Being a sufferer of GORD, I was alarmed at this article by The Functional Gut Clinic, which announced a health campaign by Public Health England urging sufferers of chronic heartburn to see their doctor.
England has the “highest rate of oesophageal cancer in the EU,” with as many as 28 deaths from oesophageal cancer or stomach cancer every day.
Many fatal cases can be avoided by early detection, but in PHE’s survey, only 1 out of 2 people said they would seek medical attention if they had heartburn for 3 weeks or more.
The article sites that in the UK, a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables along with drinking and smoking are to blame. Obesity is also a risk factor.
PHE’s Be Clear on Cancer campaign warns that the following symptoms could be a sign of a more serious problem.
- Indigestion on and off for three weeks or more
- Feeling food sticking in your throat when you swallow
- Losing weight for no obvious reason
- Trapped wind and frequent burping
- Feeling full very quickly when eating
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain or discomfort in top of stomach
These symptoms are very common and easy to dismiss, so it’s important to pay attention to their length and severity. Visit your doctor if you have any concern.
Another condition I became aware of, known as LPR, affects many without the obvious symptoms. This is why it’s referred to as the silent reflux. Learn more about LPR here.
If you’ve gone to your doctor and checked out okay, these are my tips to keep the heartburn at bay.
Do’s and Don’ts of indigestion.
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains
- Drink water (but not too much with meals)
- Get adequate rest
- Exercise regularly
- Control stress
- Chew your food thoroughly
- Consume large amounts of coffee, tea, soda, or alcohol
- Skip meals
- Eat processed foods
- Become dehydrated
- Be sedentary
- Lie down after eating
Find out more at The Functional Gut Clinic, London and Public Health England.
The information in The Basic Life Blog is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your doctor.
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