Causes & Symptoms
Acid reflux most commonly occurs just before bedtime, when you’re lying down, largely because it doesn't take as much force for stomach acid to travel up the chest and throat.
Stomach acid helps us break down food. But as we age, our bodies are less adapted to keeping the acid from travelling up the body. That’s why you’re more likely to experience it later in life, though it can be triggered in young people too.
The symptoms of acid reflux include:
- A burning sensation in the chest or throat after eating
- A hot sour or salty tasting fluid in the back of your throat, accompanied by difficulty swallowing
- Feeling sick
- Difficulty or pain when swallowing
What causes acid reflux?
- Fried and greasy foods
- Eating too much
- Eating too quickly
- Fatty meats and dairy products
- Alcohol, caffeinated drinks and spicy food, which can all cause the lower oesophageal sphincter to open.
Being overweight means there’s an increased pressure on your stomach, forcing open your oesophageal sphincter valve after eating.
But a large contributor? Stress, which can make symptoms worse. That’s because stress depletes our supply of prostaglandins, which protect our stomachs from acid. Try to get at least eight hours of restful sleep a night and cut out stressors from your life where possible.
How is acid reflux diagnosed?
We know how disruptive acid reflux can be, which is why our range is designed to help ease discomfort. Our products create a protective barrier that helps prevent acid - and other aggressors like pepsin and bile - from moving up the oesophagus.
The viscous formulation at the heart of our range (Gaviscon Original, Advance and Double Action) is sodium alginate, while these products also contain antacids, which turn excess acid into water and other neutral substances.
Learn more about the two main ways to improve acid reflux by reading about how lifestyle changes and medication can help.
All information presented is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. If symptoms are severe or prolonged you should consult a doctor or pharmacist. Always read the label.
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Repeatedly suffering from acid reflux? Don’t let it put your life on pause.
If your symptoms are more severe or more frequent, you may be advised to consider an acid-suppressing medication. Your pharmacist can advise on both forms of treatment and which would be best for you.
There are two groups of acid-suppressing medications available – proton pump inhibitors and histamine receptor blockers (H2 blockers). Both reduce the amount of acid made by the stomach. They do not start to work as quickly as antacids or alginates, but their effect can last longer.