Help is Avaliable for Heartburn
It is easy to overindulge in the good things in life, but sometimes we pay an uncomfortable price - indigestion.
The signs are familiar to most of us. When you have indigestion, you feel sick, experience lots of gas or a bloated feeling in your stomach. Your may feel less hungry than usual or require less food to feel full.
"Indigestion often causes discomfort and pain in the area between your ribs and your navel and usually occurs during or immediately after eating," say Self Care pharmacists.
One of the most common symptoms of indigestion is heartburn. This is caused by the reflux of the acid contents of your stomach back up into your gullet and sometimes into the throat. Reflux occurs because the valve at the junction of the gullet and stomach does not close fully.
Factors that can cause heartburn include:
- foods like cabbage, onions, cucumber, curries etc
- certain drinks eg wine , fizzy drinks, beer
- eating your food too fast
- rich or large meals
- stress and anxiety
- bending or stooping
- certain medicines
It is important, therefore, to try and identify the cause of your heartburn and take proper measures to treat the problem - or better still, to prevent it.
If you get symptoms of indigestion or heartburn with the medicines you are taking, check with your pharmacist or doctor. Sometimes taking your medicines with food can help, otherwise an alternative product might be more suitable.
"There is a range of medicines available that can help relieve the symptoms of heartburn or indigestion," say Self Care pharmacists.
Antacids, available as tablets or liquids, work by neutralising or 'soaking up' the excess acid in the stomach which may cause the indigestion. Various brands and flavours of antacids are available from your pharmacy.
Alginates are another type of medicine that are very effective at relieving symptoms of heartburn. They work by forming a 'raft' on top of your stomach contents, helping to prevent them from being regurgitated.
"They are particularly useful for reflux symptoms," say Self Care pharmacists. Alginates are available as flavoured tablets or liquids.
H2 antagonists, a new group of medicines that used to be only available on prescription, are now available from your pharmacy. They work by reducing the amount of acid produced in your stomach.
Talk to your pharmacist about the best medicine for your symptoms.
"Many of the causes of indigestion and heartburn can be prevented by a change in lifestyle," advise Self Care pharmacists. "Stopping smoking, not eating as much spicy foods, eating food slowly in a relaxed manner, avoiding a heavy meal just before going to bed, squatting rather than bending, drinking lots of water, and eating a well-balanced, high fibre diet - are some of the things you can do to relieve your symptoms."
If you have some questions or need treatments for indigestion please contact us
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