Many people are misinformed that heartburn actually involves a problem with the heart. That is not so.

Though the discomfort associated with heartburn is felt in the chest region, it is the digestive system that is involved, not the heart. Some people even have so much pain, that it can be confused with heart attack symptoms.

Basically, when certain foods are eaten the stomach acids often powerfully and negatively react, compelling stomach acid into the esophagus. The end result is a chemical burn. This is heartburn.

The stomach, which is protected by a tough lining and a layer of mucus, is different than the esophagus because the esophagus does not have this sort of protection.

Because the protection is non-existent, when acid enters back through the intended one way sphincter, burns occur. In medical terms, the long term chronic condition is called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

If you suffer from heartburn, however, you may not have GERD. You may have the temporary condition of heartburn known as acid reflux.

Essentially, if you have acid reflux, you can probably curb most symptoms through your choices of food and beverage.

Most people who suffer heartburn will normally take an antacid at the onset of symptoms. Antacids calm down the acid production because they contain ingredients that are base. There are even more recent over-the-counter and prescription drugs that can be taken before a meal to prevent the onset in the first place.

So you may ask, "What is heartburn?" Hopefully, you have learned a little bit about the symptoms and causes. It is important to especially know the difference between a heartburn pain and a real heart attack.

Though there is localized pain in the chest for both heartburn and heart attack, a heart attack will also emit additional pain through the back and down the left arm. The type of pain, however, in the chest differs.

For heartburn, the pain often sharp pain, whereas a heart attack is more dull pain. If you are having chest pains and can't tell the difference, it is always best to go to the nearest hospital.

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