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Acid Reflux


Black Friday 40% OFF for New Customers!

Posted Friday 27 November 2020 05:30 by Harman Bhamra in Acid Reflux

Welcome! We’re celebrating Black Friday with our biggest set of offers yet! We’re offering new customers 40% off everything for a limited time only.

Use code NEWBIE for 40% off, simply apply this discount code in the checkout!

How long does the offer last?

Our offer for 40% off products starts Friday 27th November and ends Sunday 29th November midnight.

What’s part of the offer?

As part of our Black Friday deal, new customers can save 40% on:


Foods to Avoid With Acid Reflux

Posted Friday 16 October 2020 11:30 by Harman Bhamra in Acid Reflux

We’re sure you’re familiar with the feeling of bitter stomach acid slowly creeping up your throat, causing heartburn and leaving gassy bloat in your stomach. Acid reflux is no joke and the foods you eat are usually to blame. In this blog post, you will learn what food to avoid with acid reflux as well as what foods can help you feel better.

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux is a condition where stomach acid travels up to your oesophagus causing an unpleasant feeling in your chest, neck, and throat.

Stomach acid helps to break down the food you eat. It’s meant to stay in the stomach with help from a muscle called the lower oesophagus sphincter (LES). The LES tightens once food passes into the stomach, but unfortunately, some people don’t have a strong LES muscle causing them to suffer from acid reflux regularly.

Other causes of acid reflux include:

  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Being overweight
  • Late-night snacking
  • Weather
  • Certain medications

What are the common symptoms of acid reflux?

Common symptoms of acid reflux include:

  • Heartburn
  • Regurgitation
  • Dysphagia
  • Hiccups

In severe cases of acid reflux, you may experience:

  • Asthma
  • Enamel damage

Foods to avoid with acid reflux

Although still debatable, many experts believe that certain types of food can aggravate acid reflux. So, if you suffer from acid reflux regularly, it’s best to avoid these foods as much as you can:

Spicy foods

Chilli powders and peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that makes these ingredients taste spicy. According to researchers, foods containing capsaicin can cause abdominal pain and heartburn if you have a gastrointestinal disorder or acid reflux.

Certain beverages

Some of these are probably your favourite. Consume these drinks in moderation if you are suffering from acid reflux. If you can, eliminate these from your diet completely.

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda and other carbonated beverages
  • Alcohol
  • Tomato juice
  • Citrus juice

Some people with acid reflux can tolerate these beverages. Pay attention to your body and see if you have the same tolerance or not.

Certain fruits and vegetables

While fruits and vegetables are healthy and good for you, certain types of fruits and veggies can make your acid reflux symptoms worse. The common culprits include:

  • Tomato and tomato-based products
  • Pineapple
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Citrus fruits like lime, grapefruit, orange, and lemon

Foods high in fat

Fatty foods are responsible for lowering the pressure on your LES. They also delay stomach emptying — increasing your risks of developing acid reflux symptoms. Some foods that are rich in fat include:

  • Butter
  • Whole milk
  • French fries and onion rings
  • Cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Salad dressings that have high-fat content
  • Red meat especially ribs and sirloin
  • Potato chips
  • Chocolate
  • Mint

Foods that are good for acid reflux

According to doctors, a balanced diet rich in protein, fruits, and vegetables is good for acid reflux. Below are some of your options:

Chicken breast - chicken breast has a lot of protein. To take the most out of it, remove the fatty skin and cook the meat in the oven or over the grill. Don’t fry it.

Brown rice - rich in carbohydrates, brown rice can make you feel full fast! Just cook it the regular way and as usual, avoid frying.

Oatmeal - Oatmeal is rich in fibres that help aid digestion. It’s also good for the heart.

Melons - melons and its cousins (cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew) contain low acid levels — making them perfect for those with acid reflux.

Vegetables - especially fennel, celery, sweet peppers, and lettuce. These veggies are not only healthy, but they are also very easy on the stomach.

Ginger - if you are looking for something to curb your cravings without triggering your acid reflux, try chewing on dried ginger!

Preventing acid reflux

Aside from watching the food you eat, certain lifestyle changes can also help against acid reflux. Some of the things you can do include:

  • Avoid late snacking
  • Avoid eating large meals
  • Change your sleeping position (make sure that your head is above the level of your waist. This is to prevent stomach acid from moving up)

There are also many tablets for acid reflux available to purchase from Express Pharmacy. These tablets alleviate symptoms of acid reflux and help to prevent it from coming back.


What Causes Acid Reflux?

Posted Tuesday 02 June 2020 12:00 by Harman Bhamra in Acid Reflux

Do you experience heartburn - a burning pain in your lower chest area? If you do, then there’s a big chance that you are suffering from acid reflux.

What causes acid reflux? There are several reasons why acid reflux come all of a sudden. Within this guide, we will discuss these causes in detail to help you relieve pain and get back on track.

What’s In The Entrance Of Your Stomach?

