What is acid reflux?
Indigestion and heartburn can be uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing. If over-the-counter antacids don’t help it might be time to try different indigestion and heartburn treatment.
What is indigestion?
Indigestion is when stomach acid irritates the stomach lining and often develops after eating. Indigestion can make you belch, fart and feel bloated or full. It can also give you pain in your tummy and make you feel sick.
What is heartburn?
Heartburn is also known as acid reflux and comes from stomach acid entering the oesophagus. This gives you a burning feeling and can be very uncomfortable. Heartburn is common in pregnant women later in the pregnancies.
So, indigestion and heartburn are both caused by stomach acid. Most people will experience indigestion or heartburn at some point so it isn’t usually anything to worry about. However, if you frequently get indigestion or if normal antacids don’t help with your symptoms, then you might need to try something stronger.
What indigestion and heartburn treatments are available?
For temporary bouts of indigestion, most people will take antacids. This is a type of medication that can neutralise the excess acid in your stomach and relieve your indigestion.
Antacids are available as tablets, gummies or in liquid form. The liquid forms can be more effective at treating heartburn. If you suffer from indigestion on a regular basis, you should consider lifestyle changes before moving onto stronger medication. You may be able to reduce your indigestion symptoms if you:
– Lose weight if you are overweight or obese
– Stop smoking
– Reducing your alcohol intake
Indigestion is also a common side effect of some medications. So, if you are on regular meds, it might be worth discussing alternatives with your GP or pharmacist.
Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) tablets
When normal antacids aren’t working, you may be able to try proton pump inhibitor tablets. PPIs work by reducing stomach acid production but need to be taken for a number of weeks.
How can I get indigestion treatment?
You can book an indigestion appointment at your pharmacy. There, our pharmacist will ask you a few questions about your symptoms before prescribing you a PPI medication. It’s important to remember that this treatment isn’t suitable for everyone. The pharmacist may refer you to your GP if they think your condition is more serious.