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What is heartburn?


When you eat or drink, proton pumps in your stomach release acid which helps breakdown food and kill bacteria, as the stomach lining is protected this doesn't hurt at all. Usually the valve at the base of the oesophagus keeps the acid in the stomach so you never feel it. Sometimes that valve relaxes and allows acid to escape into the oesophagus, which has no protective lining. When the acid comes into contact with the oesophagus it can become sensitive and you may experience a burning sensation in your chest and throat. This is heartburn, and it can be quite painful. Frequent heartburn is heartburn that occurs once a week or more. The repeated flare-ups or frequent heartburn can disrupt sleep and get in the way of everyday life. Nexium Control® is an effective way to treat frequent heartburn.

  • What are the symptoms of heartburn?

    • Burning pain in the chest area, the back of your throat or oesophagus.
    • A bitter hot or unpleasant taste or fluid at the back of the throat or mouth.
    • A burning pain that wakes you in the night, causing you to feel tired in the daytime.
    • A general feeling of being unwell.
  • When is heartburn considered frequent?

    Heartburn is considered frequent when it occurs more than once a week. If you have it, you will know the toll it can take on your life: You can't eat or drink what you want and it leaves you in pain. It often prevents you from getting a good night's sleep, leaving you tired at work. Don't let heartburn get the better of you. Nexium Control® helps you take control over your heartburn.

  • Do you feel heartburn is having an effect on your daily life?

    Many frequent heartburn sufferers become preoccupied with avoiding setting off an attack of heartburn and feel this can restrict their enjoyment of life.

    It can lead to irritation or frustration over the frequent burning pain, made worse by the tiredness from interrupted sleep.

  • Can heartburn be a sign of a serious medical problem?

    It can be a sign of something more serious.

    Rarely, heartburn can be a sign of a more serious medical problem. See your GP if your symptoms do not improve after 14 consecutive days of treatment or if you have any of the following symptoms:

    • Chest pain with light-headedness, sweating, dizziness or shoulder pain with shortness of breath
    • Vomiting food or blood
    • Passing black stools
    • Weight loss for no apparent reason
    • Pain or other problems swallowing
    • Pain or signs of indigestion such as nausea or bloated feeling after eating
    • You are over 55 and have new or recently changed acid reflux symptoms.

What causes heartburn?



Carrying extra weight can put pressure on your oesophageal valve and your stomach, allowing acid to rise up into your oesophagus.



Alcohol or fizzy drinks can trigger heartburn. If you do drink, do so in moderation and avoid lying down after drinking.



This product is not indicated for use whilst pregnant. If you are suffering from heartburn whilst pregnant or breastfeeding you should seek advice from a healthcare professional.



Lack of sleep and stress can trigger heartburn by putting strain on your body, especially if you’re prone to it anyway.



Spicy/acidic foods, rich/fatty foods and chocolate can trigger heartburn. Simply eating a big meal, eating too late at night, can also bring it on.



Smoking can trigger heartburn or make it feel worse once it starts.

How can I relieve heartburn?

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Diet and when you eat

Avoid foods or drinks that trigger heartburn for you. Cut out bedtime snacks or large meals late at night. Eat slowly and wait before lying down or exercising. Cutting down on alcohol, coffee or fizzy drinks can also help.


Stop smoking

Smoking can trigger heartburn or make it feel worse once it starts. Try to avoid smoking, especially before or after eating.


Take regular exercise

Whilst generally exercising and losing weight can often help, be mindful that certain exercises, such as stomach crunches can also push acid out of the stomach, causing heartburn.