Do you suffer heartburn and indigestion more than you should?

If the mere thought of onions, chocolate and citrus fruits makes your throat burn and your chest ache, then you’re likely

If the mere thought of onions, chocolate and citrus fruits makes your throat burn and your chest ache, then you’re likely someone who suffers with heartburn, indigestion and/or reflux. And while it’s easy to dismiss these painful episodes, they could be caused by an underlying condition called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, or GORD.

According to gastroenterologists Charlotte Keung and Geoffrey Hebbard from Royal Melbourne Hospital, GORD is one of the most common gastrointestinal conditions, affecting approximately 10–15 per cent of Australians. When you have this condition, the stomach contents wash back up into the oesophagus (gullet), where they may damage the oesophageal lining.

GORD is typically associated with being overweight, and does become more likely as we age. Men are more likely to suffer the condition, as are smokers. But that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it.

Writing in the Australian Prescriber,  Dr Keung and Associate Professor Hebbard say, “Lifestyle improvements such as weight loss can help reduce the symptoms of GORD. The symptoms associated with GORD can be eased by eliminating foods that trigger reflux, such as those high in fats, sugars and salt, avoiding meals two to three hours before bedtime, raising the head of the bed, and stopping smoking.”

Medication can also help, and the treatment is typically short-term.

“GORD can be successfully treated by combining lifestyle modifications with medicines called proton pump inhibitor therapy (PPIs),” say the gastroenterologists.

Most people (70 to 80 per cent) will respond to this treatment and can stop taking the medication after four to eight weeks.

Symptoms of GORD

Common symptoms include heartburn, which occurs after eating but can also be brought on when you lie down or bend forward.. You may also experience a persistent cough, or regurgitation of food into the mouth.

Less common symptoms, but still worth paying attention to, include nausea, excessive belching or chest pain. These symptoms are very similar to those from a heart attack, so be sure to get a diagnosis as soon as possible.


Do you or does someone you love suffer from heartburn and indigestion? What sets you off?

  1. I have found that drinking my Apple Cider vinegar,has helped a bit,and I try and avoid trigger foods,which of course, I just love!

  2. my gastrologist ask me to try gluten free diet… never looked back. pain ,reflux and bloating gone.. also lost weight. Now Wheat free I will never go back.

  3. I used to. But the doc put me on nexium. One every second day and indigestion and heartburn all gone.

    • My husband takes Nexium. He has tried to come off it but the reflux returns. He is very fit and healthy.

    • Yes its a strange thing my doctor did also say it can come about as we age just a body funtion change…as i didn,t find any certain food to cause it.

    • Debbie Bryant i did try a few natural things in the hope of a cure …but sadly nothing worked bicarb soda in a glass of water didnt work ..! The doctor wasnt happy about that one!

  4. Have been on nexium for ages, every time I try to come off it , problem returns.
    No foods seem to trigger it, very random with me.

  5. No, I don’t, but I imagine it must be something pretty awful for those who suffer the effects of it.

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