HEARTBURN AND ANTI-REFLUX
Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat (acid reflux). If it keeps happening, it’s called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).
The main symptoms of acid reflux are:
- heartburn – a burning sensation in the middle of your chest
- an unpleasant sour taste in your mouth, caused by stomach acid
You may also have:
- a cough or hiccups that keep coming back
- a hoarse voice
- bad breath
- bloating and feeling sick
Your symptoms will probably be worse after eating, when lying down and when bending over.
Lots of people get heartburn from time to time. There’s often no obvious reason why.
Sometimes it’s caused or made worse by:
- certain food and drink – such as coffee, alcohol, chocolate, and fatty or spicy foods
- being overweight
- stress and anxiety
- some medicines, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers (like ibuprofen)
- a hiatus hernia – when part of your stomach moves up into your chest
To ease your symptoms, your GP may prescribe medicine that reduces how much acid your stomach makes, such as:
You may be prescribed one of these medicines for a month or two to see if your symptoms stop.
If medicines don’t help or your symptoms are severe, your GP may refer you to one of our specialists for:
- tests to find out what’s causing your symptoms, such as a gastroscopy (where a thin tube with a camera is passed down your throat)
- anti-reflux surgery – called a laparoscopic fundoplication