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Heartburn ruining your life?

person holding upper part of chest

Have you ever felt a burning feeling behind your breastbone, after eating or drinking? If so, you are not alone. Heartburn, caused by stomach acid travelling up your oesophagus (food pipe) towards your throat, affects about 40% of the Western world’s population and impacts negatively on quality of life. 1-3

Lifestyle changes such as losing weight, changing your diet, stopping smoking and raising the head of your bed can help ease your heartburn. 2 There are also over-the-counter medications that can neutralise or decrease stomach acid. 2

To find out more about reflux and peptic ulcer disease, click here

Read more about Reflux & PUD

Do you need a good poo?

person holding lower part of abdomen

Do you regularly have less than 3 bowels movements per week? Are your stools hard and difficult to push out? If so, you may be constipated. 4,5 Constipation is a common condition and can interfere with our ability to go about our daily tasks. 4 As dehydration, low fibre intake and not exercising are all risk factors for constipation, changing your diet and lifestyle can help improve your stool, so that it is softer and easier to pass. 4,6 There are also over-the-counter medications that can help you jump start this process. 4

Click here to learn more about constipation and what a normal stool should look like

Read more about Constipation

Gastro got you running, heaving, hugging the toilet bowl?

sign indicating male and female bathroom

Acute gastroenteritis or “gastro” is more common in young children but can affect people of all ages. 7 Gastro is usually caused by a viral infection and is easily spread from person to person through physical contact. 8 Although the symptoms of gastro, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, muscle aches and fever can be very unpleasant, most episodes of gastro will get better on their own. 7,8 Nobody wants to get gastro, but if you did get it, would you know how to manage it? Click here to learn how to prevent, treat and flush gastro.

Read more about Acute Gastroenteritis

Is IBS cramping your lifestyle?

person holding lower part of abdomen whilst leaning over

IBS is a common condition that can cause stomach pain, cramps, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea. 9,10 The symptoms of IBS are ongoing and bothersome and can negatively impact your work, leisure time, and relationships. 11 Doctors aren’t exactly sure of what causes IBS, but it is thought to be due to a combination of underlying factors such as over-sensitive gut, problems with gut motility, and an imbalance in the normal gut bacteria. 10,12 IBS cannot be cured, but lifestyle and dietary changes and certain medications can improve your symptoms. 10 To find out more about irritable bowel syndrome, click here.

Read more about Irritable Bowel Syndrome

References: 1. Van Rensburg CJ, Kulich KR, Carlsson J, Wiklund IK. What is the burden of illness in patients with reflux disease in South Africa? SA Gastroenterol Rev 2005;3:16-21. 2. Mayo Clinic. Heartburn. [Online]. 2018 May 17 [cited 2018 Sept 14]. Available from URL: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heartburn/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20373229. 3. UK National Health Service. Heartburn and acid reflux. [Online] 2017 Aug 24 [cited 2018 Sept 14]. Available from URL: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/heartburn-and-acid-reflux/. 4. Mayo Clinic. Constipation. [Online] 2018 Jan 10 [cited 2018 Sept 23]. Available from: URL https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/constipation/symptoms-causes/syc-20354253. 5. UK National Health Service. Constipation. [Online] 2017 Dec 20 [cited 2018 Sept 21]. Available from: URL: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/constipation/. 6. American Family Physician. Constipation. Am Fam Physician 2010;82(12):1440-1441. 7. UK National Health Service Inform. Gastroenteritis. [Online] 2018 Sept 6 [cited 2018 Sept 24]. Available from: URL: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/stomach-liver-and-gastrointestinal-tract/gastroenteritis. 8. Mayo Clinic. Viral gastroenteritis. [Online] 2014 Dec 2 [cited 2018 Sept 24]. Available from: URL: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/viral-gastroenteritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20378847. 9. American Family Physician. Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Am Fam Physician 2005;71(3):547-548. 10. British Medical Journal. Irritable bowel syndrome: what is it? [online] 2016 Jul 4 [cited 2018 Sep 11]. Available from: URL: https://bestpractice.bmj.com. 11. Hulisz D. The Burden of Illness of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Current Challenges and Hopes for the Future. J Managed Care Pharm 2004;10(4):299-309. 12. Snyder N. British Medical Journal Best Practice. [online] 2016 Aug 10 [cited 2018 Sep 11]. Available from: URL: https://bestpractice.bmj.com.

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