There is a valve at the entrance of your stomach called the lower oesophagal sphincter (LES). The LES is a ring of muscle that shuts as soon as the food passes through it. However, there are times that the LES doesn’t close right away or completely. This causes some of your stomach acid to move up into your oesophagus, causing heartburn. Sometimes, the acid can even reach the back of your throat, leaving a bitter taste in your mouth.

Heartburn is normal and can happen every now and then. However, if you experience heartburn more than twice a week, then you may be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), commonly known as acid reflux.

What Causes Acid Reflux All Of A Sudden?

Acid reflux is triggered by several factors. Here are some of the common causes of acid reflux:

1. Food

Laying down after a meal or eating too much can trigger acid reflux. It can also be caused by foods and beverages like:

  • Carbonated beverages
  • Lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits
  • Chocolate
  • Fried or fatty foods
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Spicy foods
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Food with tomato (i.e. pizza, salsa, lasagna, spaghetti sauce, etc.)
  • Alcohol

2. Smoking

Studies show that smoking may also contribute to acid reflux. Smoking damages mucus membranes in the throat, increasing acid secretion and impairing the production of saliva which helps neutralize acidity in the mouth and oesophagus. Smoking can also reduce LES function.

3. Hiatal Hernia

A hiatal hernia is one of the most common causes of acid reflux disease.

A hiatal hernia is a form of stomach abnormality where the top part of the stomach moves above the diaphragm. Aside from helping you breathe, the diaphragm also acts as a barrier between your stomach and your chest. It helps keep the acid in your stomach. However, if you have hiatal hernia, the diaphragm will have a hard time containing the acid.

4. Pregnancy

Several women who have not yet experienced GERD before suddenly experience acid reflux during pregnancy. But why? According to doctors, this is caused by the pressure from the growing fetus and increasing hormone levels. Usually, the symptoms are at its worst during the third trimester. Pregnancy-related acid reflux usually goes away after giving birth.

5. Other Factors

Aside from the reasons above, being overweight, snacking close to bedtime, and taking certain medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen, blood pressure treatments, and muscle relaxers can also trigger acid reflux.

The weather can affect acid reflux, too. Acid reflux symptoms worsen in winter because we tend to be less physically active. The cuddle weather also straps us to the sofa - making acid reflux more likely to occur, especially if you have just eaten your favourite comfort food.

Can Acid Reflux Be Caused By Stress?

Is acid reflux connected to stress or anxiety? GERD and anxiety may look completely unrelated to each other but studies suggest that there may be a link between the two.

A 2015 study found that the negative effect of acid reflux symptoms in your life increases with anxiety and stress. Experts believe that stress makes you more sensitive to chest pain and other symptoms of acid reflux disease.

How Do You Stop Acid Reflux?

The most common acid reflux treatment is Omeprazole. Omeprazole relieves the symptoms of acid reflux by reducing the amount of acid produced by your stomach. This widely used GERD treatment comes in capsules, tablets, or made to order liquids.

Omeprazole is usually taken once a day, first thing in the morning. You can take it without food because it doesn’t upset your stomach. Your doctor or pharmacist can give you more information about the dosage that’s right for you. You can also buy Omeprazole right here at Express Pharmacy.

These simple lifestyle changes can also help prevent acid reflux:

  • Avoid eating large meals. Instead, eat small, frequent meals.
  • If possible, avoid certain foods, beverages, and medications that could trigger acid reflux.
  • When sleeping, make sure that your chest and head is above the level of your waist. This will prevent your stomach acid from moving up when you sleep. You can do this by raising one end of your bed with a pillow.

The Most Common Acid Reflux Symptoms

Posted Monday 24 February 2020 11:02 by Harman Bhamra in Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, more commonly known as heartburn, is the leading gut complaint seen by medical professionals. Around 25% of UK adults suffer from acid reflux symptoms regularly.

How do you know when you are suffering from acid reflux? What are the most common acid reflux symptoms to look out for? All will be revealed in this helpful guide.

What is Acid Reflux?

Your lower oesophagus sphincter is the muscle that joins your oesophagus (food pipe) and your stomach. The role of this muscle is to tighten the pipe once food passes into the stomach, but if yours is weak, acid may result in travelling back up the oesophagus. When stomach acid travels up your oesophagus, it can cause an unpleasant sensation in your upper chest/neck/throat.

This is known as acid reflux.

Don’t be alarmed when we say that you have acid inside you - the acid in your stomach helps to break down the food you eat, as well as preventing infections. It’s meant to stay in the stomach, which is why problems occur when it gets unintentionally released.

Common Acid Reflux Symptoms

Heartburn

The most common symptom of acid reflux is a painful sensation in your upper chest, known as heartburn. This pain can often be described as a sharp, burning or tightening feeling in the neck, throat or chest (behind the breastbone).

Regurgitation

Acid travelling up into your oesophagus can also lead to an unpleasant taste in the back of your throat or mouth. This bitter/sour or metallic taste in your mouth is caused by your stomach acid escaping into your throat and isn't easy to shake, often lasting just as long as other symptoms and can persist even after eating, drinking or brushing your teeth.

