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Acid Reflux


Why Go Dry This January?

Posted Friday 30 December 2016 21:53 by Tim Deakin in Acid Reflux

dry januaryWe all know that Christmas can be a time of overindulgence. In fact, there’s almost no getting away from the rich foods, chocolates, sweets and alcohol that flows freely during December. But with the New Year comes resolutions – and for many of us that means giving up beer, wine or spirits.

Of course, the first few days after the festive period can be relatively easy for those choosing to lose alcohol from their diet. After all, the festive season can leave many people feeling hungover, rundown and in need of time to cleanse the body. Unfortunately, 63% of the UK adults who made resolutions fail to keep them, with 43% not even lasting one month.

If you are thinking of making a concerted effort at staying off the booze through the first 31 days of the New Year, knowing that there are many thousands of people sharing the experience with you can be a great comfort. Thanks to the growing popularity of the “Dry January” trend, this year could be a great time to get your body back in shape, ease the burden on your your liver, kidney, heart and brain, and generally get your life in a healthier place.

Let’s look closer at why you should join the masses and go dry this January…

Enjoy healthier drinking patterns

Dry January is by no means the preserve of those hoping to go permanently teetotal. For many, a single month without alcohol in the system is enough to help them re-appraise their relationship with alcohol more broadly. A number of people who participated in previous years reported that they drink less as a result. You don’t have to cut out your favourite tipple completely, but learning to enjoy it less frequently and in moderation will reduce your risk of developing alcohol-related illnesses like cancer, liver disease, heart disease, dementia and depression.

Save money

Whether you go out to drink or stay in the comfort of your own home, Dry January can help you save substantially. Take an average couple who enjoy a few bottles of wine and four bottles of beer at home, enjoy at least one trip to the pub and go for a meal out with drinks each week. That doesn’t add up to much right? Based on the average cost of alcohol in the UK, that same couple could save £276 by going dry for just one month – that’s a weekend away for two!

Lose weight

Alcohol is not only calorific in its own right, it also has the added effect of slowing the metabolism making weight gain even more likely. By cutting out alcohol, even just for 31 days, your fat percentage, body shape, complexion and energy levels can all benefit.

Sleep better

While 45% of people report that alcohol helps them to get to sleep, the quality and quantity of alcohol induced sleep is extremely poor, however by stopping drinking, you will see an improvement almost immediately.

As a result of sleeping better, not forgetting the weight loss and self-confidence boost mentioned previously, you are certain to feel more energetic and positive, another plus point to help you make the decision to go dry this January an easy one.

Reduce acid reflux

It’s not just overeating and the overconsumption of coffee or chocolate that cause acid reflux or heartburn, alcohol is a common cause of this unpleasant and uncomfortable condition. Alcohol causes the relaxation of muscles found at the bottom of the oesophagus, leaving your gullet wide open for stomach acid to creep back up. Here at Express Pharmacy, we stock a wide range of acid reflux treatments so you can tackle the symptoms head on, including Omeprazole and Lansoprazole.

Are you going dry for January or longer this year? Let us know what you hope to achieve and how you plan to resist temptation.


How to Stay Healthy Over Christmas

Posted Thursday 01 December 2016 13:06 by Tim Deakin in Acid Reflux

As a nation we make no secret of the fact that most of us tend to overindulge during the winter months. Whether it’s the cooler weather that makes us reach for the comfort food or the sheer abundance of sweet treats that the season brings, each of us has our reasons for letting loose with the calories – and letting our belts out a notch as a result.

Of course, treating yourself to something naughty every now and again during the festive season is not going to harm our health a great deal. Yet for those who struggle with their weight or with food intolerances can find it to be a tricky time of year.

Away from food and drink there are also a number of other precautions you should take to ensure that this Christmas is a healthy one and not a horrible one.

Keep your alcohol consumption in mind

It may be the time to eat, drink and be merry but sustained drinking between Christmas and New Year can both increase your calorie intake dramatically and put additional strain on your organs. Our advice is to enjoy a drink within moderation but be sensible about the rate of consumption.

