What is heartburn? Acid reflux symptoms, causes and treatment revealed

Heartburn blights most people during their lives.

The condition, also known as acid reflux, can spark a number of irritating symptoms.

Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the impacts with prevention and treatment.

Here’s everything you need to know about heartburn and its causes.

What is heartburn?

If you experience a burning sensation in your chest or throat, you may be suffering from heart burn.

This acid reflux is caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat.

Patients who regularly notice symptoms could have gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).

This tends to be a more severe and long-term problem.

How to treat heartburn

If you’re looking to ease symptoms, there are some steps you can take at home.

The NHS advises you to eat small meals on a more frequent basis.

Noting down your trigger foods, and cutting down on them, can also help to alleviate side-effects.

Raising the head of your bed by 10 to 20cm may prevent stomach acid from travelling towards your throat.

This can be done by popping something underneath your mattress.

As well as this, losing weight, quitting smoking and de-stressing could play a role in prevention.

Is there a cure for heartburn?

While there isn’t a definite cure for acid reflux, it’s worth visiting your pharmacist or local GP for advice.

They may tell you to take antacids after eating.

Doctors could also recommend omeprazole, lansoprazole or ranitidine.

These are said to regulate how much acid your stomach produces.

In serious cases, an operation may be advised.

Laparoscopic fundoplication is sometimes carried out to alleviate symptoms.

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