English for PTA


Heartburn may be caused by a lot of things. The most chronic form is known as GERD. Heartburn, as the name suggests, is a burning sensation in the chest, which is caused by stomach acid travelling upwards to the throat.

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Some types of food and drink, such as coffee, alcohol, chocolate, and fatty or spicy foods, may trigger heartburn. Heartburn may be accompanied by the following: a sour taste in the mouth, a cough or hiccups, a hoarse voice, and bloating or nausea.

PTA: Guten Tag.
Male customer: I’m afraid that my German is not very good.

How may I help you?
I have indigestion. Do you have anything for heartburn?

We have lots of OTC-products. Would you prefer a proton pump inhibitor or an antacid?
What’s the difference?

Antacids neutralize stomach acid a lot faster than PPIs, and the effects last for 30 minutes to some housr. PPIs, on the other hand, suppress gastric acid secretion, and take longer to have an effect. PPIs are used as gastric protection for patients on non-steroidal anti-inflammatories because of their effect on the stomach lining.
I’ll take the antacid.

Do you mind if I ask you something about your reflux?
No, not at all.

Have you often had indigestion in the last weeks or months?
Yes, but not regularly. I usually connect it with eating too much spicy food.

I see. And you haven’t had a persistent cough, or a hoarse voice in recent weeks?
Now that you say it, yes I have. I’ve had a tickly cough on and off for a few months now. I put it down to an allergy, as I had no cold symptoms.

It’s possible that you might have a reflux disorder. The coughing and hoarseness may be caused by acid entering the oesophagus which may damage the larynx and pharynx. The best thing would be to make an appointment at your doctor’s surgery, so that you can be tested for a few things.
Such as?

Such as to make sure that you don’t have a hiatus hernia, or that your reflux is not caused by helicobacter pylori. Things such as smoking may also cause the problem to worsen.
I was thinking of quitting! I suppose I should make an appointment. Thank you for the advice.

Here are your chewable antacid tablets. If you notice no improvement, please go to your doctor!

You can find this article at PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 09/2020 on page 108.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker

heartburn Sodbrennen
gastric protection Magenschutz
GERD gastroesophageal reflux disease
GORD in British English: gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
burning sensationbrennendes Gefühl
chest Brust
stomach acid Magensäure
throat Hals, Kehle, Rachen
spicy scharf, pikant
trigger auslösen
cough Husten
hiccups Schluckauf
hoarse voice heisere Stimme
bloating Vollegefühl
nausea Übelkeit, Brechreiz
indigestionMagenverstimmung, Verdauungsstörung
suppress unterdrücken
gastric acidMagensäure
secretionSekret, Absonderung
hiatus herniaZwerchfellbruch
chewable tabletsKautabletten