Symptoms of heartburn
A burning sensation in the stomach or chest
Causes of heartburn
Heartburn is a sense of burning in the stomach. In most instances, some of the stomach digestive juices have backed up out of the stomach into the esophagus (the food tube between the mouth and the stomach). This backing-up action is called reflux.
These juices include hydrochloric acid, which is a rather powerful acid. It is used in industry, to clean metal. When it comes in contact with the esophagus, it burns the wall. Normally, the esophageal sphincter muscle shuts and prevents stomach acids from pushing upward.
Heartburn can be caused by excessive consumption of fatty or fried foods, alcohol, coffee, spicy foods, chocolate, or just having too much food in the stomach. Citrus fruits or tomato-based foods cause it in a few people.