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Health Forum    Pain & Pain Management
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Why do we get heartburn?

Food is digested in the stomach by a strong acid, when this acid escapes from the stomach up into the tube between your mouth and stomach (oesophagus) the lining if this tube is irritated by the acid causing a burning sensation. Some people are more susceptible than others and may find it helpful to avoid over eating and spicey foods.

If you constantly get heartburn and you are relatively young, see your GP. A friend of mine ignored it for ten years, he was constantly taking indigestion tablets to ease it., then died of stomach cancer.

From eating bad and unhealthy food's that are unecessary for us.

Acid comes up into the oesophagus and hence the burning feeling. Fatty foods is the usual culprit.

renee o
What is Heart Burn?
Heart burn is a discomfort or pain caused by the stomach contents traveling up from the stomach up into the gullet (lower part of your esophagus). The gullet is not made to withstand acid and is irritated and inflamed when acid from the stomach travels up into it.
Sometimes the pain caused by heart burn can also be felt in the mid-line of the back.
Heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. Heart burn is a digestive problem. Heart burn is usually related to meals and posture and can often be relieved by remedies for indigestion. Most people suffer from heart burn at one time or another during their lifetime.
If you have heartburn, you might have a bitter taste in your mouth from stomach acid.
Heart burn is also called reflux oesophagitis.
What are the Symptoms of Heart Burn?
The main symptoms are: burning sensation in the center of the chest and belching.
What Causes Heart Burn?
Heart burn is caused by a faulty muscle in the stomach. There is a "flap" at the top of the stomach that stops food from traveling back up into the esophagus. Sometimes the flap doesn't work properly and stomach acid escapes from the stomach. When the acid escapes, heartburn occurs.
Factors that contribute to Heart burn: pregnancy, smoking, eating large meals, being overweight, and wearing tight clothing around the waist.
Is Heart Burn Caused by Hiatal Hernia?
Hiatal hernia is a very common condition. It occurs when the stomach partially sits in the chest cavity through a weakness in the Diaphragm. Sometimes, a persistent hiatal hernia can cause heartburn. However, many people who experience heartburn do not have a hiatal hernia. Also, many people with a hiatal hernia do not experience heartburn. Your doctor can determine if heartburn is caused by a hiatal hernia.
Heart Burn Statistics
In the United States, about 50% of the population has heart burn at least once a month. About 7% of the population has heart burn daily.
How is Heart Burn Treated?
Heart burn can be treated by antacids or medication provided by your doctor.
Complications of Heart Burn
If heart burn is not controlled, it can cause serious complications. Some common complications of heart burn are:
Esophageal bleeding
Esophageal ulcer
Barrett's esophagus
Increased risk of esophageal cancer

Eating to much, Eating spicy food and eating to fast are some of the causes of heart burn.


in layman's terms, when you eat food it goes down a tube into your stomach,there is a flap the lets food into your stomach but is meant to stop it coming back up, some times if you don't chew you food enough, food can get stuck in this flap stopping it from closing or some foods can irritate it causing it to swell so it wont close properly.
when this happens the acid in your stumac that break's down your food spills up into your tube and burns it as this feels its around your heart its called heart burn.
hope that helps..xx

Scooby Doo
Heartburn is a form of indigestion. It is usually felt as a pain behind the breastbone (in the front of your chest, over the heart).
Heartburn has nothing to do with the heart, even though pain is felt in this area. People who get very painful heartburn sometimes think they are having a heart attack. If you have very painful heartburn that happens a lot, you should see your GP to check whether it's a symptom of a more serious condition.
Heartburn is linked to eating habits and posture (the way you sit and stand). It happens when acid from your stomach gets forced upwards into the oesophagus (gullet). This is called acid reflux.
The stomach wall is coated with a layer of mucus that protects it from digestive acid. The oesophagus does not have this protection, so any acid that leaks up irritates and damages its lining. This is what causes the burning pain associated with heartburn. The regurgitated acid may also leave an acidic taste in the back of your throat.

The sensation of heartburn is caused by exposure of the lower esophagus to the acidic contents of the stomach. Normally, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) separating the stomach from the esophagus is supposed to contract to prevent this situation. If the sphincter relaxes for any reason (as normally occurs during swallowing), stomach contents, mixed with gastric acid, can return into the esophagus. This return is also known as reflux, and may progress to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) if it occurs frequently. Peristalsis, the rhythmic wave of muscular contraction in the esophagus, normally moves food down and past the LES and is responsible for ultimately clearing refluxed stomach contents. In addition, gastric acid can be neutralized by buffers present in saliva.

Foods that may cause heartburn:[citation needed]

Alcohol, especially Red wine.
Coffee, tea, cola, and other caffeinated beverages
Sodas (including cola), and other carbonated beverages
Citrus fruits and juices
Tomatoes and tomato sauces (such as pizza and pasta sauce)
Spicy foods
Peppermint and spearmint
Dry foods such as peanuts
Fatty foods such as ice cream
It can also be psychosomatic, primarily in relation to stress.

Physicians typically diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) based on symptoms alone. When the clinical presentation is unclear, other tests can be performed to confirm the diagnosis or exclude other disorders. Confirmatory tests include:

Ambulatory pH Monitoring
A probe can be placed via the nose into the esophagus to record the level of acidity in the lower esophagus. Because some degree of variation in acidity is normal, and small reflux events are relatively common, such monitors must be left in place for at least a 24-hour period to confirm the diagnosis of GERD. The test is particularly useful when the patient's symptoms can be correlated to episodes of increased esophageal acidity.
Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) Series
A series of x-rays of the upper digestive system are taken after drinking a barium solution. These can demonstrate reflux of barium into the esophagus, which suggests the possibility of gastroesophageal reflux disease. More accurately, fluoroscopy can be used to document reflux in real-time.

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