Also called: Acid indigestion, Pyrosis
अनुवाद: हिन्दी
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Heartburn is a painful burning feeling in your chest or throat. It happens when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach.

If you have heartburn more than twice a week, you may have GERD. But you can have GERD without having heartburn.

Pregnancy, certain foods, alcohol, and some medications can bring on heartburn. Treating heartburn is important because over time reflux can damage the esophagus.

Over-the-counter medicines may help. If the heartburn continues, you may need prescription medicines or surgery.

If you have other symptoms such as crushing chest pain, it could be a heart attack. Get help immediately.

Symptoms of Heartburn

The following features are indicative of Heartburn:
  • burning pain in the chest that usually occurs after eating and may occur at night
  • pain that worsens when lying down or bending over
References: 1

Common Causes of Heartburn

The following are the most common causes of Heartburn:
  • acid reflux
References: 2

Risk Factors of Heartburn

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Heartburn:
  • spicy foods
  • onions
  • citrus products
  • tomato products, such as ketchup
  • fatty or fried foods
  • peppermint
  • chocolate
  • alcohol, carbonated beverages, coffee or other caffeinated beverages
  • large or fatty meals

Prevention of Heartburn

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Heartburn. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • avoid tight fitting clothing, which puts pressure on your abdomen and the lower esophageal sphincter
  • avoid foods that trigger your heartburn
  • avoid lying down after a meal
  • avoid late meals
  • elevate the head of your bed if you regularly experience heartburn at night or while trying to sleep. If that's not possible, insert a wedge between your mattress and box spring to elevate your body from the waist up
  • avoid smoking
References: 3

Occurrence of Heartburn

Degree of Occurrence

The following are number of Heartburn cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Heartburn most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Can happen at any age

Common Gender

Heartburn most commonly occurs in the following gender:
  • Not gender specific
References: 4

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Heartburn

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Heartburn:
  • X-ray: To view the shape and condition of your esophagus and stomach
  • Endoscopy: To check for abnormalities in your esophagus
  • Ambulatory acid probe tests: To identify when, and for how long, stomach acid backs up into your esophagus
  • Esophageal motility testing: To measure movement and pressure in your esophagus
References: 5, 6

Doctor for Diagnosis of Heartburn

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Heartburn:
  • Gastroenterologist

Complications of Heartburn if Untreated

Yes, Heartburn causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Heartburn is left untreated:
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • damage to esophagus
References: 7

Self-care for Heartburn

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Heartburn:
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Excess pounds put pressure on abdomen that causing acid to back up into your esophagus
  • Avoid tight fitting clothing: Puts pressure on abdomen and the lower esophageal sphincter
  • Avoid foods that trigger heartburn
  • Elevate the head of your bed if you regularly experience heartburn while sleep
  • Avoid smoking: Smoking decreases the lower esophageal sphincter's ability to function properly
References: 7

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Heartburn

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Heartburn:
  • Aromatherapy
  • Hypnosis
  • Massage
References: 7

Time for Treatment of Heartburn

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Heartburn to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks
References: 8

Related Topics - Heartburn

Questions - Heartburn

Demographic Information - Heartburn

Following is the demographic information reported by website visitors for Heartburn. Information below may include patient demographics as well as data for website visitors who might be researching on behalf of patients e.g. parents for small children. The data below may or may not be reflective of the complete patient population demographics for this medicine/health topic.
User gender
29 out of 38 users are male.
Survey Participants: 38
User age
The most common user is 21-30 years old.
< 214
Survey Participants: 33
User reported disease
Users most commonly suffer from Back pain.
Back pain5
High blood pressure3
Heart attack2
Survey Participants: 22
User exercise frequency
Users most commonly exercise once a week.
Once a week13
Twice a week3
Five times a week3
Survey Participants: 26
User smoking habit
23 out of 31 users do not smoke.
Do not smoke23
Survey Participants: 31
User alcohol consumption frequency
Users most commonly reported never consuming alcohol
One drink a day2
Two drinks a day0
More than two drinks a day1
Once a week2
Twice a week1
Once a month6
Survey Participants: 26
User body weight
11 out of 30 users report being overweight.
Not overweight19
Survey Participants: 30
User well-being
14 out of 32 users report having significant pain in the last 3 months.
Significant pain in the last 3 months14
No significant pain in the last 3 months18
Survey Participants: 32
User profession
The most common user profession is Engineer, IT or Software.
Engineer, IT or Software5
Government service3
Shop keeper2
Survey Participants: 29


  1. MAYO CLINIC Heartburn - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
  2. MAYO CLINIC Heartburn - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
  3. MAYO CLINIC Heartburn - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
  4. Oliveria SA, Christos PJ, Talley NJ, Dannenberg AJ. Heartburn risk factors, knowledge, and prevention strategies: a population-based survey of individuals with heartburn. Arch Intern Med. 1999;159(14):1592-8. - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
  5. Wikipedia Heartburn - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
  6. MAYO CLINIC Heartburn - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
  7. MAYO CLINIC Heartburn - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
  8. NIH Treatment for GER & GERD - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
  9. Source:

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 12/09/2017.
This page provides information for Heartburn in English.

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