Skip to main content

“Many people admit that they feel helpless to prevent heartburn occurring – but there is always something new that you can try to take back control.”

- Dr Carol Cooper

Take a moment to think about the impact heartburn is having on your life. When was the last time you had a sleepless night or altered your food choices as a result of it? Have you made subtle compromises and adjustments to your lifestyle over time in order to deal with the symptoms? More than a third of people who suffer with frequent heartburn admit to having formed new habits to help them cope with the symptoms and almost two-fifths say they just tend to put up with it2. But heartburn shouldn’t be a way of life – so read on for practical tips and advice, developed by our team of healthcare experts, which you might not have already tried.

  • How often is heartburn interrupting your sleep? You might have become used to it over the years, but planning ahead and being mindful about how you manage heartburn can really help to minimise the chances of a restless night.

    Here are five things you can do which you might not have already tried:

    1. Get some comfy pyjamas! Wearing clothing to bed that is restrictive can put pressure on your abdomen
    2. Have a shower before bed. Giving yourself five minutes to relax and unwind before you sleep will help to reduce the likelihood of heartburn impacting your sleep.
    3. Sleep on your left side. This is the position that has been found to best reduce acid reflux. Try tucking a pillow behind your back to help you stay in position.
    4. Use a wedge pillow if you can’t avoid eating late. This can help to keep your upper body elevated.
    5. Consider your use of treatment and how effective it is in helping you get restful sleep.

    Watch the video with Dr Carol Cooper for her tips and advice on taking control of heartburn.

  • Do you find that you’re more prone to heartburn when you feel stressed or anxious? How regularly is this happening? We all live busy, chaotic lives, so don’t let heartburn be an added worry. Just thinking ahead and taking a proactive approach to managing heartburn can really help to minimise the likelihood of flare-ups.

    Here are five things you can do which you might not have already tried:

    1. Count to 20 between mouthfuls. It’s easy to eat too quickly when you’re stressed or busy, but chewing and eating slowly will help reduce the likelihood of heartburn. Having sips of water between bites will also help.
    2. Listen to a chill out playlist on Spotify. There are a number of playlists that have been created to aid in stress-reduction if you’re feeling uptight.
    3. Focus on your breathing. Take a few moments to stop and focus on deep breathing to reduce stress.
    4. Opt for a spritzer or shandy. Adding tonic or lemonade will reduce the overall amount of alcohol you’re consuming and reduce your chances of heartburn. If fizzy drinks cause your heartburn to flare up, consider substituting these for juice.
    5. Consider your use of treatment and how it could help when you’re facing stressful situations.

    Watch the video with Dr Carol Cooper for her tips and advice on taking control of heartburn.

  • Certain foods can trigger heartburn for many people, but if you find that you’re continually making alterations to your diet or worrying about the onset of symptoms, then it might be time to try something different. Taking a proactive approach can help to minimise the likelihood of flare-ups.

    Here are five things you can do which you might not have already tried:

    1. Keep a food diary using MyFitnessPal or a similar app. Even if this is something you’ve already tried, your trigger foods may have changed over time, so give it another go to see if anything is different.
    2. Use a smaller plate. It will still give the optical illusion that your plate is full!
    3. Chew sugarless gum after meals. Chewing gum promotes salivation, which helps neutralise acid. Although avoid peppermint-flavoured gum as this can be a trigger.
    4. Find simple substitutes for trigger foods. You won’t always want to avoid your favourite foods, but when you can, try making simple substitutes. If fiery spices such as chilli is one of your triggers, create flavour using other spices such as cinnamon, or herbs such as basil or oregano, which can all help food feel more flavoursome.
    5. Consider your use of treatment and how it could help you to feel less cautious about what you eat and when.

    Watch the video with Dr Carol Cooper for her tips and advice on taking control of heartburn.

  • “People often only consider severity when treating their heartburn, but how often you experience it is actually more important. Different treatments work in different ways, so try to make sure your treatment suits your lifestyle and minimises the disruption caused by heartburn.” - Dr Carol Cooper

    If heartburn is disrupting your life twice a week or more, consider your use of treatment and how it could help you stay in control.

    1. Antacids provide temporary relief from the pain of heartburn as they neutralise stomach acid to alleviate symptoms. They work almost instantly, but they also wear off quickly, which means they may need to be taken repeatedly.
    2. Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are different to antacids as they provide long-lasting protection against heartburn. They do this by blocking the release of excess acid in the first place. PPIs are recommended as a first line treatment for frequent heartburn and shouldn’t be used as a last resort. PPIs can be taken if you get heartburn twice a week or more and they can be taken for up to 14 days.

    Watch the video with Dr Carol Cooper for her tips and advice on taking control of heartburn.

  • If you take Nexium Control treatment for 14 days and see no change in your symptoms, consult your GP as soon as possible.

    You should also seek medical advice if you experience any of the following symptoms:

    1. Weight loss for no reason
    2. Problems or pain when swallowing
    3. Stomach pain or signs of indigestion such as nausea, fullness or bloating especially after food intake
    4. Blood in vomit or stools
    5. Severe or persistent diarrhoea
    6. If you’re over 55 with new or recently changed symptoms