Quest Vitamins LTD,
A Painful sensation beneath the breastbone, heartburn does not indicate a heart malfunction, but results from nervous tension or overindulgence in food or drink. The sensation is produced by spasmodic constrictions of the oesophagus, accompanied by regurgitation of stomach acids and may result in belching or Vomiting. Physical activity immediately following ingestion of food may exaggerate the symptoms.
Heartburn is often brought about by leaning forward or lying down. The acid from the stomach then, escapes past a faulty stomach muscle (sphincter) into the gullet (oesophagus). This condition is known as a hiatal Hernia.
Proper dietary habits (eating slowly, avoiding spicy foods and a period of physical inactivity immediately after eating) may prevent heartburn. Occasionally, this condition is symptomatic of a disease of the Digestive System, such as a stomach ulcer or a gall bladder disorder.
1. Capper WM, et al. Gallstones, gastric secretion, and flatulent dyspepsia. Lancet 1967; 1:413-15.