Once we swallow food/fluids they passes down our throat/oesophagus and through a valve/sphincter to the stomach where it mixes with acid stomach digestive juices. If some of the stomach contents flow back into the throat/oesophagus and results in a burning sensation in the throat. If this happens regularly the lining of the throat becomes inflamed.
If it is just occasional then an antacid can be used to relieve the condition but if you are regularly reaching for the antacids it is time to get some help as long-term this condition has some serious consequences. If you are pregnant it is a special case where the baby can push your stomach contents higher and into the oesophagus so see your GP.
Help comes in the form of :
- Dietary change to reduce meal size and make it more easily digestible until the inflammation subsides- temporarily lowering fat intake in particular is important as well as minimising alcohol, chocolate and coffee intake.
- avoiding peppermint flavoured sweets/gum/tea etc as this relaxes the oesophageal sphincter more.
- managing anxiety if your symptoms are worse duet to this.
- Sleeping with your head/neck elevated to reduce ‘back-wash’ to the oesophagus.
- possibly medication to assist till symptoms reside as the inflammation reduces
- Reducing/Quitting Smoking and losing weight if overweight is also be very helpful.
An Accredited Practising Dietitian can get you started on the road to increased comfort.
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