Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat (acid reflux). If it keeps happening, it's called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).
Check if you have acid reflux
The main symptoms of acid reflux are:
You may also have:
Your symptoms will probably be worse after eating, when lying down and when bending over.
Causes of heartburn and acid reflux
Lots of people get heartburn from time to time. There's often no obvious reason why.
Sometimes it's caused or made worse by:
How you can ease heartburn and acid reflux yourself
Simple lifestyle changes can help stop or reduce heartburn.
A pharmacist can help with heartburn and acid reflux
Speak to a pharmacist for advice if you keep getting heartburn.
They can recommend medicines called antacids that can help ease your symptoms.
It's best to take these with food or soon after eating, as this is when you're most likely to get heartburn. They may also work for longer if taken with food.
Find a pharmacy
See a GP if:
A GP can provide stronger treatments and help rule out any more serious possible causes of your symptoms.
Coronavirus update: how to contact a GP
It's still important to get help from a GP if you need it. To contact your GP surgery:
Find out how to get medical help from home.
Treatment from a GP
To ease symptoms of acid reflux, a GP may prescribe medicine that reduces how much acid your stomach makes, such as:
You may be prescribed 1 of these medicines for a month or 2 to see if your symptoms stop.
Go back to your GP if your symptoms come back after stopping your medicine. You may need a long-term prescription.
Tests and surgery for heartburn and acid reflux
If medicines do not help or your symptoms are severe, a GP may refer you to a specialist for: