The first thing to know about acid reflux is: you are not alone in suffering from this affliction. The second thing to know is: you don't have to simply accept it.
Let us take a closer look at the symptoms, triggers and most importantly - relief and prevention techniques associated with acid reflux.
What is acid reflux?The condition is caused when acid from the stomach leaks up into the gullet (oesophagus). This condition can cause heartburn and other uncomfortable symptoms, which can be difficult to cope with.
The common symptoms of acid reflux are:
- Heartburn: actually has nothing to do with the heart and is the most common symptom. Heartburn is a burning feeling, which rises from the upper tummy or lower chest towards the neck.
- Other abdominal issues: pain in the chest and upper abdomen, an acidic taste in the mouth, feeling nauseous, belching, bloating,indigestion and a burning pain when you swallow hot drinks. Like heartburn, these symptoms tend to be worse after a meal and can come and go.
How can I help with my symptoms and what triggers should I be aware of?If you are a regular sufferer of acid reflux, the following can help to ease it:
- Avoiding certain drinks and foods.This can include tomatoes, peppermint, spicy foods, chocolate, hot drinks, coffee, and alcoholic drinks. Also, avoiding large-volume meals may help. If it seems that a certain food is causing symptoms, try to avoid it and see if your symptoms improve.
- Quit smoking. The chemicals from cigarettes relax the sphincter muscle at the bottom of the oesophagus and make acid reflux more likely. Symptoms may improve if you stop smoking.
- Weight control. Being overweight puts additional pressure on the stomach and can lead to acid reflux.Losing weight should help to ease symptoms of acid reflux.
- Better posture. Poor posture and bending over a lot during the day can result in reflux. Also, not sitting up straight or wearing a tight belt may contribute to worsening reflux as it puts unnecessary pressure on the stomach. Aim to sit and stand up straight and loosen any tight fitting clothing if you can feel symptoms are beginning.
How can I treat my acid reflux?It is possible to reduce the amount of acid made in your stomach with the help of medication. Some people only need to take short courses of acid reflux medication when symptoms flare up, while others require a long-term daily prescription to keep symptoms away.
At Express Pharmacy, we stock a number of medicines that offer an effective relief for the symptoms of acid reflux, including:
Alkaline or antacid tablets or liquids work by reducing the amount of acid produced and can result in much needed, quick relief. Use antacids 'as required' for infrequent or mild heartburn.
These medicines work by speeding up the passage of food through the gut. Not as commonly used, they are particularly effective if you have belching or bloating symptoms.
For more serious, persistent cases of acid reflux, acid-suppressing medicines are available.This kind of medication helps to settle symptoms, allowing any inflammation in the oesophagus to clear. A short course of acid-suppressing medication is typically followed by the use of antacids.
Consult one of our fully-qualified pharmacists today and you could be just a next-day's post away from relieving your discomfort.