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
- Fatty or spicy food such as curry or chocolate
- Drinks such as coffee or alcohol
- Being overweight
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