What is heartburn?
Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest 1-3 that usually occurs after you’ve eaten certain types of food,4 along with other reasons. It’s a common problem, and the most common cause is acid reflux – when some of your stomach contents are forced back into the oesophagus (the tube that carries food down from your mouth).2,4
68% OF PEOPLE SUFFER BOTH HEARTBURN AND INDIGESTION.*
What's causing your heartburn?
There are often no obvious causes, but heartburn can be brought on by:
- Eating certain foods, including:
- Fatty or spicy food such as curry 5,7
- Acidic foods such as citrus fruits 5,7
- Tomatoes and onions 5
- Chocolate 6,7
- And even peppermint 6,7
- Consuming certain drinks, including:
- Caffeinated drinks, coffee, tea or alcohol 5,7
- Carbonated beverages (soft drinks) 5
- Overeating 5
- Lying down too soon after eating 5
- Being overweight 7
- Smoking 5,7
- Stress and anxiety 5,8
- Pregnancy 5
- And even wearing tight clothing 5
HEARTBURN IS MOST COMMON IN THE AFTERNOON OR AFTER DINNER.*
What are the symptoms of heartburn?
Think you might have heartburn? What should you look out for?
Common heartburn symptoms are:
- Uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest where the discomfort tends to start from the lowest part of your chest, and eventually rises upwards. 1-3
- Throat pain or an unpleasant sensation in your throat along with an unpalatable, acidic taste in your mouth. 1,9,10
- Sometimes, a difficulty in swallowing – often accompanied by pain – or throat irritation leading to frequent throat clearing, coughing and choking. 10
Still have questions? If so, or if you notice yours are getting worse, please speak to your GP or a pharmacist.
How can I treat heartburn?
Looking for effective ways to help prevent and treat this common condition?
There are several steps your doctor might recommend to help ease your symptoms:
- Be drink aware - cut down on your tea, coffee, sugary drinks and alcohol. 5,7,11
- Avoid food before bedtime: stop eating 3-4 hours before you try to get to sleep 5,11
- Cut down on certain foods: reduce rich, spicy or fatty foods in your diet 5,7,11
- Try smaller and more frequent meals rather than the usual three larger meals per day 5
- Weight control: lose excess weight and try to do more exercise. 5,7,11
- Try changing sleeping position: prop your head and shoulders up in bed to help keep stomach acid down while you sleep. 5,7,11
- Stop smoking: aside from easing heartburn, this has many other health benefits. 5,7,11
- Drink more water: increase your water intake throughout the day.
Alongside lifestyle changes, your pharmacist may recommend taking a medication such as an antacid and/or an alginate.
WHEN SUFFERING FROM THE SYMPTOMS OF HEARTBURN, 60% OF PEOPLE JUST WANT TO FEEL NORMAL AGAIN.*
How can Gaviscon help?
Gaviscon Double Action is a combination alginate and antacid, designed to relieve heartburn.
Gaviscon gets to work instantly, soothing in just 3 minutes 12 and lasting for up to 4 hours – two times longer than traditional antacids. 3,4
How Gaviscon works:
- As you swallow Gaviscon liquid, it soothes the throat and oesophagus. 12
- When it gets to your stomach, it only takes a few seconds for the sodium alginate in Gaviscon to react with the acid in your stomach to create a protective barrier or raft that floats on top of stomach contents. This raft keeps stomach acid from rising up and causing heartburn. 3,13
- Gaviscon also contains the antacids sodium bicarbonate and calcium carbonate. These antacids effectively neutralise stomach acid, which further relieves heartburn. 13
When should you take Gaviscon?
- Take Gaviscon when you experience heartburn symptoms, or when they start to occur, such as after meals or just before bedtime. 13
Please note: All information presented is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. Always read the label before taking any medication. If symptoms are severe or prolonged, you should consult a doctor or pharmacist.
*Based on survey of 13,831 Heartburn and Indigestion Sufferers from 5 Countries
- Kahrilas PJ et al. Regurgitation is less responsive to acid suppression than heartburn in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2012a; 10: 612–9.
- Vakil N et al. The Montreal Definition and Classification of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: A Global Evidence-Based Consensus. Am J Gastroenterol, 2006; 101:1900–1920.
- Meteerattanapipat P & Phupong V. Efficacy of alginate-based reflux suppressant and magnesium-aluminium antacid gel for treatment of heartburn in pregnancy: a randomized double-blind controlled trial. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7 (44830): 1–6.
- Mandel KG et al. Review article: alginate-raft formulations in the treatment of heartburn and acid reflux. Aliment Pharmacol Ther, 2000; 14: 669–690.
- Pallentino J. Proton Pump Inhibitor Clinical Trials: Focus on Lansoprazole in the Treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Frequent Heartburn. The Internet Journal of Advanced Nursing Practice, 2009; 11 (1): 1–9.
- Kahrilas PJ. GERD pathogenesis, pathophysiology, and clinical manifestations. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, 2003; 70(5): 5–19.
- Kahrilas PJ et al. American Gastroenterological Association Medical Position Statement on the Management of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Gastroenterology, 2008; 135:1383–1391.
- Farré R et al. Critical role of stress in increased oesophageal mucosa permeability and dilated intercellular spaces. Gut, 2007; 56: 1191-1197.
- Clarrett D & Hachem C. Science of Medicine Feature Series: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) 2018. Missouri Medicine,2018; 115 (3): 214 –218.
- Vaezi M. Sore Throat and a Red Hypopharynx: Is It Reflux? Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2007; 5: 1379–1382.
- NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) Guideline: Indigestion, heartburn and reflux in adults – Information for the public, 2014.
- Strugala V et al. A randomized, controlled, cross over trial to investigate times to onset of the perception of soothing and cooling by over-the-counter heartburn treatments. The Journal of International Medical Research, 2010; 38: 449-457.
- S0 Gaviscon Double Action Liquid (Suspension) Package Insert, 3 May 2016.
Article published January 1, 2021