Dysphagia

Acid reflux can cause you to feel as though you have food stuck in your throat. Dysphagia refers to having difficulty swallowing and can cause coughing and sometimes choking. The leaking of your stomach acid into your oesophagus can cause this sensation and lead you to feel nauseous, as well as give you a hoarse voice.

Hiccups

Your diaphragm muscle can spasm, causing your vocal cords to snap shut and produce a little reoccurring sound; this is known as the hiccup. Acid reflux can lead to recurrent hiccups that just won't go away.

Hiccups are little cause for concern as they can be brought on by eating too quickly, drinking too much or taking in too much air, and often subside on their own. But, in the case of acid reflux, hiccups could be an indication of a more serious diagnosis, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Severe Acid Reflux Symptoms

GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a severe form of acid reflux. The pain from this disease cannot be remedied as easily as regular heartburn and long-term damages can cause serious health issues, such as cancer.

GERD has the same symptoms as acid reflux, but due to its severity, it also has some of its own that can be a cause for concern...

Enamel Damage

Due to the excessive exposure of acid which occurs during GERD, your tooth enamel may get damaged.

The enamel on your teeth is there to protect them from decay. Continuous acid reflux can cause the outer layer of your enamel to degrade, meaning it’s important to take precautions such as brushing your teeth after experiencing an episode.

Asthma

One possible symptom of GERD is that the escaping stomach acid will damage your throat lining and lung airways. In a worst-case scenario, GERD sufferers may end up with airways narrower than the average person, resulting in asthma.

Asthma refers to a difficulty breathing which can cause coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

How To Treat Acid Reflux

It's all well and good knowing what to expect if you were to experience acid reflux, but how do you treat it? Acid reflux treatment can vary from home remedies to specialised medication.

Home Remedies

If you aren't a frequent sufferer of acid reflux, home remedies may be effective.

Ginger

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and can be added to tea or recipes to help ease pain caused by heartburn.

Fibre

Having oatmeal for breakfast, or adding a good source of fibre to your diet, can reduce your exposure to suffering from acid reflux. Other strong fibre sources include whole-grain products, such as rice or bread.

Medical Treatments

Those that regularly suffer from acid reflux symptoms may require a more concrete solution. There are different acid reflux medications available to those who need more serious help.

Omeprazole

Omeprazole is a reliable medication which treats more serious symptoms associated with GERD by decreasing the amount of acid your stomach produces. Express Pharmacy offers Omeprazole 20mg to help you manage your suffering; the medication is simply administered by swallowing the tablet before eating.

Lansoprazole

Lansoprazole is another effective medical treatment to treat GERD and other stomach acid-related conditions. Our Lansoprazole 15mg tablets are to be swallowed with a glass of water at the same time each day. For best results, it is recommended to take Lansoprazole first thing in the morning.

For more information regarding the symptoms of acid reflux, get in touch with our pharmaceutical experts on 0208 123 0703. We will be able to help you make an informed decision on what treatment is most suitable.


Top 6 Foods Known for Causing Heartburn

Posted Friday 24 January 2020 08:45 by Harman Bhamra in Acid Reflux

Heartburn is an extremely common condition which affects up to 25% of UK adults regularly. The symptoms of heartburn can cause extreme amounts of discomfort and disrupt everyday life.

What Is Acid Reflux/Heartburn?

Heartburn is a fairly painful burning sensation which forms in your lower chest. It is caused by acid reflux - acid reflux is when stomach acid is forced up into your oesophagus (the pipe in which your food/drink travels down from your mouth to your stomach). This is not usually possible as your sphincter acts as a barrier to avoid this acid escaping, so when it does happen, heartburn takes place.

Usually, unless you burp or swallow, your sphincter stays shut. Those that suffer from acid reflux often have a weakened sphincter and so it opens on other occasions and allows acid to get out, leading to heartburn.

Top 6 Foods Known For Causing Heartburn

Diet is the number one culprit for heartburn as many foods can cause your sphincter to relax, allowing those pesky acids and foods to escape into the oesophagus. But what foods are best to avoid when trying to prevent heartburn?

Here are the top 6 foods that have been linked to heartburn, and if you suffer from acid reflux, you should steer clear of them!

1. Chocolate

Chocolate is likely to be the last thing you wanted to read on this list, but unfortunately, it is a common trigger of heartburn. The cocoa in the chocolate can increase serotonin levels, which can relax your sphincter and allow acid to sneak up your oesophagus; you don’t want that!

As well as boosting serotonin, chocolate also contains caffeine and theobromine. Now we all know what caffeine is, but theobromine is a bitter compound that is found in cocoa and is therefore in chocolate. Both of these can also stimulate your sphincter to relax. Yet another reason to avoid chocolate!

A tiny bit of chocolate will unlikely affect you, but if you do suffer from acid reflux, avoid dark chocolate at all costs. Dark chocolate contains high levels of cocoa.

2. Spicy Foods

Put that takeaway menu back in the draw! Curry, chilli or any spicy foods are infamous causes of heartburn as more often than not they contain capsaicin which has been known to slow digestion rate.

