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National Heartburn Awareness Week returns for its second year to highlight effects of the condition

78% of heartburn sufferers say it negatively impacts their lives.

It's Heartburn Awareness Week
It’s Heartburn Awareness Week

 

National Heartburn Awareness Weeks returns for its second year from the 24th October. After a successful inaugural campaign in 2015, this October the nation is being advised to be mindful of the condition and its lifestyle effects.

With one in three Irish people suffering from heartburn once a week or more, Dr. Ciara Kelly is encouraging sufferers to consult their local pharmacist on how best to manage symptoms, reminding the nation that heartburn is something that can be effectively treated. The pharmacist should be the first choice for advice, as many heartburn cases can be solved without a visit to the GP.

New research conducted in 2016 has shown that a significant 78% of heartburn sufferers find it has a negative impact on their lifestyle. When looking at the impact it can have on daily life, 49% find it disturbs sleep, 39% admit it limits their food choices while a quarter admit that heartburn disrupts their day, highlighting how much it affects sufferers’ daily lives.

Dr. Kelly and Lisa Fitzpatrick launched the inaugural campaign last year.
Dr. Kelly and Lisa Fitzpatrick launched the inaugural campaign last year.

 

Dr.  Kelly explains, “Heartburn is a relatively common condition that is not always a cause for concern. However, frequent heartburn is something that can have a serious impact on day-to-day life and should be dealt with in an effective manner. If you are suffering from heartburn more than once a week, my recommendation is to discuss your symptoms with your local pharmacist to ensure you are benefitting from the appropriate treatment.

“Heartburn can be quite a debilitating ailment and can worsen if not treated properly. While there are a number of ‘trigger foods’ that can make it worse, it is not something always caused by dietary choices, however they can help alleviate it. It is however something that can affect our lifestyles, cause embarrassment, limit the foods we can enjoy and even affect our relationships or social life. In addition, over time, the backflow of acid can cause damage to the lining of the oesophagus and can cause serious medical conditions.

In addition to seeking pharmacists Dr. Kelly has these tips for

· Keep a food diary and listen to your body. Pay heed to what causes your heartburn to flare up, monitor and avoid these foods.
· Don’t eat late at night before you’re about to go to bed, having a full stomach before you lie down will increase acid backflow and put pressure on digestion.
· Avoid spicy foods that effect your stomach balance, especially anything with lots of chilli.
· Consciously add acid neutralising foods to the diet, such as almond milk, bananas, ginger, porridge.
· Keep your alcohol intake within recommended limits (17 units for a man, 11 units for a woman per week, or less!)
· Reduce your tea and coffee intake, again especially before you go to bed.

 

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