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) Also in Spanish
Diagnosis and Tests
- Globus (International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Psychological Processes, Not Physiological Parameters, Are Most Important Contributors to Symptom...
- Article: Relationship between nonrestorative sleep and heartburn among a Japanese occupational population.
- Article: Proximal esophageal impedance baseline increases the yield of impedance-pH monitoring for...
- Heartburn -- see more articles