As well as digestion issues, capsaicin is a compound that irritates tissue it comes into contact with and so can inflame your oesophagus, worsening heartburn. And so, it is best to take a step back from anything with a kick.

3. Onions

As well as saving you from bad breath, excluding raw onions from your diet will help you to reduce heartburn. Much like other foods, onions can cause you to burp/belch frequently which, as we know, opens your sphincter and could allow acid to escape in the process.

Burping/belching is caused as onions are rich in fermentable fibre, which exasperates acid reflux symptoms. Beans and legumes are also sources of this fibre and so it is also best to limit intake of those as well.

4. Mint

Unlike other foods, mint does not lead to heartburn through relaxing the sphincter. Instead, mint has been known to irritate the oesophagus lining.

It was often thought that mint helped digestion but has since been linked to the opposite. Peppermint tea and other forms of mint are putting those that consume them at a higher risk, so best to avoid it, just to be on the safe side.

5. Fatty Foods

Foods that have high-fat content are a risk to multiple aspects of your health and acid reflux is no exception. And we’re not just talking about fast-food or unhealthy snacks. Healthier produce such as avocados, cheese and nuts all have high-fat content, too!

These fatty foods can lead to the release of a hormone called cholecystokinin, which relaxes your sphincter and causes food to sit in your stomach for longer than usual. This also increases the risk of heartburn and acid reflux symptoms.

6. Salt

Again, salt has a bad reputation when it comes to your health. Adding salt as a seasoning to your meals or eating foods that have a high salt content can boost the chances of you experiencing acid reflux symptoms by 50%. With such a high figure, it’s best to limit your intake.

Common Acid Reflux Symptoms

It’s all well and good to advise you on what food to avoid when preventing acid reflux, but how do you know if you suffer?

Common acid reflux symptoms include:

  • Heartburn: as previously mentioned, this is the most common symptom and is a burning feeling that occurs in your lower chest, abdomen or throat
  • Regurgitation: when stomach acid escapes through your sphincter and causes a sour/bitter taste of acid in your throat or mouth
  • Dysphagia: this is the sensation of feeling as though you have food stuck in your throat
  • Hiccups
  • Burping/belching
  • Nausea

How To Stop Heartburn

There may be many foods which cause problems, but luckily, there are also a few that can stop heartburn from occurring.

  • Ginger: this is often used to relieve nausea. It can also help reduce symptoms of acid reflux, such as heartburn
  • Green Vegetables are low in fat, acid and sugar and have been proved to prevent pain and discomfort

These natural remedies can be helpful, but when battling acid reflux regularly, it’s wise to seek medical treatment.

Treatments For Acid Reflux

Express Pharmacy has a multitude of acid reflux and heartburn treatments which are guaranteed to provide long-term relief and prevention. The two most popular treatments for acid reflux can be found below:

Omeprazole is an effective and established medication for treating acid reflux; it helps to decrease the amount of acid your stomach is producing. As well as this, Omeprazole helps to repair acid damage to your stomach and oesophagus which, if left, could result in stomach ulcers or oesophagus cancer.

Lansoprazole is another type of medication Express Pharmacy sells to treat stomach and oesophagus problems, such as acid reflux. Lansoprazole also decreases the amount of acid your stomach is making while relieving symptoms such as heartburn, coughing and swallowing difficulty.

For more information regarding effective treatments for acid reflux, speak to our team on 0208 123 0703.


The Most Important Meal of the Day: Can Oatmeal in the Morning Cure Acid Reflux?

Posted Friday 27 December 2019 09:22 by Tim Deakin in Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is a condition which impacts huge numbers of people across the UK and around the world. In fact, it is estimated that anywhere between 10 and 20% of the UK population suffer from regular incidents of acid reflux.

But what you eat can determine the severity of your symptoms. From oatmeal to onions, we’re going to take a look at some of the foods that can commonly impact the condition, for better or worse.

What is acid reflux?

When stomach acid travels up towards the throat, it can create an unpleasant burning sensation, resulting in both heartburn and acid reflux. This can leave a nasty taste and can even cause pain. When acid reflux occurs frequently, it is known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease or GORD.

There are several factors which can cause acid reflux, including certain foods, smoking, heavy alcohol use, pregnancy, smoking and genetics.

Does oatmeal reduce acid reflux symptoms?

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but for acid reflux sufferers it can be even more vital. Healthy breakfast options like oatmeal and porridge have been shown to help relieve the symptoms associated with acid reflux, including the unpleasant taste and burning pain.

Oatmeal is a whole grain and therefore is high in fibre, which promotes healthy digestion and movement. What’s more, oatmeal can help to absorb acid in the stomach and reduce symptoms of acid reflux.

Oatmeal is also high in selenium, which can help to coat and protect the oesophagus from painful acids.

Foods that can cause acid reflux

There are many foods which trigger heartburn and acid reflux symptoms, increasing your discomfort. These include:

  • Spicy foods like curries
  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Garlic and onions
  • Mint
  • Caffeine
  • Fried foods with high levels of fat

Foods that can help acid reflux

However, other foods are thought to help reduce your symptoms of acid reflux, rather than aggravating them.

