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Heartburn

Acid reflux

If you're experiencing a burning sensation down your throat, it could be down to acid reflux — we can help

About

Acid reflux is what happens when acid in your stomach rises up your oesophagus (the muscular tube connecting your mouth to your stomach). This can lead to a burning sensation behind your breast bone (heartburn). Acid reflux is quite a common condition, affecting almost everyone from time to time.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of Acid reflux icon plus

    Acid reflux is normally brought on (and made worse) by consuming certain foods and fluids, like coffee, alcohol, chocolate and spicy and fatty foods. Acid reflux can also be caused by being overweight, pregnancy, smoking and stress. Some common symptoms of acid reflux include: - heartburn (a burning sensation behind your breast bone) - regurgitation (a feeling of liquid moving up to your mouth) - an unpleasant taste in your mouth - a hoarse voice - coughing - bloating If your acid reflux isn't going away, it may be a sign of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). The symptoms of GORD tend to be more frequent and severe than normal acid reflux.
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    Your GP or consultant will discuss your symptoms with you. They'll normally be able to make a diagnosis based on this discussion. If you've been experiencing persistent acid reflux, they may also carry out other tests at a later date to rule out GORD and other conditions. These tests might include: - a gastroscopy to look into your throat and/or stomach using a telescope and camera - a barium swallow test to spot issues in your throat and/or stomach - a 24-hour tube test to measure the amount of acidity in your stomach
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Your GP or consultant will discuss your treatment options with you. Depending on the nature of your symptoms and any test results, these could range from over-the-counter medicines to stronger drugs. Quite often, your symptoms will clear up on their own over time by making simple dietary or lifestyle changes.
Consultant with patient

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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