There are medicines you can take to lower its symptoms and recurrence. These include: 

  1. Rabeprazole - These capsules are called Proton-pump-inhibitor (PPI), which help reduce the amount of acid in the stomach when taken once a day. 
  2. Milk of Magnesia - This magnesium hydroxide solution gets rid of indigestion, heartburn and even stomach discomfort.
  3. Silicolgel - This oral medication forms a protective and soothing coating over the lining of the stomach and intestines.
  4. Omeprazole - Another efficient PPI you can buy in three different doses, namely 10mg, 20mg and 40mg. 
  5. Lansoprazole - It is an anti-ulcer medication which comes in two strengths of 15 and 30 mg.
  6. Esomeprazole - These capsules work by reducing the level of acidity inside the stomach and also block specific cell systems.
  7. Pantoprazole - These are 20 mg and 40 mg tablets specially designed to treat acid reflux.
  8. Ranitidine - This medication belongs to a class of drugs called histamine receptor antagonists which block the acid-producing enzymes.
  9. Losec - It contains an active ingredient called omeprazole which helps restrict the amount of acid in the stomach.
  10. Nexium - These capsules help prevent acid production in the walls of the stomach.
  11. Nexium Control - The esomeprazole, in Nexium is a PPI which helps deal with the excessive acid production in your stomach.
  12. Pepto-Bismol - These are essentially chewable peppermint tablets that work quickly to relieve heartburn
  13. Rennie Peppermint - These are quick-acting relievers containing two naturally-occurring antacids calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate.

Apart from taking suitable medications, there are other lifestyle and home treatment options that you can rely on to overcome acid reflux. These include:

Persistent and untreated stomach acid damages the lining of your oesophagus, causing inflammation, abrasions and scars. These eventually lead to other complications such as:

  • Oesophagitis which signifies an inflamed oesophagus lining
  • Oesophageal ulcers - ulcers are painful and cause difficulty in swallowing and bleeding
  • Oesophageal stricture - the oesophagus narrows due to scar tissue buildup
  • Barrett’s oesophagus - cell-damage in the lower oesophagus
  • Oesophageal cancer - resulting due to excessive cell-damage
  1. Is acid reflux serious?
    While the condition itself is not severe or harmful, continuos occurrences can cause other complications in the body. 

  2. What foods neutralize stomach acid?
    Many foods help neutralize stomach acid, namely vegetables, ginger, oatmeal, noncitrus fruits, lean meats and seafood, egg whites, and healthy fats.

  3. Is drinking water good for acid reflux?
    Keeping yourself hydrated by drinking enough water can help curb acid reflux since digestion becomes simpler. 

  4. Is milk good for acid reflux?
    Yes, the low-fat milk varieties can help overcome the symptoms of acid reflux.

  5. Does stress cause acid reflux?
    If you overeat or drink too much alcohol under stress, it might lead to acid reflux due to indigestion. Excessive stress can also give rise to stomach ulcers. 

  6. Is acid reflux permanent?
    No, it is a curable condition which occurs from time to time depending on the lifestyle. 

  7. Does acid reflux affect your bowel movements?
    Since acid reflux influences the stomach significantly, the digestion is also disturbed, which leads to unhealthy bowel movements. 

  8. What does severe heartburn signify?
    It could be a sign of other complications due to prolonged heartburn and acid reflux in the body. Get an opinion from a medical professional. 

  9. How do you sleep with heartburn?
    To sleep comfortably during acid reflux, you should take medications and combine them by sleeping with your upper body elevated using pillows. 

  10. How long can heartburn attack last?
    Ideally, the symptoms of heartburn could last anywhere between a few minutes and a few hours. It depends on the severity of the condition.

  11. Can heartburn make you sick?
    The sour taste in your mouth due to the acid from the stomach travelling in your oesophagus might trigger nausea or vomiting. 

  12. Why do I have heartburn in the morning?
    When you fall asleep without addressing your acid reflux at night, it persists even when you wake up the next morning leading to heartburn. 

  13. What stage of pregnancy do you get acid reflux?
    The worst cases of acid reflux during pregnancy hit somewhere around the second and third trimester. 

  14. How do you know if your baby has reflux?
    There are several signs which indicate this, like bringing up milk or being sick during or shortly after feeding and coughing or hiccupping during feeding. 

  15. What makes acid reflux worse in babies?
    Just like overeating is for adults, overfeeding your child will make the acid reflux worse. 

  16. What age does reflux peak in babies?
    Beginning when a baby is 2-3 week old, the reflux worsens when they are 4-5 months old. 

  17. Can reflux harm, my baby?
    Reflux is not a cause of concern in infants as long as they are growing, healthy and content. 

  18. Is acid reflux in babies worse at night?
    Not necessarily. It depends on what the condition was during the day and whether it got treated. 

  19. What is silent acid reflux in babies?
    When the usual symptoms of acid reflux are absent, which makes it difficult, to recognize the condition on time, it is known as silent acid reflux. 

 

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