Reflux

reflux, heart burn

What is reflux?

Acid reflux or heartburn is a burning pain felt in the chest and sometimes back of the throat, caused by stomach acid flowing back up your oesophagus (‘food pipe’) and irritating its lining.
Sometimes the condition is simply called indigestion.

If you suffer from reflux a few times a week, rather than just occasionally, you may have a condition called GORD which stands for Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease. (Also called GERD to match the US spelling of Gastroesophageal).

In addition to the burning pain or sensation in the chest or throat, some people suffer from excessive burping or a sore throat (or hoarseness). It can even cause night time or early morning coughing.

Where your stomach meets your oesophagus (the tube your food travels down from your mouth) is a muscle ‘valve’ or sphincter that allows food through and under normal conditions, closes to prevent stomach acid rising up.

If the sphincter relaxes abnormally or is somehow weakened in strength, stomach acid can flow up your oesophagus, causing the pain of heartburn. This tends to happen more when you bend over or lie down.

Sometimes the reflux is caused by a physical issue called a hiatus hernia, a condition in which the stomach bulges up into the chest cavity through an opening in your diaphragm muscle. This hernia compromises the ability of the sphincter to prevent acid flowing up.

What causes reflux or heartburn?

Where your stomach meets your oesophagus (the tube your food travels down from your mouth) is a muscle ‘valve’ or sphincter that allows food through and under normal conditions, closes to prevent stomach acid rising up.

If the sphincter relaxes abnormally or is somehow weakened in strength, stomach acid can flow up your oesophagus, causing the pain of heartburn. This tends to happen more when you bend over or lie down.

Sometimes the reflux is caused by a physical issue called a hiatus hernia, a condition in which the stomach bulges up into the chest cavity through an opening in your diaphragm muscle. This hernia compromises the ability of the sphincter to prevent acid flowing up.

Other risk factors for heartburn or reflux include:

  • Large meals or eating large meals late at night
  • Delayed stomach emptying
  • Being overweight
  • Pregnancy (pushing on the stomach and contents)
  • Fatty or spicy foods
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking

How to prevent reflux

If you have persistent heartburn or reflux, it’s important that you seek advice from your healthcare professional, to identify the cause and rule out more serious issues.

In other cases, it’s a matter of reducing the risk:

● Eat smaller meals and avoid late night ones
● Lose weight if necessary
● Reduce consumption of fatty or spicy foods and alcohol
● Quit smoking

How to treat reflux

The most common treatments for reflux, heartburn or indigestion are:

  • Antacids, which work by neutralising acid, and/or by coating the top of the stomach to help prevent acid rising
  • H2 antagonists, which work by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), which work by a different mechanism to stop the production of acid
  • Natural alternatives that restore gut health
  • Store Locator

    Our retail product range is available throughout all Priceline Australia stores and approved Health Food Centres. Find and consult a Naturopath for our Practitioner range.

  • Symptoms

  • Start with three simple steps

    • .

      Remove

      The REMOVE PHASE is all about eliminating any factors that may be inhibiting your gut to heal. The key in this phase is to be open to change and to start new habits.
    • .

      Repair

      When our gut is in a poor state, it may need an extra helping hand to REPAIR. Key nutrients will aid to help the healing process along.
    • .

      Reinforce

      This is the final step you can take to start to take control of your gut health. REINFORCING exercise, prioritising sleep, regulating a healthy, balanced diet will reinforce your gut flora and digestion.

    Actionable Advice

    Prevention is always a better option than treatment, but sometimes we need a little extra help to restore good gut health.

    You’ll find the following NC products a great way to get started.

    NC Gut Relief – Helps repair the gut and relieve common digestive symptoms
    NC Gut Relief with Honey – Helps relieve common digestive symptoms with the added benefits of Stradbroke Island Honey
    NC Polybac Everyday – Premium probiotic strains to assist digestive and immune system function
    NC Ulti-Digest 66 – Helps to improve digestion, nutrient absorption and boost immunity