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What Is Omeprazole Used For

Omeprazole is a medication used to treat certain conditions related to the oesophagus, stomach, and intestines. It is most commonly used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and peptic ulcers. GERD is a condition where the acid from the stomach flows back up into the oesophagus, resulting in chest pain, burning sensations, and other symptoms.

Omeprazole works by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach and helping to prevent acid reflux. It is also used to treat duodenal ulcers, which are sores in the first portion of the small intestine, as well as other conditions related to excessive stomach acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome. Omeprazole is available in both over-the-counter and prescription forms.

What Causes Heartburn

Heartburn, a common symptom of acid reflux, is caused by an imbalance of stomach acid and can be a frustratingly painful experience for many. There are numerous factors that can contribute to heartburn and the severity of the condition. Here is an overview of some of the more common causes of heartburn:

  1. Eating large meals or too quickly can lead to heartburn as the stomach is under excessive pressure and acid production increases.
  2. Certain foods and drinks can trigger heartburn by stimulating the production of acid in the stomach. Common offending foods include fatty foods, spicy foods, acidic foods, and drinks, including tea and coffee.
  3. Stress and anxiety can lead to the overproduction of stomach acid, which can cause heartburn.
  4. Certain medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, and antibiotics can cause heartburn as a side effect.
  5. Pregnancy can cause heartburn due to the increased production of stomach acid and pressure on the stomach, which can push acid up into the oesophagus.
  6. A hiatus hernia, a condition where the stomach is pushed up past the diaphragm, can lead to chronic heartburn.

These are just a few of the more common causes of heartburn. If you are experiencing persistent discomfort, it is important to talk to your doctor to find the best management plan.

Symptoms of Heartburn

Common Symptoms of Heartburn Include:

  • A burning sensation in the chest, typically after eating
  • Sour or acidic taste in the back of the throat
  • Pain or discomfort in the stomach or upper abdomen
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chest pain
  • Asthma symptoms, like wheezing and difficulty breathing
  • Bad breath
  • Burning feeling in the lower throat

Altering Diet to Reduce Heartburn

There are a variety of diet modifications that you can make to minimise your symptoms and help to alleviate your heartburn.

Try to avoid foods that are high in fat and acidity. This could potentially include processed and fried foods, as well as acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits. Also, it is important to avoid eating large meals and reduce alcohol consumption.

In addition, consider adding more fibre to your diet by eating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Fibre helps speed up digestion and reduce the time that stomach acid is in contact with the oesophagus.

Finally, identify the foods that trigger your heartburn and limit their consumption. If you tend to feel heartburn after eating certain foods, avoid them to reduce discomfort.

 If you are experiencing persistent discomfort, you must talk to your doctor to find the best management plan.

This content has been written and checked for quality and accuracy by Dr Giuseppe Aragona Doctor Published on: 16/01/2023 Updated on: 24/01/2023
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