Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Heartburn/GORD health centre

Heartburn/GORD overview

Heartburn can be a common discomfort for some people after eating and drinking. Heartburn triggers include certain foods, medications, obesity and even stress. Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease or GORD causes acid to leak out of the stomach and into the oesophagus.

Select a chapter

RSS Feed | Help

Latest headlines

Heartburn drug may increase risk of death

Proton pump inhibitors, used to treat heartburn, may be linked to a higher risk of dying prematurely

Read full article

Medications

Heartburn symptoms and GORD symptoms (gastro-oesophageal reflux disease)

Despite its name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart (although some of the symptoms are similar to a heart attack). Heartburn is an irritation of the oesophagus caused by stomach contents, including stomach acid, that refluxes (comes up) from the stomach. Heartburn is also a symptom of more serious gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, or GORD.

When swallowing, food passes down the throat and through the oesophagus to the stomach. Normally a muscular valve called the lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS) opens to allow food into the stomach (or to permit belching), then it closes again. Then the stomach releases strong acids to help break down the food. But if the lower oesophageal sphincter opens too often or does not close tight enough, stomach acid and other stomach contents can reflux or seep back into the oesophagus, damaging it and causing the burning sensation we know as heartburn.

Mind, body & soul newsletter

Looking after your
health and wellbeing.
Sign Up Now!

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman_holding_head_in_pain
How to help headache pain
rash on skin
Top eczema triggers to avoid
boost your metabolism
Foods to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol
period_questions_answered
Tips to support digestive health
woman looking at pregnancy test
Is your body ready for pregnancy?
sick child
Dos and don'ts for childhood eczema
girl_sneezing_into_tissue
Treating your child's cold or fever
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning and organising tips
adult man contemplating
When illness makes it hard to eat
woman holding stomach
Understand this common condition
cold sore
What you need to know