Reflux (gastro-oesophageal reflux)

The stomach digests food by secreting acid (hydrochloric acid).

By nature the stomach contents go downwards into the gut.  Sometimes part of the stomach acid goes up into the oesophagus (the tube that connects your throat to the stomach), this is called gastro -oesophageal reflux.

 

Causes:  Heredity

                   Smoking

Alcohol

                   Acidic food or drinks

                  Spicy food

Medications: aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories…etc

Symptoms:

  • Pain in upper half of stomach which could be sharp or    wavy  in nature.
  •  Burning sensation or acidity along the central line of chest.
  • Indigestion.

 

Treatment – 1.        Lifestyle changes;

Quit smoking or at least cut it down.

Stop alcohol consumption or at least cut it down.

Avoid acidic food & drinks such as, citrus, vinegar,                                       tomatoes & soft drinks.

Avoid drinks containing caffeine.

Avoid hot food whether boiling or spicy.

Eat small, frequent meals to keep your stomach not too  empty & not too full.

Do not eat & lie down. Allow 3 hours between your meal & sleep.

Treatment – 2.      Medications;

There are 3 types of medications to treat reflux.

  1.  Reduce acid secretion in the stomach:  Nexium, pariet, somach, losec etc
  2.  Neutralise stomach acidity:   Zantac & antacids
  3. Reduce contractions of the stomach:   Buscopan

 

 

 

Helicobacter Pylori

 

Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria which lives in the stomach & causes it to become inflamed or ulcerated.

 

If you take any of the above medications and the condition does not improve it is recommended that you have the helicobacter pylori test called  urea breath test.

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