Welcome to our Heartburn treatment service
Treatments for relief from the symptoms of acid reflux available from NationWide Pharmacies.
Prior to filling in your diagnostic consultation, we strongly advise you read our Heartburn dispensing policy page.
New guidelines for Online Pharmacies require us to diagnose a condition before offering prescription medicines to a patient. Here at NationWide Pharmacies, our doctors have been working hard to develop an online diagnostic service. This new service will provide our patients with an accurate diagnosis of their condition. Following the diagnosis, our doctor will be able to issue a free private prescription as usual.
This new diagnostic procedure takes a little more time than our previous method of consultation but the good news is it is only required once and it will provide you with a very accurate diagnosis.
Once your online diagnosis is complete you will be able to purchase your acne treatment as usual. Three months from the date of your diagnosis our doctor will send you a medical review form to monitor your progress on the treatment and renew your free private prescription if necessary.
Living with the burning pain of acid reflux or heartburn can be uncomfortable. NationWide Pharmacies provide a range of treatments that can tackle the pain of acid reflux so you can get on with your life. Our free consultation service is discreet and confidential and can be done from the comfort of your own home. All consultations are reviewed by our GMC registered doctor and treatments are delivered direct to your door. Take the first step by using our free online consultation service today.
What is Heartburn?
Heartburn is a very common condition where acid in the stomach is pushed up into the oesophagus (reflux) causing a burning pain. There are a number of ways this can be caused. Smoking, drinking tea, coffee, alcohol drinks and eating certain foods including chocolate, citrus fruits and tomatoes can all relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which is responsible for keeping stomach acid out of the oesophagus. Eating high fat / fried foods, which take longer to digest, eating before bedtime and wearing tight clothes can also place pressure on the stomach causing stomach acid to be forced into the oesophagus.
Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease:
If your heartburn is more persistent, lasting for more than two days on a frequent basis, and regular heartburn treatments do not alleviate the symptoms it may indicate that you have Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). GORD is caused by stomach acid leaking out of the stomach and into the oesophagus and is quite common in people who are obese/overweight, pregnant or eat high-fat diets.
Many people experience occasional episodes of GORD, but if people have persistent and recurring symptoms it is normally regarded as a condition that needs treatment. Common symptoms of GORD include:
- Heartburn – burning chest pain or discomfort that occurs after eating
- Acid regurgitation caused by stomach acid coming back up into the mouth (known as regurgitation)
- Difficulty swallowing (Dysphagia)
IMPORTANT LIFESTYLE INFORMATION
Lifestyle changes to manage heartburn:
Heartburn can be a symptom of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease or GORD, that occurs when muscles of the lower oesophagus don't work properly.
The symptoms can be treated by over-the-counter or prescribed medicine to help relieve the discomfort and pain.
However, there are other steps a person can take to help prevent heartburn symptoms. These include:
Do not go to bed on a full stomach. Eat meals at least three hours before lying down. This gives you time to digest your food and empty it from your stomach. Your acid levels also have time to decrease before you put your body in a position where heartburn is more likely to occur.
Do not overeat. Reduce the size of portions at meal times or try eating five to six small meals instead of three large ones. Eat slowly. Try putting your fork down between bites.
Wear loose-fitting clothes.
Avoid heartburn triggers. Stay away from foods and drinks that you find trigger your heartburn symptoms. These may include onions, peppermint, chocolate, drinks with caffeine in them, citrus fruits or juices, tomatoes and high-fat foods. A good way to work out which foods cause your symptoms is to keep a heartburn diary.
Lose some weight. If you are overweight, losing weight can help relieve your symptoms.
Stop smoking. Nicotine, one of the main active ingredients in cigarettes, can weaken the lower oesophageal sphincter, the muscle that controls the opening between the oesophagus and stomach and prevents the acid-containing contents of the stomach from entering the oesophagus.
Avoid alcohol. If you want to unwind after a stressful day, try exercise, walking, meditation, stretching or deep breathing instead of drinking alcohol.
Keep a heartburn diary. Keep track of when you get heartburn and the specific activities that seem to trigger this.
If your heartburn is worse when lying down:
Raise the head of your bed so that your head and chest are higher than your feet. You can do this by placing 15 cm (six inch) blocks under the bedposts at the head of the bed. Do not use piles of pillows to achieve the same goal. You will only put your head at an angle that can increase pressure on your stomach and make your heartburn worse.
Eat earlier. Try not to eat for at least three hours before you go to sleep.
If your heartburn gets worse after exercise:
Time your meals. Wait at least two hours after a meal before exercising. If you exercise any sooner, you may trigger heartburn.
Drink more water. Drink plenty of water before and during exercise to help prevent dehydration.
Heartburn Treatment Options
The main treatment options for people who repeatedly experience acid reflux in GERD are either proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) or H2 blockers, both of which are medications. Proton-pump inhibitors and H2 blockers decrease acid production and thereby reduce the potential for damage caused by acid reflux. Left untreated, acid reflux and heartburn symptoms can lead to more serious conditions like Barret's Esophagus.
Proton-pump inhibitors - including rabeprazole, and esomeprazole.
Prescription Treatments such as Omeprazole, Lansoprazole, Losec, Nexium H2 blockers - including cimetidine, ranitidine, and famotidine OTC treatments - antacids Alginate drugs - including Gaviscon.
These medications are generally safe and effective, but like any prescription drug, they are not appropriate for all people with reflux disease and can cause side effects. For instance, they can cause problems absorbing nutrients, which can lead to malnutrition.