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Heartburn is the burning or warming sensation in the chest. Because, the location of the esophagus is near the heart, it is called heartburn. When acids from the stomach is backup into the esophagus, it causes discomfort. The esophagus lacks the lining to protect it from the acid. This sensation could last up to 2 hours after eating.

What causes heartburn? Heartburn is cause when the flap separating the esophagus from the stomach becomes relaxed. This allows acid to leak into the esophagus. By reducing foods that aggravate this, you can prevent heartburn from occurring. Here are some foods you should reduce or eliminate.

* Eliminate acid containing foods such as lemons, oranges, and tomatoes. You eliminate extra acid by eliminating these foods.
* Eliminate spicy foods such as foods that contain chili powder and pepper. These spices may promote the production of more acid by the stomach.
* Eliminate caffeine and alcohol. These beverages promote acid secretion in the stomach.
* Eliminate fatty foods such as potato chips and fried chicken. These foods may promote the relaxation of the flap causing the acid to leak into the esophagus.

There a several things other things that contribute to heartburn. Here are some examples.

* Overeating. By overeating you, cause too much food to be in the stomach and may promote the reflex of food into the esophagus.
* Lying down right after a meal. Gravity can also cause the acid to back up into the esophagus.

If you already have heartburn or have persistent here are some ways to relieve it.

* Take an antacid
* Take a H2 blocker, which is available over the counter near the antacids. Take before a meal to prevent from occurring.
* Do not lay down right after a meal
* Lose weight
* Stop smoking

Heartburn is not dangerous. It is just aggravating. If you have heartburn more than twice a week, or start an hour or two after eating, consult your doctor. Heartburn can be a symptom of a potentially hazardous disease, such as GERD. If left untreated GERD can cause erosions in the esophagus.