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This is Gaviscon's guide to understanding the causes, symptoms and treatment of heartburn.

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest that usually occurs after you’ve eaten certain types of food, along with other reasons. It’s a common problem created by acid reflux, when some of your stomach contents are forced back into the oesophagus (the tube that carries food down from your mouth).

68% OF PEOPLE SUFFER BOTH HEARTBURN AND INDIGESTION.*

What's causing your heartburn?

There are often no obvious causes, but it can be brought on by:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Pregnancy
  • Fatty or spicy food such as curry or chocolate
  • Drinks such as coffee or alcohol
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking

HEARTBURN IS MOST COMMON IN THE AFTERNOON OR AFTER DINNER.*

What are the symptoms of heartburn?

Think you might have heartburn? What should you look out for?

Common heartburn symptoms are:

  • Uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest - The discomfort tends to start from the lowest part of your chest, and eventually rises upwards.
  • Throat pain – Unpleasant sensation in your throat along with an unpalatable taste in your mouth.
  • Difficulty in swallowing – Often accompanied by pain
  • Throat irritation - Frequent throat clearing, coughing and choking

Still have questions? If so, or if you notice yours are getting worse, please speak to your GP or a pharmacist.

IT'S COMMON FOR SYMPTOMS TO BE WORSE AT NIGHT OR WHEN YOU LIE DOWN.

How can I treat heartburn?

Looking for effective ways to help prevent and treat this common condition?

There are several steps your doctor might recommend to help ease your symptoms:

  • Be drink aware - Cut down on your tea, coffee, sugary drinks and alcohol
  • Change sleeping position – Prop your head and shoulders up in bed to help keep stomach acid down while you sleep
  • Avoid food before bedtime - Stop eating 3-4 hours before you try to get to sleep
  • Cut down on certain foods - Reduce rich, spicy or fatty foods in your diet
  • Stop smoking – Aside from easing heartburn, this has many other health benefits
  • Drink more water – Increase your water intake throughout the day
  • Weight control - Lose excess weight and try to do more exercise

WHEN SUFFERING FROM THE SYMPTOMS OF HEARTBURN, 60% OF PEOPLE JUST WANT TO FEEL NORMAL AGAIN.*

*Based on survey of 13,831 Heartburn and Indigestion Sufferers from 5 Countries

Article published January 1, 2021