Reflux / Heartburn

Heartburn is a condition that appears in 10-20% of the western population.  It develops when the contents of the stomach refluxes into the oesophagus and leads to troublesome symptoms and/or complications.

You may be experiencing heartburn as a burning sensation that rises from the stomach or lower chest up towards the neck. It generally gets worse after eating.

While antacids can provide prompt relief they do not address the underlying issue.

Other signs of reflux:

  • Chronic cough
  • Bad breath
  • Dental erosions
  • Chronic laryngitis

Possible Causes

Symptoms of heartburn might be easy to identify but contributing factors can include:

  • Food allergy and intolerances
  • Slow gastric emptying
  • Impaired saliva function
  • Elevated BMI
  • Medications – several are capable of decreasing lower oesophageal pressure
  • Lower oesophageal sphincter incompetence

Dietary Factors

Common foods can trigger heartburn by increasing acid secretion as well as causing the lower oesophageal sphincter to relax.

Focusing on foundational eating practices is the starting point to help reduce incidences of reflux.

These include taking time to eat and chewing food adequately as well as not eating food too near bedtime. Further to this analysis of your diet for triggers and investigating the possible causes (outlined above) are all areas for attention.

The therapeutic aims are to;

Relieve symptoms
Decrease oesophageal inflammation
Promote oesophageal healing
Eliminate/minimise exacerbating factors – address dietary / lifestyle factors
Promote antioxidant defenses
Improve salivary gland function/ oesophageal acid clearance
Support gastric emptying
Support the nervous system

The foundation of the approach is to identify underlying issues, remove factors that are deemed to be worsening symptoms, and promote a balanced response.



I came to Martin with some long-standing gut health issues, after many GP consultations/referrals had failed to get to the bottom of the problem. Over the following months we tried several things from Martin’s ‘toolbox’ of tests and treatments until we hit on a combination that began to alleviate my symptoms. I’m now experiencing the best gut health I’ve ever known. I was really impressed with the dedication Martin showed in helping me to find some relief; he really went the extra mile and was always available for contact in the event of any developments. Very satisfied customer.

Paul, Manchester

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