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
- Do you Suffer from Heartburn or Acid Reflux? (National Center for Farmworker Health, Consumers Union of U.S.) - PDF Also in Spanish
- Heartburn (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
- Heartburn (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- 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: A 14-day regimen of esomeprazole 20 mg/day for frequent heartburn:...
- Article: Randomized, multicenter study: on-demand versus continuous maintenance treatment with esomeprazole...
- Article: Autofluorescence imaging endoscopy can distinguish non-erosive reflux disease from functional...
- Heartburn -- see more articles
- Have You Heard of GERD? (For Kids) (Nemours Foundation)