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Heartburn

Heartburn

Acid Reflux Treatments

Treatments for relief from the symptoms of acid reflux available from NationWide Pharmacies

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The sensation of heartburn is familiar to most of us. The burning sensation in your chest may not be pleasant, but it is at least harmless in most cases. That said, there are scenarios where heartburn is a symptom of a rather more serious illness known as Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease.

As a consequence, should you experience heartburn on a regular basis it may be worth seeking medical advice and, if deemed appropriate, a heartburn treatment may be used to eliminate the problem.

What Causes Heartburn?

At a very basic level, heartburn is caused by stomach acid which has moved up the digestive tract. Typically this acid remains is the stomach and helps to break down food. A muscle known as a “sphincter” acts as the gatekeeper, ensuring that these digestive fluids remain in your stomach when you lie down, jump or exercise.

However in cases where this stomach acid manages to move up the digestive tract, to an area that lacks the necessary coating to properly deal with it, the acid can cause an unpleasant burning sensation in the chest.

While in most cases this burning is nothing too serious, in some cases it can be a sign of Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease.

What Is Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease?

Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease, often known more simply as GORD, is a rather more serious condition than occasional acid heartburn. In the case of GORD, sufferers may experience heartburn on a far more regular basis. In addition they often find that their attacks of heartburn last much longer than they do to the average person.

Whilst hardly life threatening, repeated and regular heartburn can have a severely negative impact on one’s quality of life. As if the discomfort wasn’t bad enough, repeated exposure of the oesophagus to this stomach acid can result in damage being done to the lining of the digestive system.

The most common source of regular heartburn is a weakening of the sphincter muscle which controls the flow of acid between the oesophagus and the stomach. If the muscle fails to do its job effectively, stomach acid may leach through into the far more sensitive upper digestive tract.

Over time this acid can cause inflammation of the oesophagus, an increased likelihood of regurgitating digestive juices and, in extreme cases, even problems swallowing food.

Both from the perspective of your own personal comfort and from a medical standpoint therefore it makes sense to have a medical practitioner investigate regular cases of heartburn so that they can be quickly resolved.

Heartburn Treatment

These days there are a number of treatments available for the symptoms of heartburn. Taken in simple capsule form, doctors are able to prescribe a range of medications that can quickly stop the burning sensation as well as the other rather more severe side effects of GORD.

Almus
The active ingredient in Almus is omeprazole which works by reducing the amount of acid actually produced by your stomach. Possessing a smaller volume of stomach acid typically causes your digestive system no problems, but means there is far less acid to cause damage and discomfort to your oesophagus.

Nexium
Nexium works in a similar way to Almus, in that it helps to reduce the volume of acid in the stomach and, in doing so, reduces the effects of acid reflux disease. However in this case Nexium uses esomeprazole as its active ingredient.

Please note that the above drugs do require a prescription due to their potent effects. Fortunately there is no need to visit your own doctor if you’d rather not; you can enjoy a free online consultation with one of our qualified medical practitioners right now. In this way you’ll be able to quickly receive an accurate diagnosis and, if medication is recommended, have your heartburn remedy posted directly to your door.

Common Causes of Acid Reflux Disease

While we have already covered the cause of acid reflux at a basic level, there are a surprising number of lifestyle elements that can also impact the frequency of attacks. Consequently if you suffer regularly from heartburn, the very best strategy is to combine a suitable heartburn remedy with changes to your lifestyle. Working together most victims rapidly experience a cessation of the condition in all but the most extreme of instances.

Quit Smoking

The nicotine in cigarettes has been shown to weaken the sphincter muscle and therefore increases the chances of acid leaking through to your upper digestive system. While quitting smoking is easier said than done, many smokers find that their acid reflux improves considerably after they give up smoking. At the very least try to avoid cigarettes around mealtimes or shortly before bed when the odds of suffering from heartburn are generally at their highest.

Moderate Consumption of Food and Drink

The volume of acid in your stomach isn’t constant; typically the volume of acid increases when one consumes food or drink. This is hardly surprising; it is this acid that helps to break down and digest your meals. However this increased volume of acid also makes acid reflux attacks more likely.

Therefore sufferers will often benefit from ensuring that meals are consumed several hours before either sleep or exercise are attempted. By this time, stomach acid levels should have dropped and acid reflux therefore becomes far less likely.

Raise Your Head

Lying horizontally may in some situations increase the acid that leaches out of the stomach. Simply placing additional pillows under the head and shoulders can help to gently angle the body, so that gravity holds your stomach acid in the right place.

Keep a Diary

Many sufferers of heartburn find that specific foods and drinks set them off far more than others. Alcohol and fruit juices are two common examples. However we’re all different so maintaining a journal so you can track your diet and the results experienced can be a very smart idea.

In this way, one can reduce the consumption of foods that are causing the problem and naturally reduce the incidence of acid reflux.