Acid Reflux

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Acid Reflux

View our range of acid reflux treatments.

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Acid reflux

Acid reflux is a fairly common condition affecting 25% of the UK population at some point. It is more common in young adults and affects men and women equally. One of the main causes is excessive acid and weakness of the gastro-esophageal sphincter allowing acid in the stomach to leak back into the esophagus. Acid reflux may also be referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or indigestion.

The acid reflux symptoms include the following:

  • Heartburn symptoms: burning sensation behind the breastbone
  • Regurgitation of food in mouth
  • Acid taste in mouth
  • Upset stomach
  • Indigestion symptoms: abdominal pain, fullness, nausea, bloating, flatulence and belching

There are many factors that may contribute towards production of excessive stomach acid and in turn, acid reflux including:

  • Eating habits such as large meals, eating too quickly and eating on the go
  • Certain foods such as peppermint, chocolate, spices, hot drinks, coffee
  • Psychological factors such as stress and anxiety
  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Heavy drinking
  • Obesity
  • Tight clothing and belts
  • Posture: bending over, sitting hunched up, lying down
  • Side effects of certain medications

Acid reflux can be managed through lifestyle changes, medications and in more severe cases surgery.

Lifestyle Advice

  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid aggravating foods such as peppermint, tomato, chocolate, spices, hot drinks, coffee
  • Eat slowly and eat smaller meals and avoid lying down after meals
  • Avoid eating before bedtime
  • Reduce stress levels and anxiety
  • Weight reduction
  • Stop smoking
  • Raising of the head of the bed
  • Better posture

Medications

Medication options for acid reflux include:

  • Antacids e.g. Rennie: which works by counteracting the acidity in the stomach
  • Alginate-containing antacids e.g. Gaviscon: which form a ‘raft’ that floats on the surface of the stomach to reduce reflux and protect the esophagus
  • Histamine H2 receptor antagonists e.g. Zantac (Ranitidine): which reduce stomach acidity by stopping the action of histamine on cells which usually signal the release of stomach acid
  • Proton-pump inhibitors e.g. Omeprazole, Lansoprazole, Pantoprazole: which provide the most effective relief by inhibiting the enzyme of the cells in the stomach which usually releases stomach acid

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