Fresh, cool, creamy and mild foods can help ease the intensity and frequency of your acid reflux. Switch up your diet to include higher quantities of foods like fresh tomato, cucumber, basil, low-fat yoghurts, eggs, fruit and nuts, wholegrain bread and lunchtime salads with chicken or beans.

Treating acid reflux

Changing your dietary habits can be a helpful way of managing your acid reflux symptoms, but there are also other things you can do alongside these changes, such as seeking out safe and effective acid reflux medication. Omeprazole is one such treatment; the generic alternative to branded medications like Losec and Prilosec. In clinical trials, Omeprazole has been found to be significantly effective in relieving acid reflux symptoms in chronic sufferers.

You can find safe and effective acid reflux medication right here at Express Pharmacy. Get in touch with one of our expert pharmacists today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our discreet online Live Chat service.

Tags: Acid Reflux

Why Are Some of Your Favourite Food and Drinks Causing Your Acid Reflux?

Posted Tuesday 10 December 2019 09:53 by Tim Deakin in Acid Reflux

To some of us, heartburn can feel unavoidable, but the things you eat and drink can play a significant role in the severity of your symptoms

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, otherwise known as GORD or – more commonly – acid reflux and heartburn, is a common condition in the UK. In fact, it’s estimated by charity Guts that 25% of all UK adults are living with regular heartburn.[1]

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a significant connection between the severity of your acid reflux and the food and drink you consume. Some of your favourite foods and beverages could be contributing to your symptoms. Here are some of the most common culprits.

Spicy foods

Spicy foods are considered to be among the most common heartburn triggers, due to the fact that many of them contain a compound called capsaicin, which is thought to slow the rate of digestion. Because of this, food sits in the stomach for longer, which increases the risk of heartburn.

Studies have revealed the risks of consuming spicy foods for heartburn sufferers. One Australian study found that consuming foods rich in chilli powder decreased the rate of digestion.[2]

High-fat foods

Like spicy foods, fatty foods have been shown to increase the likelihood of acid reflux symptoms occurring, but in a very different way.

Fatty foods can relax the lower oesophageal sphincter, allowing stomach acid to escape from the stomach into the oesophagus and cause acid reflux.[3]

What’s more, foods that are high in fat can also encourage the release of the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK). This has also been shown to relax the lower oesophageal sphincter and cause acid reflux.[4]

Citrus juice

Although it is not entirely clear how it occurs, multiple studies have shown that citrus juices like orange juice and grapefruit juice can act as a trigger for heartburn symptoms.

For example, one Korean study found that 67% of 382 of heartburn sufferers experienced worse symptoms after drinking orange juice.[5] In another study, 73% of people suffered acid reflux after drinking citrus juice.[6]

Alcohol

It’s December, which means many of us will be enjoying more than our average intake of alcohol over the coming weeks. However, for acid reflux sufferers, this can spell increased symptoms.

Like fatty foods, alcohol has been shown to relax the lower oesophageal symptoms, which can trigger heartburn. [7] But as well as this, studies have shown that drinking significant quantities of wine and beer can actually increase the amount of stomach acid in your body, making heartburn more likely to occur.[8]

Coffee

Research into the relationship between coffee and acid reflux is largely ongoing, with some studies concluding that there is no link between the two factors, while others suggest that coffee can be a trigger.

For example, one 1980 study found that, like alcohol and fatty foods, coffee can potentially relax the lower oesophageal sphincter and make acid reflux more likely to occur.[9]

When it comes to drinking coffee, it really depends on your own personal experience. If you find that you can enjoy coffee without experiencing heartburn, there’s no reason to avoid it completely.

Changing your dietary habits can help to tackle your acid reflux symptoms. You can also invest in safe and effective acid reflux medication, available here at Express Pharmacy. Contact one of our pharmacists today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or using our discreet live chat service.

[1] Guts UK. Heartburn and Acid Reflux. 2019

[2] Horowitz, M. et al. The effect of chilli on gastrointestinal transit. Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology. 1992

[3] Holloway, RH. et al. Effect of intraduodenal fat on lower oesophageal sphincter function and gastro-oesophageal reflux. Gut. 1997

[4] Ledeboer, M. et al. Effect of cholecystokinin on lower oesophageal sphincter pressure and transient lower oesophageal sphincter relaxations in humans. Gut. 1995

[5] Kim, YK. et al. The relationship between the popular beverages in Korea and reported postprandial heartburn. Korean Journal of Gastroenterology. 2010

[6] Feldman, M. et al. Relationships between the acidity and osmolality of popular beverages and reported postprandial heartburn. Gastroenterology. 1995

[7] Chen, SH. et al. Is alcohol consumption associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease? Journal of Zhejiang University, Science. 2010

[8] Chari, S. et al. Alcohol and gastric acid secretion in humans. Gut. 1993

[9] Thomas, FB. et al. Inhibitory effect of coffee on lower oesophageal sphincter pressure. Gastroenterology. 1980


Why Can Unwanted Facial Hair Appear for the First Time in Later Life?

