Gaviscon - An answer to heartburn
If there is one thing I know apart from coffee, it’s indigestion. My diet isn’t the best, and for years I have been plagued by indigestion and heartburn. The answer? Gaviscon.
The fact of the matter is that I regularly read blog posts about pregnant women suffering from heart burn. But honestly, ladies, it’s not something that only plagues the fairer sex. Yes, you may be growing a small human inside of you which is causing acid reflux and the type of burning you only thought possible by swallowing molten lava, but I can empathise.
Many a time I have carried a food baby. Sometimes long-term. Trust me when I say that greasy dinner of KFC, or a late night kebab after a night drinking beer leads me to feel a very similar pain burning me. (Note that I say “similar” and not “the same”. Years have taught me that you can’t out-do a pregnant woman when it comes to suffering - or at least they rarely allow you to!)
When I was asked to write a few words about Gaviscon, my head swam briefly with thoughts of free Gaviscon flying through the post to me. Unfortunately, UK law restricts sending it out for me to try (damn!), but as a sufferer of indigestion I have Gaviscon in the house anyway. Therefore it’s easy for me to provide this as an honest review. (Disclosure policy at the bottom, geeky people!)
Personally, I first discovered Gaviscon back in the day when my eldest was due. My ex-wife suffered constantly with acid reflux and indigestion caused by pregnancy, and used to get bottles of Gaviscon to ease the pain. Naturally, given that I also suffered, I would also use the Gaviscon simply because it was to hand.
Mel would often praise Gaviscon for allowing her as close to a decent night of sleep as a pregnant woman can get, and I have to agree that it serves its purpose well. Although it doesn’t instantly stop the burning sensation, it certainly helps to cool things down, and it seems to be fast acting enough.
Fourteen years later and although my stomach problems have eased, there are still times - normally self-inflicted, I am ashamed to say - when I still need the relief of Gaviscon. A recent bike ride (yes, you read that correctly, I actually did some exercise) left me a sweaty heap of a man, made worse by the acid that rose in my chest.
Gaviscon eased the pain, and it wasn’t for another twelve hours later as I lay in bed, I felt the overly familiar feeling of stomach acid rising in my throat. This is a sure sign of not sleeping for me, but fortunately another dose of Gaviscon soon eased that I was able to rest easily.
There is a lot of information on the Gaviscon on the refluxgate.com website about heartburn though in all honesty their information about the and indigestion was of far more use to me to help understand what causes each symptom. It’s something I have self-taught over the years (and here’s a clue: Anything spicy, rich or both causes problems) but it’s refreshing to see it in writing.
Living with heartburn is inconvenient and annoying. It’s not something that will radically alter your life, though anyone who has suffered with a lack of sleep due to heartburn may argue that. But it’s also something that doesn’t need to be as frustrating as it is.
By following the guidelines on their website, Gaviscon are helping to educate sufferers. What you drink, what you eat and how you eat it are all ways to cause heartburn. Pregnancy is another trigger, of course. Although watching your diet may not eliminate symptoms completely, it certainly helps, and though you may still suffer occasional twinges of pain, that’s precisely what Gaviscon is for.
You can buy Gaviscon in all good chemist stores. It’s also available online here: rel=”nofollow”>Gaviscon Peppermint.