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What is Acid Reflux?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or commonly known as acid reflux, is a condition caused by stomach acids moving up into your oesophagus.

The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a ring of muscle at the entrance of your stomach. Normally, this valve closes as soon as food passes through it. However, there are instances when the LES opens too often or doesn’t close completely. As a result, acids produced by your stomach can move up into your oesophagus, causing discomfort like heartburn.

If you are experiencing acid reflux symptoms many times a week, then you’re likely suffering from a severe acid reflux problem and would benefit from seeking treatment.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux

Heartburn, a burning feeling in the chest, is one of the most common acid reflux symptoms. Another common symptom of acid reflux is regurgitation. Regurgitation is that sour or bitter-tasting acid that you feel backing up into your mouth.

Other acid reflux symptoms include:

  • Burping
  • Hiccups that won't go away
  • The feeling of food being stuck in your throat (commonly known as dysphagia)
  • Bloating
  • Bloody vomit or black stools
  • Nausea
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Dry or wheezing cough
  • Unexplained weight loss

What Causes Acid Reflux?

One of the most common acid reflux causes is a hiatal hernia.

The diaphragm is a muscle that separates your stomach and your chest. It has a hole called a hiatus where the oesophagus passes through. A hiatal hernia occurs when part of your stomach moves above this hole and bulges towards your chest.

In the UK, about 25% of people suffer from hiatus hernia. And, it's more common among men. Hiatus hernia itself rarely has any symptoms, but, unfortunately, it does make acid reflux seem more likely.

Other common acid reflux causes include:

  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Drinking alcohol, coffee, soda, or tea
  • Eating spicy or fatty foods as well as mint, garlic, chocolate, tomato, and citrus
  • Obesity
  • Eating large meals
  • Lying down after eating
  • Bedtime snacks
  • Taking medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen, blood pressure medications, and muscle relaxers
  • Stress

How Can I Treat Acid Reflux?

Lifestyle changes can go a long way in treating acid reflux. Below are some things you should and shouldn’t to treat it:


  • Find ways to reduce stress
  • Keep an eye on your weight
  • Eat smaller but more frequent meals
  • Raise your bed so that your chest and head are above your waist to prevent stomach acid from travelling towards your throat when you sleep (the ideal height is between 10 to 20 centimetres)


  • Don’t eat or snack 3 to 4 hours before going to bed
  • Do not drink too much alcohol
  • Don’t smoke
  • Don’t eat too many spicy or fatty foods

Aside from lifestyle changes, there are also several acid reflux treatments available to purchase. Many of which are available at Express Pharmacy.

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs): Commonly prescribed by doctors, PPIs like Omeprazole, Lansoprazole, and Pantoprazole work by inhibiting stomach acid production. They do this by blocking certain enzymes in the wall of your stomach that produce acid. You can purchase these popular treatments online at Express Pharmacy.

Antacids: Antacids are alkaline tablets or liquids that can help to reduce the amount of stomach acid immediately, providing relief that lasts up to four hours. It’s best to take antacids after eating and before going to bed. Some common antacids include Alka-Seltzer, Riopan, and Maalox.

Overusing antacids may lead to constipation or diarrhoea. Ideally, you should buy one that contains both aluminium hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide.

Foaming Agents: These medications cover the contents of your stomach with a thick foam that prevents it from entering the oesophagus. One of the most common foaming agents available is Gaviscon; an ideal treatment for mild acid reflux.

H2 Blockers: These are a class of medications that prevent your stomach from producing too much acid. Some of the best brands can decrease stomach acid secretions by 70 per cent over 24 hours.

Avoid combining different types of acid reflux treatments without your doctor’s permission.

How Common is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is pretty common, with about 25% of adults in the UK experiencing heartburn now and then. If it is affecting your everyday life or becomes painful, then it’s important to seek treatment before the symptoms worsen.

When Do I Need to See a Doctor About Acid Reflux?

Severe acid reflux could lead to various complications in the future. Make an appointment with your doctor when you experience the following:

  • Difficulty breathing (could indicate lung or heart problems)
  • Black stools (could indicate that there is bleeding somewhere in your oesophagus or stomach)
  • Abdominal pain that doesn't go away
  • Uncontrolled weight loss (could be a sign of nutritional deficiency)
  • Confusion, weakness, dizziness
  • Your symptoms become more severe
  • Over the counter, acid reflux treatments are not working
  • Your discomfort is seriously affecting your lifestyle or daily activities

Although a common acid reflux symptom, chest pain may also require medical attention right away as it can also indicate the onset of a heart attack.

Get Your Acid Reflux Treatment from Express Pharmacy Today

There’s no need to panic. Most acid reflux symptoms can be resolved by over the counter treatments. Explore our various acid reflux treatments and see which ones work best for you. If you need more help, feel free to contact us on 0208 123 0703.

Our price promise commitment means that as we match prices nationally, prices will go down (and up) accordingly.

If you see or buy a treatment online and find it cheaper with a high street competitor (whether or not they also sell online), as long as their service conditions are comparable, then we’ll match that price for you or refund the difference. The cost of the treatment must include consultation charges for medication without a prior prescription. Comparable service conditions include factors such as delivery charges and timescales (such as Shutl delivery), and consultation charges.

If you’ve already purchased the treatment online, please make sure you report the price match within 28 days of receiving it. If you’d like to buy the product but want us to price match first, please check that you’re providing the most up to date information you can obtain when you submit your claim.

We’ll be asking you for full details of the treatment, the competitor and their prices, so please do check that you have this information to hand before you contact us.

Please note though, that we won’t refund the difference in price paid if you could have bought the product more cheaply with an online-only retailer: examples of this include chemistdirect.co.uk, who sell only through their websites or mail order and not via high street shops. We also don’t match competitors who are in administration or closing down.

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