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Acid Reflux

Why Is Your Acid Reflux Worse in Winter?

Posted Wednesday 20 December 2017 10:03 by Tim Deakin in Acid Reflux

Acid reflux symptoms often worsen in winter, but why? And what is the best treatment for acid reflux?

Acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a common health concern in the UK. In fact, 60 per cent of the adult population will experience acid reflux at some point within a 12-month period, and around a quarter will experience weekly symptoms.

Acid reflux can be diagnosed as when acid from the stomach leaks up into the oesophagus, resulting in heartburn, an unpleasant sour taste and possibly nausea. A lot of people who do suffer from acid reflux often find that their symptoms worsen during the winter months.

So why is your acid reflux worse in the winter? And what can be done to lessen your symptoms?

Why is your acid reflux worse in winter?

Understanding more about acid reflux as a condition is the best way to understand why it tends to worsen over the winter months. By gaining a clearer understanding of the causes of winter acid reflex, you are one step closer to finding the best treatment for acid reflex and heartburn.

Early to bed, late to rise

Gravity has a part to play in the symptoms of acid reflux, as the stomach acid is more likely to leak into the oesophagus when you are not standing or sitting upright. So in winter, when we tend to be less physically active and spend more time in bed or slouching on the sofa, symptoms can worsen. Sleeping with a pillow propping up your upper back can help reduce acid reflux.

Comfort food

As well as being less active in winter, UK adults also tend to follow a less healthy diet too. Taking comfort from the cold with hot, fatty-rich foods is common in winter, but for acid reflux sufferers they can find their symptoms worsen as a result. This is because certain food groups such as fatty foods, spicy foods, chocolate and coffee, can aggravate acid reflux symptoms — and these are often the foods we see as comforting.

Christmas cheer

In the run up to Christmas, we are more likely to gorge on unhealthy food and alcoholic drinks than at any other time of year. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with a few festive tipples, excessive alcohol intake can result in a significant increase in acid reflux symptoms during December. Alcohol is one of the main contributing factors in acid reflux, as it is itself acidic.

What is the best treatment for acid reflux?

There are several different options when it comes to finding the best treatment for acid reflux. Sometimes, it is a case of implementing certain lifestyle changes into your routine which helps to reduce symptoms of the conditions. These work particularly well in terms of preventing acid reflux, but in terms of finding the best treatment for acid reflux, it may be that effective medication is required.

How to prevent acid reflux

Lifestyle changes to prevent or improve acid reflux can include simply enjoying certain things in moderation, like alcohol and fatty foods. Don’t consume substances which trigger your acid reflux in excess.

Increasing your level of physical activity can also reduce your chances of suffering acid reflux symptoms, especially if you are currently overweight and are using exercise to reduce your excess weight. You can also raise one end of your bed by 10 to 20cm to prevent stomach acid from travelling towards your throat.

How to treat acid reflux

Acid reflux medication is an effective and efficient form of GERD treatment. There are several treatments available from Express Pharmacy, including Omeprazole and Lansoprazole — both of which are established and tested medications for treating acid reflux symptoms. So don’t suffer this winter, find the right treatment for your condition today.

For help, information and treatment for any healthcare concerns you have this winter, contact Express Pharmacy. Call us on 0208 123 0703 or use our discreet Live Chat service today.


Betty Mottley on Wednesday 28 February 2018 17:11

I found taking omeprazole or lansoprazole made all joints hurt. When i bent down to pick up something a sharp pain in the bottom of my spine. Also I got pin pricks in elbow and knee joints. I therefore told the hospital specialist this and he told me he did not believe me, I therefore do not take anything but gavison but it does not stop coughing.


Coming Clean About Digestive Health

Posted Friday 26 May 2017 11:38 by Tim Deakin in Acid Reflux

In honour of World Digestive Health Day, we’re looking at the importance of digestive health to our overall wellbeing, and the conditions that are associated with digestive concerns

The World Gastroenterology Organisation has named 29th May 2017 as World Digestive Health Day. With that in mind, there’s no better time to explore the importance of our digestive health – an important factor in our general health.

A useful way to do this is to ask the question: Why is our digestive health so important? And also: What conditions are linked to poor digestive health?

Let’s look at some of the common conditions associated with poor digestive health, letting you know what you can do to avoid and treat them.

Why is digestive health so important?

70% of our body’s immune system lives in our digestive tract. This means that if something isn’t right with our digestion, then our overall health is compromised as a result. Digestion is the entire process from consuming food to excreting waste. It’s responsible for the nutrients our body absorbs, making it not only necessary for our overall health, but for our survival.

In order to maintain a healthy digestion process, we need to make sure our diet consists of all the necessary food groups in the correct quantities. This means carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy, healthy fats and sugars and fibre, which is key for keeping the digestive process moving. We also need to drink plenty of water and be active, even just by making the effort to walk for fifteen minutes a day.

