Heartburn and acid reflux are both very common, and usually just due to an overproduction of acid causing inflammation in the food pipe. The news today highlights that we need to listen to our bodies and any pain or discomfort that persists needs to be checked out.
Acid reflux can cause many symptoms – from the obvious acid feeling as the acid regurgitates up the food pipe, to less obvious symptoms such as a tickly cough or bad breath.
If you have had acid reflux which hasn’t responded to measures such as cutting down alcohol, avoiding aggravating foods and taking heartburn remedies then you should seek advice.
Sometimes persistent heartburn can be caused by a bacteria that can live unnoticed in our stomachs, Helicobacter (H. pylori), and if you haven’t had a test for this then you should have a H. Pylori antigens test.
Nastier causes of heartburn, acid reflux and problems swallowing include ulcers and even cancers so it is important to seek advice for symptoms that are not settling with the usual remedies.
If you would like more information on Helicobacter, treatment for acid reflux or when you need to be checked out for ulcers or cancers, then ask us today.
Dr Helen Webberley, MBChB MRCGP