Posted Wednesday 27 November 2019 09:51 by Tim Deakin in Acid Reflux

Unwanted facial hair can deliver a knock to your confidence, but understanding more about the condition can give you the tools to tackle it effectively

A significant number of women live with unwanted facial hair every day. But although many women have experienced the condition, it still isn’t often talked about. Overcoming the embarrassment surrounding unwanted facial hair is key to understanding the condition and ultimately treating it.

Excessive hair growth in women is otherwise known as hirsutism. This is defined by the appearance of thick, dark hair on their face, neck, chest, tummy, lower back, thighs or buttocks.[1] But for some women, facial hair only becomes an issue as they get older. Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between unwanted facial hair and age.

What causes unwanted facial hair?

According to the Indian journal of Dermatology, hirsutism affects as many as one in 10 women, and can run in families. Women of South Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean descent are also more likely to develop the condition.[2]

There are also several underlying conditions which are associated with unwanted facial hair. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common, accounting for as much as 75% of all hirsutism cases.[3] This can also result in other symptoms like acne and weight gain.

Certain medications can also result in unwanted facial hair. In rare cases, it may be the result of a tumour.

Unwanted facial hair and hormones

No matter what lies behind your unwanted facial hair, the cause is almost always hormonal. Whether it’s a condition like PCOS or a particular medication, the reason that facial hair occurs is due to the change in hormones brought on by these factors, rather than the factors themselves.

Most commonly, unwanted facial hair is caused by an increase in hormones called androgens, or the fact that your body is more sensitive to these hormones.

In fact, during the diagnosis process for hirsutism, your doctor will likely complete blood tests in order to measure your hormone levels.[4]

Hormonal shifts occur during the menopause, but this is often different to hirsutism

Like PCOS and medication, the menopause is just another factor which can alter your balance of hormones. This means that, for some women, facial hair can occur for the first time in later life.

However, the facial hair that some women experience as they age, particularly after the menopause, is different from the coarse hair associated with hirsutism. This hair is commonly finer.[5]

The kind of facial hair which might appear during the menopause is determined by the way your hormones have changed. In simple terms, higher oestrogen levels result in finer, softer, lighter hair, while more testosterone leads to heavier hair. During the menopause, oestrogen levels often diminish but testosterone levels may not.[6] This means that, even if unwanted facial hair has never been an issue before, it can appear during or after the menopause.

Tackling unwanted facial hair

Unless it is a sign of an underlying tumour or growth, excess facial hair is rarely dangerous to your health. So if It doesn’t bother you, you aren’t obliged to treat it at all. However, many women wish to do something about their unwanted facial hair. Thankfully, there are plenty of options available, including laser treatment, electrolysis and topical creams.

Studies have shown that using topical creams like Vaniqa is an effective way to successfully remove unwanted facial hair, especially when combined with other kinds of treatment such as lasers.[7]

Get safe and effective hair removal treatment like Vaniqa right here at Express Pharmacy. Contact our team of pharmacists today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our discreet online Live Chat system.

[1] NHS UK. Excessive hair growth (hirsutism).2019

[2] Sachdeva, S. Hirsutism: Evaluation and Treatment. Indian Journal of Dermatology. 2010

[3] Bode, D. et al. Hirsutism in Women. American Family Physician. 2012

[4] British Skin Foundation. Hirsutism. 2016

[5] NHS UK. Excessive hair growth (hirsutism). 2019

[6] Perry, S. Menopause and new facial hair: oh, pluck this… Gennev. 2018

[7] Shapiro, J. and Lui, H. Treatments for unwanted facial hair. Skin Therapy Letter. 2005


10 Common Risk Factors for Acid Reflux

Posted Thursday 18 October 2018 21:49 by Tim Deakin in Acid Reflux

Many people assume that their acid reflux is unavoidable, but there are plenty of things which could be worsening your symptoms unnecessarily.

Acid reflux is a very common condition, affecting as many as one in five people. It occurs when the ring of muscle between the stomach and the oesophagus (known as the lower oesophageal sphincter) struggles to close completely. As a result, acid can leak up from the stomach into the throat, causing discomfort and even pain. Heartburn is one of the leading symptoms of the condition.

Anyone can suffer from acid reflux, and most of us probably will experience it at some point in our lives. However, there are several lifestyle habits and aspects that can significantly increase your chances of experiencing the condition, or make your existing symptoms even worse.

Understanding these risk factors is the first step to overcoming the condition entirely. With that in mind, here are 10 factors that can cause acid reflux.

Eating large meals

When eating large meals, your stomach stretches. This is what gives you that ‘stuffed’ feeling, but it also puts pressure on your lower oesophageal sphincter to keep everything down. Try to get into the habit of eating smaller meals more frequently.

Lying down after eating

Gravity has a part to play in acid reflux. Staying upright after eating gives your stomach the best chance of keeping all the acid down, so avoid lying down immediately after consuming a meal.

