1 FEBRUARY 2016
HEARTBURN AND INDIGESTION? YOU MAY HAVE GORD
Heartburn, indigestion and regurgitation may be symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, or GORD. It’s one of the most common gastrointestinal conditions, affecting approximately 10–15% of Australians. It is associated with obesity and older age, and is more common in men, particularly those who smoke.
In the latest issue of Australian Prescriber, gastroenterologists Charlotte Keung and Geoffrey Hebbard from Royal Melbourne Hospital review the treatment of GORD.
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 2–3 hours before bedtime, raising the head of the bed, and stopping smoking.
“GORD can be successfully treated by combining lifestyle modifications with medicines called proton pump inhibitor therapy (PPIs),” say the authors. “PPIs can be trialled for 4–8 weeks and should be taken 30–60 minutes before food. About 70–80% of people will respond to this treatment. Once a patient’s symptoms are under control, they should stop the PPIs or reduce them to the minimum dose required.”
The article includes a continuing professional development activity for pharmacists, available at www.australianprescriber.com/continuing-professional-development.
Also in the latest issue of Australian Prescriber:
To read the full issue, go to www.australianprescriber.com.