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

Acid reflux linked to neck cancers

A US study has found that gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) may increase the risk of cancer of the throat, tonsils and parts of the sinuses in older people.

Read full article


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

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 (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.

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

How to help headache pain
rash on skin
Top eczema triggers to avoid
Causes of fatigue & how to fight it
Tips to support digestive health
woman looking at pregnancy test
Is your body ready for pregnancy?
woman sleeping
Sleep better tonight
Treating your child's cold or fever
fifth disease
Illnesses every parent should know
spoonfull of sugar
Surprising things that harm your liver
woman holding stomach
Understand this common condition
What your nails say about your health