Savour summer – A guide to heartburn-free holidays

As we step into summer, the last thing anyone wants is the discomfort of heartburn putting a damper on the fun. Acid reflux or heartburn often causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat and is a common condition for many people.

Consider these practical tips to manage heartburn during the summer break:

1.   Portion Control: Keep an eye on serving sizes, opting for meals that leave you satisfied without feeling overly full.

2.   Hydration (with water): Stay well-hydrated with water to aid digestion. Cut back on alcohol and caffeine, as they are known to worsen heartburn symptoms.

3.   Sleep Strategies: Try sleeping with an extra pillow or elevating your bed head slightly for a more comfortable night's sleep, reducing the chances of night-time reflux.

4.   Stay Active: Regular exercise isn't just about burning off extra holiday calories; it's also great for overall digestive wellness.

If lifestyle changes alone aren't bringing relief, consult your GP about medications, which are often effective. However, if you experience persistent reflux symptoms or any other issues like:

•   Difficulty swallowing

•   Anaemia

•   Pain

•   Vomiting

•   Chronic cough

•   Unexplained weight loss

It's crucial not to ignore this. These symptoms can signal more serious health issues, and in such cases, a gastroscopy is recommended. A gastroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves placing a thin tube with a light and camera into the stomach for a comprehensive examination. It helps identify reflux damage and rules out other serious conditions.

At Waitemata Endoscopy, taking a proactive approach to your gut health is easy. We accept GP, specialist, and self-referrals via our website. Our experienced specialists can perform an endoscopy for you within 7 working days of receiving the referral.

Make your digestive health a priority this summer with Waitemata endoscopy.

Mr Jason Robertson (MBChB, MMedSc, FRACS, AANZGOSA)

Surgeon & Endoscopist, Waitemata Endoscopy

To learn more, see