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Heartburn? How to deal with acid reflux when you overeat this festive season

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Heartburn? How to deal with acid reflux when you overeat this festive season

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Heartburn? How to deal with acid reflux when you overeat this festive season

There are many over-the-counter medicines to soothe the heartburn caused by acid reflux but you should watch which ones to take.

(Photo: Unsplash/Matheus Ferrero)
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After a big, hearty dinner, do you usually adopt the food coma position on the sofa in front of the TV? You know, half-lying down, half-sitting, and completely unwilling to move more muscles than necessary?

Well, if you typically experience a burning sensation in your chest and/or a sudden impulse to gag while you’re doing so, you’re experiencing acid reflux.

Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), “it happens when the acid in the stomach and its contents backflow into the oesophagus, causing troublesome symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation”, said Dr Melvin Look, director of PanAsia Surgery at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Mount for 1 last update 2020/02/21 Elizabeth Novena Hospital and Parkway East Hospital.Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), “it happens when the acid in the stomach and its contents backflow into the oesophagus, causing troublesome symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation”, said Dr Melvin Look, director of PanAsia Surgery at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital and Parkway East Hospital.

With the festive season – and lots of eating – coming up, chances are acid reflux is going to happen to quite a few people. (Photo: Unsplash/Alasdair Elmes)

WHAT CAUSES ACID REFLUX?

With the festive season – and lots of eating – coming up, chances are it’s going to happen to quite a few people. But even outside of it, about one in five Singaporeans is known to suffer from acid reflux, said Dr Ho Gim Hin, associate consultant with Khoo Teck Puat Hospital’s Division of Gastroenterology.

And there could be two possible reasons.  “Diet plays a very important role in acid reflux,” he said. “Certain foods are known to contribute to and aggravate reflux symptoms. These include caffeinated and carbonated drinks, spicy, sour and citrus food products, oily and greasy food, chocolates, and alcohol.”

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coleman tents 10 person The Discomfort (🔥 Natural Remedies) | coleman tents 10 person Other Natural Remedieshow to coleman tents 10 person for Meanwhile, Dr Andrew Ong, who is with Singapore General Hospital’s Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, believes that it is obesity – and not the type of food you eat – that contributes to acid reflux. “Obesity is a risk factor of acid reflux, therefore, oily food may indirectly lead to acid reflux symptoms. And our population today is more obese than before, especially in our school-going children, so this prevalence may even be higher.”

DOES the 1 last update 2020/02/21 LYING DOWN AGGRAVATE THE BURNING SENSATION?DOES LYING DOWN AGGRAVATE THE BURNING SENSATION?

Your stomach is “numb” to the acid but your oesophagus – the muscular tube that connects your mouth to your stomach – isn’t, which is why acid reflux burns, explained Professor Adam Taylor, director of the Clinical Anatomy Learning Centre at Lancaster University in England, on The Conversation website.

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While it is tempting to lie down after a big meal, doing so allows the acid backflow to occur even more. (Photo: Pexels/Pixabay)

coleman tents 10 person Unexpected Foods (👍 Foods That Can Help) | coleman tents 10 person Remedy Reliefhow to coleman tents 10 person for And while lying down after a big meal certainly helps to encourage this backflow of acid, it sometimes doesn’t require a horizontal position for the acid to rise – because you’re already so stuffed with food.

“Overeating causes indigestion when the stomach acid churns up into the oesophagus,” wrote Prof Taylor.

CAN ACID REFLUX LEAD TO SOMETHING SERIOUS?

As unpleasant as acid reflux is, it is “not life threatening”, said Dr Ong, although he warned that long-term damage to the oesophagus caused by the acid backwash can lead to its narrowing and “pre-cancerous changes called Barrett’s Oesophagus”.

“However, broadly speaking, acid reflux is still an uncommon cause of oesophageal cancer,” he clarified.

Acid reflux may bring about other health issues in the digestive system, including oesophagitis, peptic ulcer disease, gallstone disease, and even disorders of the colon and pancreas. (Photo: Pixabay/derneuemann)

But Dr Ho highlighted that acid reflux may also bring about other health issues in the digestive system, including “oesophagitis (inflammation of the oesophagus), peptic (or gastric) ulcer disease, gallstone disease, and even disorders of the colon and pancreas”. Sometimes, acid reflux could be a sign of heart attack or asthma, too.

About one in five Singaporeans is known to suffer from acid reflux.

If you find yourself increasingly relying on antacids for the quick relief of heartburn and acid reflux, it can be a sign that something more serious is going on, said Dr Look.

Just as suspicious is when an older person above the age of 40 develops acid reflux out of the blue. “The best way to assess reflux symptoms and to exclude more serious issues is the 1 last update 2020/02/21 to perform a gastroscopy. This is a simple visual assessment of the oesophagus and stomach using a long, thin and flexible telescope,” he said.Just as suspicious is when an older person above the age of 40 develops acid reflux out of the blue. “The best way to assess reflux symptoms and to exclude more serious issues is to perform a gastroscopy. This is a simple visual assessment of the oesophagus and stomach using a long, thin and flexible telescope,” he said.

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO DOUSE THE BURN?

There are a few options to calm down the burn, with each available as over-the-counter as well as prescription medicines. These include H-2-receptor blockers (they reduce acid production) and proton pump inhibitors (they block acid production and heal the oesophagus).  

READ: Is it ok to skip meals, even occasionally? Here''{ "": "" }''{"":""}''{}''#a4191e''#620d0b''#a4191e''#620d0b'' { "": "", "": "", "": "", "": "", "": [320, 100], "": false, "": false } '' { "": "", "": "", "": "", "": "", "": [320, 100], "": false, "": false } '> Advertisement