Heartburn is a painful burning sensation in the chest, usually caused by stomach acid refluxing up into the esophagus. The symptoms of heartburn can include a burning sensation in the chest or throat, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, regurgitation of food or liquids into the mouth, and a sour taste in the mouth.
Heartburn is most commonly caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which occurs when the valve at the end of the esophagus fails to close properly, allowing stomach acid to reflux into the esophagus. Other causes of heartburn include certain foods or drinks, such as spicy or fatty foods, alcohol, or caffeine, as well as pregnancy, smoking, and obesity.
There are several treatments for heartburn, including over-the-counter antacids, prescription medications to reduce acid production, and lifestyle changes such as avoiding trigger foods, eating smaller meals, and not lying down for at least two hours after eating. If you experience frequent or severe heartburn, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.