Heartburn is a painful burning feeling in your chest or throat. It happens when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach.
If you have heartburn more than twice a week, you may have GERD. But you can have GERD without having heartburn.
Pregnancy, certain foods, alcohol, and some medications can bring on heartburn. Treating heartburn is important because over time reflux can damage the esophagus.
Over-the-counter medicines may help. If the heartburn continues, you may need prescription medicines or surgery.
If you have other symptoms such as crushing chest pain, it could be a heart attack. Get help immediately.
- Acid Reflux (American College of Gastroenterology) Also in Spanish
- Acid Reflux (GER and GERD) in Adults (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in Spanish
- Heartburn (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
- Heartburn (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
Treatments and Therapies
- Antacids and Acid Reducers: OTC Relief for Heartburn and Acid Reflux (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
- Do you Suffer from Heartburn or Acid Reflux? (National Center for Farmworker Health, Consumers Union of U.S.) - PDF Also in Spanish
- Globus (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders)
Health Check Tools
- Heartburn (DSHI Systems)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Randomized, multicenter study: on-demand versus continuous maintenance treatment with esomeprazole...
- Article: Imipramine for Treatment of Esophageal Hypersensitivity and Functional Heartburn: A...
- Article: A Hispanic female patient with heartburn: A rare presentation of...
- Heartburn -- see more articles
- Have You Heard of GERD? (Nemours Foundation)