Heartburn, or Acid Reflux, is caused by stomach acid travelling up the esophagus and causing an irritation to it. The irritation manifests in a burning sensation in the chest.
It is not actually anything to do with the heart, but gets its name because of where the pain is felt.
The reason stomach acid passes back up into the esophegus is because the muscle (sphincter) between the esophegus and the stomach is letting it pass through for some reason. Two common reasons for this are overeating and excess pressure being put on the sphincter by things such as pregnancy or obesity. There are some foods which can also cause the sphincter to relax, such as alcohol, tomatoes, garlic, onions, caffeine, fatty foots and oils etc.
Click play on the video below to find out more information about heartburn from the Doctors TV show.
There are some home remedies that can help relieve the symptoms of heartburn. These include:
- Chewing sugar free gum
- Eating Licorice
- Drinking milk
The very best heartburn remedy is actually prevention. The video above has some great suggestions in this regard.
If you are still not sure if you have heartburn or acid reflux, check this list of symptoms to see what else you might be suffering from. Alternatively you can find out more about heartburn and home remedies here.