Frequent heartburn: Causes, triggers and impact on quality of life
Heartburn may be occasional or frequent (occurring at least 2 times a week).1
In this section we review the causes and triggers of heartburn, as well as the impact frequent heartburn can have on your patients’ quality of life.
Causes of heartburn
Stomach acid is normally blocked from entering the oesophagus by the lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS). The LOS opens to let food pass from the oesophagus into the stomach and remains closed between meals.
In certain people, particularly as they age, the LOS does not close tightly, allowing the passage of stomach acid into the oesophagus. This causes the pain and discomfort of heartburn.
Triggers for heartburn
Heartburn may be made worse by the following things:2
- Certain food and drink such as coffee, tomatoes, alcohol, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods
- Being overweight
- Stress and anxiety
- Some medications including anti-inflammatory painkillers
- A hiatus hernia (when part of your stomach moves up into your chest)
The impact of frequent heartburn on quality of life
Quality of life impacts of heartburn
Regardless of severity, frequent heartburn causes significant disruption to people’s lives.
The top activities affected by frequent heartburn are:3
- Ability to eat and drink what people want
- Sleeping/lying down
- Ability to concentrate
- Ability to work, socialise and lead a normal life
Frequent heartburn sufferers report feeling:3
3 out of 4 frequent heartburn sufferers report that heartburn interferes with their sleep, negatively impacting mood and daily function.4
Understanding frequent heartburn
Nexium Control 20mg Gastro-Resistant Capsules (Esomeprazole)
Up to 24 hour relief and protection from frequent heartburn with just one pill a day.
Easy to swallow mini capsules: 53% smaller than tablets.*
*based on volume of tablets vs. capsules