Avoid skipping meals as this will cause you to get drunk quicker and miss out on valuable nutrients. If you wish to avoid a fuzzy head in the morning, try to stick to one type of drink rather than mixing wine, beer and spirits. Opting for a lighter coloured drink where possible is helpful, as these tend to be lower in hangover-worsening chemical ingredients.

Whether you are drinking or not, staying hydrated over the Christmas period is also crucially important. Try to alternate between alcoholic drinks and soft drinks whenever possible. This simple step can help prevent hangovers from bringing a painful end to your merriment.

Always eat breakfast

While it can be tempting to skip breakfast on Christmas morning in favour of opening your presents, eating breakfast will not only set you up for the celebrations ahead but help prevent overeating later on in the day. A hearty yet healthy breakfast is advisable, with porridge the superstar in comparison to other options. Porridge will stabilise your blood sugar levels, while adding a dollop of yoghurt will boost immunity.

Reach for the remedies

This time of year can be hard on the stomach with alcohol and the overconsumption of food exacerbating acid reflux in particular. If you are particularly susceptible to this common problem, we stock medications such as Omeprazole, Lansoprazole and Losec at Express Pharmacy to help treat the condition and keep you feeling well this winter.

Cook your meat well

Giving your loved ones the unwanted gift of food poisoning is certainly something to avoid this December. Unfortunately, the festive season is a peak time for food poisoning, with an undercooked Christmas lunch acting as the catalyst for several strains of harmful bacteria and some very nasty side effects.

Exercising high standards of food safety this Christmas is vital to ensuring celebrations go off without a hitch. If you are purchasing a frozen bird as the centrepiece of your feast, allowing plenty of time for it to defrost is the place to start.

The rule of thumb for defrosting is to allow 12 hours per kilogram when defrosting in the fridge, and 7 hours per kilo when defrosting in a cool room. Once the bird has been properly defrosted, it must be cooked well. It is recommended that birds are roasted for 40 minutes per kilogram at 190oC. Always double check that your turkey is cooked correctly before serving, the easiest way to do this is to part the skin between the breast and leg, if this area is pink then further cooking is required. The juices from the turkey should also run clear rather than pink.

Travel carefully during bad weather

The roads are notoriously dangerous during the autumn and winter months, with snow, ice, rain and dazzling sunlight all heightening risk for drivers. If you have to set foot outside during the winter period – like getting to a Christmas party or family gathering, be sure to allow more time so that you can exercise caution on the road. It also goes without saying that you should never consume large quantities of alcohol before getting behind the wheel – including driving early in the morning after a big night out the evening before.


6 Not So Tell-Tale Signs of Acid Reflux

Posted Wednesday 21 September 2016 15:54 by Tim Deakin in Acid Reflux

If you experience the heartburn that comes with acid reflux, there’s no mistaking that burning sensation or the sour taste in the back of your throat. However, there are in fact a number of other symptoms that could be linked to your acid reflux, or a less common sign of the condition. Many of these symptoms can cause your acid reflux to be misdiagnosed, as they are so similar to symptoms of other conditions. Read on to see if you’re experiencing any of these problems.

1. Difficulty swallowing

If you have been experiencing acid reflux for a long time, it’s possible that you may have some trouble swallowing. This is because the cyclical damage and repair of your oesophageal tissue causes scarring, which in turn leads to a swelling that narrows the oesophagus. The swollen area can become tender, making swallowing more difficult – a sensation that some have likened to having food stuck in the bottom of the throat.

2. Sore throat and cough

Again related to the throat, a persistent cough or sore throat could be a sign of acid reflux. You may think that you simply have a cold, but paying attention to when you cough or when your voice is most hoarse can shed light on what might be wrong. If you find that symptoms worsen around mealtimes, it’s worth visiting your doctor to see if there is any chance of acid reflux.

3. Asthma

For some people, respiratory issues can lead to a diagnosis of asthma. That said, it is common for people who have asthma to also experience heartburn and acid reflux – and vice versa. It is not clear if one directly causes the other, but there is certainly a significant overlap between the two conditions. There has been some suggestion that excess stomach acid causes the brain to restrict breathing in order to prevent acid from accumulating in the lungs.

