Acid Reflux

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What is Acid reflux?

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux and sometimes referred to as simply heartburn, occurs when stomach acid travels up towards your throat. Acid reflux is the action of this acid travelling from the stomach and heartburn is the feeling you experience as a result. However, the terms are often used interchangeably.

What Medicine Direct can offer for Acid Reflux

Medicine Direct offers a variety of heartburn remedies and acid reflux medication. These include the commonly prescribed Lansoprazole, Omeprazole and Pantoprazole, which work by reducing the amount of acid your stomach makes. In doing so, it effectively reduces painful heartburn symptoms caused by excessive acid. You can also speak with a doctor to discuss the best type and dosage of heartburn medication for your symptoms.

What is heartburn?

Heartburn is the feeling you experience when stomach acid travels up from the stomach and towards your throat (acid reflux). It happens when there is excess acid in your stomach, which can be very painful. If it is not treated properly, it can create ulcers and erode the lining of your throat. As for what causes acid reflux, it is normally the result of eating specific foods.

Read our guide on what foods to avoid if you are a frequent sufferer of Acid Reflux.

The stomach entrance, called the sphincter muscle, is designed to open in order to allow food to pass into your stomach and then close again. However, sometimes it does not close properly, allowing stomach acid to escape into your throat. The problem may also be that it opens too often, causing the same issue. This is usually triggered by meats that are high in fat, foods that fried or greasy, milk, caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods. Alternatively, the cause of acid reflux may be an imbalance of stomach acid and the protective mucous that counteracts it or having a weak sphincter muscle. Being overweight, and therefore having a higher level of pressure on your stomach can also cause acid reflux, as the sphincter muscle is forced open after eating. Individuals suffering from heartburn are advised to adapt their diet and consume food that can help with acid reflux as a first point of call before prescribed medication for the condition.

Acid Reflux Treatment

You may be able to treat your heartburn by making changes to your diet and the way you eat. You could try eating smaller but more frequent meals, losing weight if necessary and raising your bed at night so your chest and head are above the height of your stomach. Some people report acid reflux occurring more when they are stressed, so it could be beneficial to find activities or routines that help you to relax and de-stress.

While making these changes, be sure to eat well in advance of going to bed (at least 3 or 4 hours) and avoid foods that you believe are triggering your acid reflux and heartburn. Do not smoke or drink too much alcohol and ensure that you wear clothes that are comfortable around your waist and stomach.

If these steps do not help, you may need a type of medication called antacids. These work to reduce the amount of stomach acid your body makes.

To ease acid reflux, your GP may choose to prescribe proton pump inhibitors which can provide effective relief for some of the painful symptoms caused by acid reflux. Proton pump inhibitors work by reducing the amount of acid the stomach produces and as a result eases the symptoms of acid reflux. Omeprazole, and Lansoprazole are probably the most widely prescribed acid reflux medications.

Acid Reflux Symptoms and Warning Signs

Acid reflux symptoms will often include:

    Heartburn (a burning sensation in the centre of your chest)

    A sour and unpleasant taste in your mouth (caused by the stomach acid)

Other acid reflux warning signs may include:

    Recurring cough or hiccups

    Hoarse voice

    Bloated stomach

    Feeling sick or nauseous

    Bad breath

If acid reflux keeps happening, this is called Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

What causes Acid Reflux?

The single most common biggest cause of Acid Reflux is diet and food consumption. For many individuals, different types of food will trigger the symptoms of acid reflux, most commonly alcohol and fatty fried foods. However Acid Reflux can also be triggered by a number of different things such as:

  • Spicy Foods, caffeine, alcohol and fatty processed foods
  • Medications that wear away the stomach lining such as Anti-Inflammatory painkillers such as Naproxen and Ibuprofen
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Other more serious medical conditions such as a Hiatus Hernia, caused when part of your stomach moves up into your chest

Getting an Acid Reflux Test

If you think you do have acid reflux and are looking for how to get rid of heartburn, fill out a Medicine Direct health questionnaire here. This will be passed to one of our doctors, who will assess your symptoms and prescribe the right course of treatment for you. You can then buy acid reflux medication at Medicine Direct.