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Acid reflux

Acid reflux describes a process in which some of the contents of the stomach flows back into the oesophagus. This can cause problems over the long term. You can prevent acid reflux by paying attention to what you eat.

Aim to eat a healthy and varied diet that is high in fibre. Avoid large, heavy and greasy meals. It is also a good idea not to eat too much before going to bed, as stomach acid can flow back more easily if you lie down with a full stomach. Foods that can exacerbate the symptoms include alcohol, hot spices, carbonated drinks and acidic fruit juices (orange, lemon, grapefruit). As smoking relaxes the sphincter between the oesophagus and the stomach, it makes sense to stop smoking. You should also avoid bending forwards. Instead it is better to bend your knees and keep your back straight.

Acid reflux and your health

There are health effects associated with the occurrence of acid reflux.

Acid reflux increases the risk of oesophageal cancer

Reflux is a risk factor for oesophageal cancer, as the oesophagus is not resistant to the aggressive hydrochloric acid found in the gastric juices. If acid reflux occurs regularly and over a long period of time, this can lead to permanent changes in the inflamed oesophageal tissue. This is known as Barrett’s oesophagus.

If acid reflux is treated effectively, damage to the oesophagus can usually be prevented.

iGene Passport

iGene offers you an insight into your personal risks of developing conditions and tells you whether preventing acid reflux may be particularly important for you to help prevent certain conditions. In addition, an iGene Passport provides you with information on what else you can do to reduce any risks. Here we focus on behaviour that will help you maximise the benefits to your health. In the publication below you can read more about what iGene can do for you.