Even if your asthma is being treated, you should make another appointment with your doctor if trouble breathing is accompanied by any other symptoms of acid reflux.

4. Pain at mealtimes or when resting

Chest pain is never something to be ignored. Much like with the cough, pain at certain times could be linked to heartburn. If you eat a large meal and find yourself experiencing pain, it’s likely that this due to an overload of stomach acid. If lying down causes the pain to worsen rather than ease, it is likely that acid reflux is to blame.

Standing or sitting enables gravity to take control, helping to keep food down rather than causing stomach acid to rise in your chest and throat. For those with a history of acid reflux it is advisable not to eat big, heavy meals, especially before bed.

5. Tooth decay

A recent trip to the dentist may have revealed that you have gum disease, bad breath or even cavities. If you are diligent when it comes to brushing your teeth and don’t consume too much sugar, then you may find yourself at a loss as to why the dentist has identified such problems. However, this may be due to the effects of acid reflux. When the acid rises in your throat and enters your mouth, it can gradually erode your teeth and cause a whole host of dental problems.

6. Nausea

Nausea is a frustrating symptom in the sense that it can be a sign of many different health issues. Feeling sick or actually vomiting can be a sign of acid reflux, and for some people it is the only symptom experienced. Unexplained nausea could certainly be a sign of acid reflux, especially if you only experience it after meals.

Whether you have some or all of these symptoms alongside your acid reflux and heartburn, Express Pharmacy can help. Not only do we supply a number of established medications to treat acid reflux – such as Omeprazole, Lansoprazole and Losec – we also stock variations to ease problems with swallowing, including Lansoprazole Orodispersible and Losec MUPS Orodispersible.

Comments

Steve Campbell on Wednesday 05 October 2016 12:40

Do you supply omeprazole to Spain address?

Reply
Marina Abdalla on Wednesday 05 October 2016 16:42
Reply to Steve Campbell

Dear Steve,

Thank you for reading our blog post. Unfortunately due to regulation we are no longer able to ship to some countries within Europe, including Spain.

Kind Regards,
Express Pharmacy Patient Support Team.

Reply

GERD: Why Heartburn Is So Much More Than an Annoyance

Posted Thursday 31 March 2016 11:49 by Tim Deakin in Acid Reflux

acid reflux medicationMany of us have to deal with heartburn from time to time – if we’ve eaten too much over Christmas, or exercised too soon after a meal. Seen as mildly irritating by most people, heartburn could be a sign of something much more serious.

If the heartburn you are experiencing is caused by acid reflux, it is important to treat this condition with more caution. Acid reflux has has the potential to cause more serious problems than the temporary pain and discomfort we typically associate with heartburn, and may require treatment through prescription medications such as Omeprazole or Lansoprazole.

GERD and heartburn

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a relatively common condition. Aside from constant heartburn, it can also cause narrowing of the oesophagus and internal scarring. GERD can also cause Esophagitis, which creates ulcers in the oesophagus that can bleed and make swallowing very painful.

This disease comes about when the ring of muscle at the bottom of your oesophagus weakens over time. Under normal circumstances, this ring helps food make its way to your stomach, whilst keeping the stomach acid from making its way back up the throat. However, if this ring of muscle fails to do its job, then stomach acid may pass back up the body and generate severe discomfort.

While intermittent and rare instances of GERD are unlikely to cause serious damage, the repeated exposure of the oesophagus to acid can lead to Barrett’s Oesophagus- a condition that may result in oesophageal cancer if not treated properly.

Who is at risk?

People with asthma are at high risk of GERD. Research has shown that over 75% of adults who suffer from asthma also suffer from GERD.

Lifestyle also plays an important role in the development of GERD. Heavy smokers put themselves at great risk of chronic heartburn and peptic ulcers because of the negative effect of cigarettes on the throat. Poor diet is another contributing factor as some foodstuffs can cause an excess of stomach acid to be created, resulting in an increased chance of reflux into the oesophagus.