Being overweight or obese

Research has found that weight gain of 10 to 20 pounds can increase your risk of acid reflux threefold. The more weight you gain, the greater your risk becomes. Try to introduce healthier food options and a regular fitness regime into your routine, starting small and building it up over time. You can also find effective weight loss medication from Express Pharmacy.

Bending over at the waist after eating

Again, this has a lot to do with gravity. Try to avoid bending over when you still feel full, as this can literally squeeze stomach acid up into the throat.

Snacking before bed

Eating just before bed is particularly bad for acid reflux. Not only are you lying down, but you’re also increasing your risk of heartburn. Try to avoid eating three to four hours before bed, and when you do sleep, raise your chest and neck higher with pillows.

Indulging in certain foods

Certain foods are worse for acid reflux than others, particularly fatty foods and spicy foods. These create more stomach acid than others, making it more likely that some will leak upwards. Avoid citrus, chocolate, tomato, onions, cheese and garlic as much as possible.

Drinking certain beverages

Similarly, drinks like alcohol, carbonated drinks and coffee can all aggravate your acid reflux and cause heartburn, so avoid these where possible.

Smoking

There are countless reasons to stop smoking, but one of the them is that nicotine consumption can loosen your lower oesophageal sphincter, making heartburn and acid reflux more likely.

Pregnancy

Progesterone, the main hormone in pregnancy, slows your digestive system. This, along with the weight gain and stomach pressure associated with pregnancy, can all significantly increase your chances of experiencing acid reflux. This means that, if you are pregnant, it’s even more important to take precautions against the condition.

Taking certain painkillers and medications

Though we often rely on them as a quick-fix treatment, common painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen can actually make acid reflux worse. This is also true of certain muscle relaxers and blood pressure tablets.

What can you do?

Thankfully, effective acid reflux relief medication is available. Omeprazole, Lansoprazole, Losec and many other options work by reducing the amount of acid your stomach produces, therefore reducing the risk of acid leaking into the oesophagus. Each of these options have had their effectiveness and reliability proven. What’s more, they are all available from Express Pharmacy.

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact our team on 0208 123 07 03. Alternatively, you can get in touch via our discreet Live Chat service.


What Causes Acid Reflux and How Can You Beat It?

Posted Friday 28 September 2018 15:59 by Tim Deakin in Acid Reflux

Understanding the condition known as acid reflux is the first step to overcoming it

Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) – more commonly referred to as acid reflux – is a digestive disorder which affects the ring of muscle between the oesophagus and the stomach, known as the lower oesophageal sphincter. Acid reflux refers to the process of acid passing up from the stomach into the oesophagus, causing discomfort, pain and an unpleasant taste.

Acid reflux is often confused with heartburn, which is actually one of many symptoms of acid reflux. Heartburn refers to a painful burning feeling just below the breastbone.

If you are living with acid reflux, we’re here to help. By understanding more about the condition, you will be in a better position to overcome it successfully. Here’s everything you need to know about acid reflux.

What are the symptoms of acid reflux?

As stated, heartburn is one of the leading symptoms of acid reflux. This burning sensation in the middle of the chest is a key sign that you are suffering from GERD. The other key symptom of acid reflux is an unpleasant sour taste in the mouth, caused by the acid which has travelled up from the stomach.

Other potential symptoms of acid reflux include:

  • Hoarseness in your voice
  • Bad breath
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Coughing or hiccups which keep coming back

Many people find that their symptoms are worse when lying down or bending over, or when they’ve just eaten.

What causes acid reflux?

Most people experience at least a small amount of acid reflux at some point in our lives, and there isn’t always an obvious cause behind it. However, for people who experience acid reflux on a chronic level, there are several key factors which can trigger the condition or worsen your symptoms. These include:

  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Certain foods and drinks, including alcohol, coffee, chocolate, fatty foods and spicy foods
  • Certain medications, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers like Ibuprofen
  • A hiatus hernia (a condition in which part of your stomach moves up to your chest)

What can you do to ease acid reflux?

When it comes to acid reflux, simple lifestyle changes can sometimes be enough to ease your symptoms or even get rid of the condition altogether. Below you’ll find some do’s and don’ts for dealing with the condition.

Do:

  • Raise one end of your bed by 10-20cm by putting something under your bed or mattress. By positioning your head and chest above your waist, you’re making it harder for stomach acid to travel upwards.
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day rather than relying on larger meals.
  • Practice relaxation techniques if you suffer from stress, including meditation and yoga.
  • Try to lose weight if you are overweight.

Don’t:

  • Eat 3 to 4 hours before going to bed.
  • Smoke.
  • Drink large quantities of alcohol or drink regularly.
  • Wear clothes which fit tightly around the waist.
  • Consume food and drink that may be considered a GERD trigger.

If your symptoms persist or worsen, you should explore options such as effective anti-acid reflux medication. These treatments can help to ease your symptoms by decreasing the amount of acid your stomach produces. For the best results, swallow the medication whole and consume before eating.

