Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

MedicineNet - Heartburn

Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index

Medical Author:

Related
Symptoms & Signs

Heartburn is an uncomfortable feeling of burning and warmth behind the breastbone (sternum) but sometimes rising as high as the neck. It usually occurs after meals, when lying down, or at night while sleeping. Heartburn usually is due to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the rise of stomach acid back up into the esophagus. Heartburn has nothing whatsoever to do with the heart though the discomfort of heartburn may be confused with heart pain and vice versa. Heartburn is a popular nonmedical term that often is referred to medically as pyrosis.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/5/2003

Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.

REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

Causes of Heartburn
    • Angina Angina is chest pain due to inadequate blood supply to the heart. Angina symptoms may include chest tightness, burning,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Angina Article
      • What is angina?
      • What causes angina?
      • What are the different types of angina?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of angina?
      • How is angina diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for angina?
      • Angioplasty and coronary artery bypass surgery
      • What are other methods are used to evaluate angina?
      • What is the prognosis for angina?
      • Can angina be prevented?
    • Chest Pain Chest pain is a common complaint by a patient in the ER. Causes of chest pain include broken or bruised ribs, pleurisy,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Chest Pain Article
      • Chest pain facts
      • Chest pain introduction
      • What are the sources of chest pain?
      • What are the causes of chest pain?
      • How is chest pain diagnosed?
      • What is the philosophy of the approach to chest pain diagnosis?
      • What is the diagnosis and treatment for chest pain?
      • Broken or bruised ribs
      • Costochondritis
      • Pleuritis or pleurisy
      • Pneumothorax
      • Shingles
      • Pneumonia
      • Pulmonary embolism
      • Angina and heart attack (myocardial infarction)
      • Pericarditis
      • Aorta and aortic dissection
      • Esophagus and reflux esophagitis
      • Referred abdominal pain
    • Heart Attack Heart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart...learn more »
      In This Article
      Heart Attack Article
      • Heart attack facts
      • What is a heart attack?
      • What causes a heart attack?
      • What are the symptoms of a heart attack?
      • What are the complications of a heart attack?
      • What are the risk factors for atherosclerosis and heart attack?
      • How is a heart attack diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for heart attack?
      • What are the risk factors for heart attack in women?
      • What are the symptoms of heart attack in women and how is heart attack diagnosed?
      • How is heart attack in women treated?
      • What about hormone therapy and heart attack in women?
      • What is new in heart attack?
    • Hiatal Hernia Hiatal hernia is a condition in which a thin membrane of tissue connects the esophagus with the diaphragm becomes week, and a...learn more »
      In This Article
      Hiatal Hernia Article
      • Hiatal hernia definition
      • What causes a hiatal hernia?
      • Is there one more than one type of hiatal hernia?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of a hiatal hernia?
      • How is hiatal hernia diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for hiatal hernia?
      • Hiatal hernia medications
      • Lifestyle changes
      • Hiatal hernia surgery
    • Scleroderma Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease of the connective tissue. It is characterized by the formation of scar tissue (fibrosis) in...learn more »
      In This Article
      Scleroderma Article
      • Scleroderma facts
      • What is scleroderma?
      • What causes scleroderma?
      • What are risk factors for developing scleroderma?
      • How is scleroderma classified?
      • What are scleroderma symptoms and signs?
      • How is scleroderma diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for scleroderma?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for patients with scleroderma?
      • Can scleroderma be prevented?
    • Smoking (How to Quit Smoking) Smoking is an addiction. More than 430,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. from smoking related illnesses. Secondhand smoke or...learn more »
      In This Article
      Smoking (How to Quit Smoking) Article
      • Smoking and quitting smoking facts
      • What problems are caused by smoking?
      • What is addictive disease and why is smoking considered an addictive disease?
      • What are the signs of cigarette addiction?
      • Why should someone quit smoking?
      • What are the steps in quitting?
      • Getting ready to quit smoking
      • On the day you quit smoking
      • Staying quit
      • What methods can help a person quit smoking?
      • Behavioral modification and self-help literature to quit smoking
      • Nicotine replacement therapy to quit smoking
      • What prescription products are available for smoking cessation?
      • How are nicotine-containing products used safely?
      • What is in the future for smoking?
Other Causes of Heartburn
  • (No articles currently available)
Examples of Medications for Heartburn


Symptoms & Signs A-Z List



GI Disorders

Get the latest treatment options.


NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD