Welcome Visitor, Sign Up for Free!


Man with heartburn holding chestWhat is Heartburn?

Heartburn, also known as indigestion or dyspepsia, is a condition in which excess amounts of acid are produced in the stomach, often resulting in discomfort and a burning sensation in the upper abdomen or esophagus. Heartburn may cause upset stomach, nauseousness, and swelling of the abdomen (bloating). Indigestion may also induce burping. Although these symptoms are typically mild, more severe or persistent heartburn may serious damage the lining of the esophagus.

Heartburn may be caused by several factors such as:

  • gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • consumption of beverages or foods containing caffeine (coffee, sodas, teas, etc.), alcohol, tomato, chocolate, or citrus fruit
  • ingesting meals that are fried, greasy or high in fat
  • eating meals in large portions or eating within less than 3 hours of going to bed
  • tobacco products and smoking
  • wearing constricting or tight clothes around the abdomen
  • pregnancy
  • using certain medicines including anticholinergics, bronchodilators (for breathing disorders), calcium channel blockers, medications for anxiety, tricyclic anti-depressants, pain relievers, and nitrates

In some cases heartburn may be s symptom of a heart attack, especially if accompanied by serious chest pain. Be sure to know the cause of the condition to prevent harm.

How is Heartburn Treated?

Heartburn may be prevented by avoiding foods, drinks and products that may be causing the condition. Patients with persistent and uncontrolled indigestion may be prescribed antacid medications, acid reducers (H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors) for relieving their symptoms and avoid damage to their stomach lining.