Effective acid reflux medication such as Omeprazole and Lansoprazole are available from Express Pharmacy. If you require any further information about the condition, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Simply call 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet Live Chat service.


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, acid reflux is 50% more common than it was 10 years ago, 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 reflux, you are one step closer to finding the best treatment for acid reflux and heartburn.

1. Less vitamin D

We spend less time outside in the winter, meaning we don't get as much access to vitamin D as we're used to. Lack of vitamin D can cause your oesophageal splinter (LES) to relax, making it easier for food and acid to enter the oesophagus. This directly links to symptoms of acid reflux.

2. More time in bed

Gravity has a part to play in the symptoms of acid reflux, as 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.

3. Too much 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 those prone to acid reflux can suffer as a result. This is because certain foods are known for causing heartburn, including, spicy foods, chocolate and coffee, can aggravate acid reflux symptoms — and these are often the foods we see as comforting.

4. Alcoholic 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 available 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

There are many things which you can do to prevent the onset of acid reflux, particularly in winter:

  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Eat fatty foods in moderation
  • Exercise more
  • Spend more time outdoors
  • Raise your head by 10 to 20cm when sleeping

Lifestyle changes to prevent or improve acid reflux can include simply enjoying certain things in moderation, like alcohol and fatty foods. To put it simply, 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. To get your daily dose of vitamin D, consider incorporating winter walks into your exercise routine.

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 20mg and Lansoprazole 15mg — both of which are established and tested medications for treating acid reflux symptoms. If you are unsure as to what treatment to go for, you can view our Omeprazole and Lansoprazole comparison guide. 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 browse our acid reflux treatments today.

Article updated December 2020

Comments

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.

Reply
Miyoshi Miller on Friday 07 December 2018 18:40

I think it has a lot to do with the breathing in of the cold air. The trachea (wind pipe) and esophagus (stomach tube) are very close to one another. And so I think this might aggravate the stomach acid for some. I don't really know though, it's just my

observation.

Reply
Nancy Jones on Wednesday 16 October 2019 15:44
Reply to Miyoshi Miller

I to believe what you say,do fine all summer but when it's cold and I breathe in the cold air I start getting the burning,sour,belching and stomach pain,and I sleep with head up take Dexilant but it doesn't help.It will be off more on till it warms up

Reply
Louise Garland on Wednesday 12 February 2020 19:55
Reply to Miyoshi Miller

Thank you for sharing your observation because I have only recently been diagnosed with acid reflux after experiencing burning chest pains for several weeks, and noticed that when I stepped outdoors in very cold weather it seemed to immediately bring on the chest pain and I didn't understand the connection. I am currently taking omeprazole and hope they will have some affect.

Reply
Harman Bhamra on Monday 20 April 2020 18:34
Reply to Louise Garland

Hi Louise,

it is not unusual for chronic sufferers of acid reflux to experience respiratory issues, especially in the cold. There are a number of factors that might cause this.

I would recommend contacting your GP and highlighting your symptoms and their triggers.

Reply
LIsa Rust on Monday 18 March 2019 18:40

Proton pump inhibitors like Omeprazole and lansoprazole are ok to take in the short term for reflux, but long term use inhibits the stomach from absorbing calcium. It's best to try and find alternative ways of treating the condition. I use Gaviscon extra, and take it after meals and before bed time. Also, have my mattress raised so I'm not laying flat at night. Reflux can be a real problem and interfere with every day life.

Reply
monica mukuru on Monday 24 June 2019 13:56

I have always been attacked by this acid reflux when its cold and I am yet to know what can cure because I have taken these medication and nothing much

Reply
Richard Sharpe on Tuesday 03 December 2019 12:54

I completely agree with Miller’s comment. I didn’t this regurgitation experience to happen as much until I started cycling in the colder weather. My eating is normal as well as my diet. Alcohol isn’t part of menu. The only thing that’s changed Is clod weather riding.

Reply
Linda on Wednesday 04 December 2019 17:38

I seem to be worse in winter need higher dose of omeprazole in winter

Reply
Celine David on Friday 24 January 2020 05:17

The foods we eat during winter plus the lack of physical activity are a big factor for GERD. Coffee lovers consume more coffee in winter because the hot beverage gives comfort. If you are a coffee drinker, I suggest limiting your consumption to 1 to 2 cups a day, choosing cold brewing, shade-grown coffee beans, or decaffeinated coffee. These are less acidic. Source: https://coffeeverdict.com/can-coffee-cause-heartburn/

Reply
Riean Merricks on Wednesday 18 March 2020 21:48

I have bad acid reflux and it seems every time I go outside and the cold air hit me I cough

Reply
Harman Bhamra on Monday 20 April 2020 18:30
Reply to Riean Merricks

Respiratory issues have been known to be associated with chronic symptoms of acid reflux (GERD). Have you been diagnosed with asthma? We recommend contacting your GP and explaining these symptoms to him/her.

Alternatively, please send us an email at help@expresspharmacy.co.uk and we can advise you on next steps.

Reply

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.