Rupert Butler, 50, a London barrister, had acid reflux symptoms so severe that he became obsessive about having over-the-counter remedies within reach whilst in court. He has now finally found relief after suffering for 25 years.
Although gastric reflux is a common condition, it can have a big impact on someone’s life and symptoms include heartburn and regurgitation with sufferers, such as Rupert. Anti-reflux medication called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), are often prescribed. This class of medication works by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach, but aren’t recommended for long-term use.
Rupert believes his symptoms were exacerbated by the stress of modern life and a demanding job as a self-employed barrister juggling several clients throughout the day. He took PPIs for 10 years but felt his symptoms continue to worsen, having a big effect on his daily life.
“I did not need to take time off court, I just got used to being in serious discomfort a lot of the time. If I planned ahead, I could control the symptoms but I became dependent on always having medication to hand, which then made me obsessive about keeping pills within reach. I stopped taking PPIs in the end because I didn’t like the side effects. I had cramps in my legs, constant headaches and was always thirsty. I then regularly took over-the-counter medication, but this also had side effects so wasn’t a long term solution either.”
One day he came across an article about a woman who had the LINX® Reflux Management System procedure for her acid reflux. Inspired by her story he did further research and much to his joy, realised he could have the treatment done locally. He made an appointment with gastrointestinal surgeon Mr Nick Boyle, at Spire Tunbridge Wells, who suggested he might be a good candidate for the LINX procedure.
LINX is a small flexible band of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores which is implanted, through keyhole surgery, around the weak oesophageal sphincter, just above the stomach. The magnetic attraction between the beads helps augment the weak sphincter to prevent reflux.
Since having the LINX fitted, Rupert has finally been able to enjoy eating freely again and living a life that is pain-free.
“It was Christmas time when I had it done, so I set about reacquainting myself with the foods I love which I’ve been avoiding for 25 years – such as white chocolate, curries and bitter ales. I can now sleep properly lying down flat without being woken up by reflux, which is new! It’s fantastic to be able to eat and drink without planning meals. I’m free of any symptoms of acid reflux, which is phenomenal. Pain is awful, you feel like you are corroded from the inside by acid reflux, and once that stops it’s an extraordinary liberation.”
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Take the first steps to a reflux-free life. Contact a centre near you to find out more about the LINX® reflux management system and the procedure.