Several studies have also linked GERD with obesity – meaning that overweight people are more likely to experience heartburn and acid reflux too. A proven theory as to why has yet to be determined, however.

Best ways to avoid heartburn

Considering the risk factor for heavy smokers, one of the best ways to keep a healthy throat is to avoid cigarettes altogether. Posture is also thought to play a role in the pain caused by heartburn and many sufferers often find that long periods hunched over can lead to greater discomfort.

Those who work at a desk all day are encouraged to stand up regularly and allow the body to maintain its natural posture. This can also be said for those who suffer from heartburn while lying down in bed. Raising the upper body (through an adjustable bed or even an extra pillow) may relieve the compression of internal organs and ease symptoms.

Another simple way of relieving heartburn is by chewing gum. Gum causes the production of increased saliva, which helps dilute excess acid in the stomach. You can also try a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water – which also helps to neutralise stomach acid.

For those suffering from acid reflux, the most important step is to consult a health professional. At Express Pharmacy, our qualified team of pharmacists are well placed to provide advice, guidance and a range o prescription medications to tackle acid reflux.

Visit our Acid Reflux treatment page today for more information.


Abdominal Pains: 5 Common Causes You Need to Know About

Posted Wednesday 30 December 2015 12:51 by Tim Deakin in Acid Reflux

Abdominal pains are about as common as health complaints come. But do you know what causes these symptoms, or how you might prevent them from happening so frequently.

A spicy curry, food that has gone past its used by date, a cold on the tummy: these are just some of the things we often attribute to abdominal pains. And as the receptacle for everything we ingest, it is true that the stomach and surrounding organs involved in digestion take more than its fair share of punishment and can be a source of regular pain.

Let us introduce you to five of the most common causes, to help you get to the bottom of your own upset digestive system – you never know when it might help you determine the difference between a dodgy meal and something more sinister.

Intolerances

Lactose intolerance – An allergy to the sugar found in milk and milk products, lactose intolerance is actually more common than tolerance. While in the UK we as a nation drink litres of milk and eat tons of cheese every year, areas of the world such as Asia and Africa find that lactose is much less agreeable with them.

Gluten intolerance – An allergy to the protein found in rye, barley and wheat, which damages the small intestine. Once unable to absorb nutrients, the small intestine may be the source of pain and cause problems such as diarrhea, weight loss and even malnutrition. The most serious form of gluten intolerance is known as Coeliac disease.

Lactose and gluten intolerances commonly cause mild abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and indigestion.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS is not only incredibly common, it is also unfortunately a problem that can affect the digestive system for life. Chronic abdominal pains, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation are frequently associated with IBS and may last for days or even months on end.

IBS can be managed through a combination of medication and a close attention to diet, exercise and even stress-management. IBS is more common among women than it is among men.

Parasites

It may not be a pleasant thought, but we all have little organisms inhabiting our bodies. Some – such as bacteria in our stomachs – can actually help to keep our bodies functioning properly. Others, can have a more damaging impact on our insides.

Parasites are most commonly ingested into the body through contaminated food or water, and although they may initially be too small to notice they may grow to be a sizeable issue. Tapeworms, for instance, can grow up to several metres in length.

Symptoms of parasitic infection can include constipation, diarrhea and gas, leading to severe discomfort and abdominal pains. Those who suspect they may be infected with parasites should immediately consult a health professional.

Gallstones

So called because they form in the gallbladder, gallstones can be particularly troublesome because they swell large enough to block the ducts into the intestine. The resulting pain caused by blockages can progressively worsen as the gallbladder and intestines become inflamed and sore.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is a condition caused by a faulty valve at the top of the stomach. When the Lower Oesophageal Sphincter (LOS) fails to close after food is ingested, the acid produced in the stomach can move up into the oesophagus. The result is typically a combination of heartburn, regurgitation, bloating and burping.

Treating acid reflux can involve portion control at meal times, lying down after a meal, weight management, maintaining a healthy diet and using acid reflux medications such as Omeprazole or Lansoprazole.