Aptly named, heartburn is the name given to the burning sensation of
indigestion in the stomach and/or chest. It often occurs when hydochloric
acid, which is used to digest food in the stomach, backs up. This causes
the esophagus to become irritated.
Under normal circumstances,
the esophageal sphincter closes to prevent the acid from entering the
sensitive tissues of the esophagus, but when the sphincter is not functioning
properly, acid gets through, into the area. This is called gastroespophageal
People with hiatal
hernia often suffer from heartburn, as do those excessively consuming
fatty or fried foods, coffee, alcohol, citrus fruits, chocolate and/or
tomato based foods.