During the festive season, we feast – fact. But, if that assorted chocolate box has left you with a bad taste in your mouth, then you may be experiencing a common condition known as acid reflux.
What is the Difference Between Acid Reflux & Heartburn?
Well, that’s actually a trick question as heartburn and acid reflux are the same thing. Both mean when acid from your stomach comes up your throat food pipe and throat. You’ll have a burning feeling in your chest or throat when this happens. Other symptoms can include:
If you’ve got any concerns about your symptoms, speak to one of our pharmacist’s in-store for advice.
Tips to Help Reduce Acid Reflux/Heartburn
If you want to ease some of your symptoms, then help is at hand!
Food & Drink
Try eating smaller and more regular meals. But, keep your meals spaced out evenly too (every three hours is recommended).
Also, cut back on food that that can increase likelihood of heartburn such as fried, greasy or fatty foods as well as spicy foods. Drinks are responsible too for irritating symptoms, so avoid caffeinated or carbonated drinks and alcohol.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight can increase pressure on your tummy which means that you are more likely to suffer from heartburn.
Wear lose clothing around your tummy as anything form-fitting can make symptoms worse. So try swapping those skinny jeans for boyfriend jeans!
Kick the Habit
Smoking can irritate your digestive system and worsen symptoms of heartburn or reflux.
Raise your Head
Keeping your head elevated means that gravity plays a helping hand in stopping acid coming up your food pipe.
Check your Medicine Cabinet
Some medicines can contribute to your symptoms. If you think this may be the case speak to your pharmacist as they can do a medicines review with you.
Medicines to Help
There are several over-the-counter medicines available from pharmacies without needing a prescription. The main types are:
Antacids: these neutralise the effects of stomach acid.
Alginates: produce a coating that protects the stomach and oesophagus from acid.
Proton Pump Inhibitors: these work by reducing the acid produced by the stomach.
H2-receptor antagonists: these reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach.
When to See a GP
These symptoms can be a sign of something more serious than acid reflux. Book an appointment if you:
- Keep getting heartburn
- Have tried some remedies but they aren’t working
- Experience a lot of pain
- 55 or older
- Lost a lot of weight without meaning to
- Have difficulty swallowing
- Keep vomiting
- Have iron deficiency anaemia
- Feel like you have a lump in your stomach
- Have bloody vomit or stools