This article was contributed by Professor Laurence Lovat, Professor of Gastroenterology and Biophotonics, London Gastroenterology Centre.
As a professor of gastroenterology and biophotics, I am acutely aware of just how common heartburn is in our lives. In fact, it’s become a far greater problem in recent years; fifty years ago more people suffered from stomach ulcers than heart burn. Today, acid reflux affects one in four adults in the United Kingdom every month, and one in ten every week, which I consider to be prime evidence that it’s an illness of our times. I have many patients suffering from heartburn asking me what’s causing it, and how they can prevent it from happening again.
There are many causes of heartburn: some can be related to weight, posture or even certain medications. One of the main causes, however, can be your diet and when you’re eating. For instance, eating a big meal at night can cause heartburn, most of the time this can be easily avoided by allowing yourself 3- to 4-hours between your last meal and the time you go to bed.
Most sufferers find that they get heart burn during the day, however those people suffering heartburn at night-time tend to be more at risk of chronic cough, which isn’t always recognised as relating to stomach problems. This being the case for some people, it’s always important for doctors to identify acid reflux from other health issues such as osteoporosis in order to provide the correct treatment. I know how painful heartburn is and, being one of the leading professionals in acid reflux, have often advised suffers to avoid the following listed foods in order to prevent and lessen the risk…