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Claire asked...

I have had acid reflux and indigestion.

I am 7 weeks postnatal and have had acid reflux and indigestion since 3 weeks postnatal. I was put on 20mg omeprazole by my doctor and have been told to wait another 3 weeks to see if it improves and if it doesn't they will do an endoscopy. I am just wondering if this would be considered to be the best course of treatment by a professional that isn't concerned about expense.

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The answer

Your doctor will want to find the cause of the dyspepsia. Firstly you should stop any medications that could be the cause, e.g. ibuprofen. Also changing lifestyle can stop the dyspepsia (such as stopping smoking, alcohol and losing weight if needed). If there are any warning signs such as unintentional weight loss, bleeding, difficulty swallowing or iron deficiency anaemia then an endoscopy is needed urgently. Your doctor will check for a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. If it is detected some medications can eradicate it.  The NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines recommend treatment with a PPI (omeprazole) and if there are no warning signs and you are under the age of 55, a routine endoscopy is not needed. If the symptoms continue despite the above measures then a referral for endoscopy to find the exact cause would normally be considered after 4-6 weeks.

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