What conditions are associated with poor digestive health?

There are a huge number of conditions which either result from or cause poor digestive health. We’ve explored two of the most common digestive symptoms which can occur.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is extremely common. In fact, up to 20% of the UK population suffer from it in some form. It’s a condition that affects the large intestine, and most often results in symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, diarrhoea and constipation.

IBS is a chronic condition, and it’s unclear exactly what causes it. Most sufferers learn to manage their symptoms through lifestyle and dietary changes, and by managing stress levels. Anti-diarrhoeal or anti-constipation medication can help, and it’s also advisable to cut gluten and high-gas products like carbonated drinks from your diet.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is otherwise known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), and is caused by stomach acid rising up into the oesophagus, causing an unpleasant and sometimes painful acidic sensation. This is usually the result of a weakened lower oesophageal sphincter muscle. One of the main symptoms of GERD is heartburn, which feels just as the name suggests: a hot, tight (often painful) discomfort in the centre of the chest.

You can manage and avoid GERD by sleeping smart; elevating your head, neck and upper back with pillows and allowing gravity to do its job with the acid in your stomach. You can also maintain a healthy weight (as being overweight increases your chances of experiencing acid reflux and heartburn) and cut fatty, greasy or full dairy products from your diet.

Acid reflux and heartburn can also be treated with the help of prescription medication designed to cool and neutralize the acid in your stomach and throat with an antacid-based formula.

Gaining an understanding of your health concerns is the first step to treating them effectively, so don’t hesitate to get the professional guidance you need to ease your worries.

Express Pharmacy provides an easy to navigate and discreet service, and we provide patients with a handy Live Chat tool so that they can ask any questions that are troubling them, no matter how sensitive.

10 Ways to Get Rid of Your Acid Reflux

Posted Thursday 16 March 2017 10:20 by Tim Deakin in Acid Reflux

It is thought that 60% of the adult population suffer from some form of acid reflux over a twelve-month period. So, what can be done about it?

Acid reflux – or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) to give it its medical name – is a condition that affects millions of people. At some point, we probably all have a bout of acid reflux, however mild, but for some people it can be uncomfortable and debilitating to their daily life.

The main symptom of the condition is acid leaking up from the stomach and into the oesophagus, due to the lower oesophageal sphincter being too relaxed. It’s nasty and sometimes painful, but don’t worry – Express Pharmacy is here with ten easy at-home methods for treating your acid reflux.

Go gluten free

Some studies have found that gluten – commonly found in rye, barley and wheat – can increase symptoms of acid reflux, so it’s worth considering a gluten-free diet.

Wear loose clothing

Tight jeans, clinging dresses and belts that cut into your stomach can all exacerbate GERD, and create further discomfort. Stick to looser clothing and slightly larger waistlines to take some of the pressure off, even if it’s just on days when you’re lounging around the house.

Cut down on alcohol

Drinking alcohol can relax oesophageal muscles further and even cause them to spasm, so cutting down on your drinking – or better yet, giving up altogether – is an effective way of lessening your symptoms and making you feel more comfortable.

Stop smoking

Smoking is a double threat to acid reflux, as studies have found that smoking both increases the relaxed state of your oesophageal muscles and inhibits your saliva’s ability to clear out excess acid from your throat.

Elevate your bed

When dealing with acid reflux, it’s helpful to use gravity to your advantage in order to keep stomach acids where they belong – in your stomach. This is true of the time you spend asleep as well as awake. Elevating the head of your bed six to eight inches keeps stomach acids down, and prevents symptoms from showing themselves. Your entire upper body needs to be raised for this to work, so extra pillows alone probably won’t have the desired effect.

Wait after meals

Speaking of gravity, it’s important to wait before you lie down if you’ve recently eaten a large meal. At least three hours should have gone by since your last meal before you take up a horizontal position in bed or on the sofa. This means planning ahead and eating your dinner with enough time before you go to sleep.

Eat smaller dishes

Eating little and often is an effective way of managing acid reflux. Avoid infrequent large meals and opt for smaller plates of food instead.

Avoid danger foods

Spicy food, fatty food, chocolate, coffee and mints can all increase symptoms of acid reflux, so try to avoid them. You might find this hard, but with 60% of acid reflux sufferers reporting bad sleep quality, and 40% reporting a lower quality of work concentration, surely it’s worth it.

Lose weight

Acid reflux is often more severe in overweight individuals, so eating right and exercising can do wonders for keeping your symptoms at bay.

Use medication

Medication can help directly treat the symptoms of your acid reflux. At Express Pharmacy we stock a number of medications to treat heartburn, including Omeprazole, Lansoprazole and Losec.

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.