Health-Related Issues -- Heartburn

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the upper chest which is usually caused by reflux of acid from the stomach into the esophagus.  This condition is frequently called gastroesphagel refux disease or GERD.  Factors that contribute to heartburn include diet, medications, smoking, obesity, and some medical problems.


  • indigestion or burning sensation in the upper chest
  • regurgitation of food or acid from the stomach
  • nausea, sometimes vomiting
  • chronic cough or sore throat


  • symptoms of heartburn that persist or is increasing in severity or duration
  • heartburn in a male over age 40 or female over age 50
  • heartburn that is not relieved within 20 minutes of taking antacids
  • heartburn that awakens you from your sleep
  • blood in stools or vomit
  • vomiting
  • involuntary weight loss

Get Advice For

  • avoid foods that increase symptoms, such as coffee, alcohol, chocolate, peppermint, fatty or fried foods
  • avoid large meals
  • eat your last meal of the day at least three hours before bedtime
  • avoid tight clothing around the waist, belts or girdles
  • maintain a healthy weight urination
  • avoid lying down for three hours after eating
  • elevate the head of your bed on 6" blocks
  • over the counter medications, such as anti-acids, Zantac, or Pepcid
  • prescription medications such as Prilosec, Prevacid, or Nexium