How Do You Make Heartburn Go Away?

Reviewed on 6/14/2022
Illustration of the intestines showing how heartburn occurs
Lifestyle changes can provide heartburn relief, including avoiding common food triggers, avoiding overeating, not eating two to three hours before bed, losing weight, elevating the head of your bed, not smoking, and wearing loose clothing around the abdomen. If lifestyle changes do not work, medications and surgery may be used.

Heartburn feels like a burning pain in the chest that is usually caused by acid reflux. Reflux occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach, causing irritation. 

When acid reflux occurs more than twice weekly, is long-lasting, or causes uncomfortable symptoms or damage, it is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Despite the name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. 

In some cases, heartburn will go away with lifestyle modifications or non-prescription medicines. 

Lifestyle changes to help make heartburn go away may include:

  • Avoid foods that worsen heartburn symptoms 
    • Common food triggers for heartburn symptoms include: 
  • Avoid overeating
  • Don’t eat two to three hours before bed
    • Lying down with a full stomach can make heartburn worse
  • Lose weight if you are overweight or obese
  • Raise the head of the bed six to eight inches using blocks of wood or rubber under two legs of the bed or a foam wedge under the mattress
  • Don’t smoke
  • Wear loose clothing around the abdomen

If lifestyle changes do not make heartburn symptoms go away, medications used to treat the condition include: 

If heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is severe, and symptoms do not go away with lifestyle changes or medications, surgery may be needed. Types of surgery to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) include: 

  • Fundoplication
  • Endoscopic techniques

What Does Heartburn Feel Like?

The characteristic symptom of heartburn is burning pain or discomfort in the chest, stomach, abdomen, or throat. 

Other symptoms that can accompany heartburn include: 

What Causes Heartburn?

The main cause of heartburn is acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which occur when the lower esophageal sphincter becomes weak or relaxes, resulting in the stomach contents backing up into the esophagus. 

Lower esophageal sphincter weakness or relaxation may be caused by:

Reviewed on 6/14/2022
Image Source: iStock Images