Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest caused by stomach acid rising up towards the throat.

Causes & Symptoms

Heartburn usually happens after meals, near bedtime or during the night.

The symptoms of heartburn include:

  • A burning sensation in the chest or throat after eating.
  • A hot sour tasting fluid in the back of your throat accompanied with difficulty swallowing.
  • Pressure behind the breastbone.
  • Feeling bloated.
  • Needing to burp.
  • Feeling sick.

In the majority of cases, heartburn is a natural response to stomach acid. However, certain foods can trigger reflux which results to painful symptoms. Here are the foods which can trigger reflux and are best to avoid.

What can cause heartburn?

  • Fried and greasy foods 
  • Eating too much
  • Eating too quickly 
  • Fatty meats and dairy products
  • Alcohol, caffeinated drinks and spicy food


Acid reflux can also occur at bedtime or during sleep. The lying position makes it easier for stomach contents to travel up the esophagus up to the throat. Because of this, heartburn and other symptoms of reflux, like coughing, can happen while sleeping. When these symptoms happen, sleep will be disrupted affecting the quality of sleep.

  • Eating heavy meals. Keep your meals light and your portions small to lower your likelihood of heartburn.
  • Fatty foods. Foods high in fat can occasionally be culprits as well.
  • Stress and anxiety. Did you know that stress can cause an upset stomach? That’s because anxiety uses up our prostaglandins, which are lipids in our body that protect us from acid.
  • Drinking alcohol. Alcohol relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (muscles that guard the opening of the stomach). Plus, the greasy foods we enjoy alongside a drink don’t help matters either.
  • Smoking. Like alcohol, nicotine relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, increasing the likelihood of acids refluxing (moving) up your stomach.

Lifestyle change is the first step in the management of heartburn. Quitting smoking, watching what you eat and taking steps to reduce stress are all effective measures. In the interim, Gaviscon is designed to help. Gaviscon creates a protective layer on top of your stomach acid contents that protects you from the potential harms of reflux -- even while you are sleeping.


To stop acid from rising up and causing irritation, Gaviscon products use sodium alginate, a viscous formulation that forms a protective barrier on top of the stomach contents. Gaviscon Double Action products also contain antacids, which neutralizes acids.

By combining the two actions, you enjoy powerful relief, thereby taking your life off pause. 

Dosage: Take 10-20 ml (1-2 sachets) of Gaviscon Original or 10-20ml (1-2 sachets) of Gaviscon Double Action after meals and at bedtime or 2-4 tablets of either Gaviscon Original or Gaviscon Double Action tablet.

For children 6 to 12 years: take 5-10ml (one to two 5 ml spoonfuls) after meals and at bedtime, up to four times a day (Gaviscon Original).

All information presented is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. If symptoms persist, consult your doctor. Always read the label.

Frequent Sufferers

Repeatedly suffering from heartburn? Don’t let it put your life on pause.


Our bodies use stomach acid to break down the contents of food, and we have a valve or “gate” in our esophagus that keeps this acid in place. Occasionally, the acid will rise up and cause heartburn

Sufferers often complain of discomfort after eating, or when lying down.

Older people tend to suffer from heartburn more often, as the valve gets weaker with age.

If you are using PPI, you can complement it with using Gaviscon Double Action.

If symptoms persist, you might have a disease known as GERD. 

Suffering from heartburn regularly? Dealing with a burning sensation in your chest after eating? You might have what’s known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

GERD presents symptoms indistinguishable from heartburn and indigestion but occurs at a frequency that is chronic.

In such a case, you should consult with a doctor immediately. GERD can cause you to develop ulcers and it can even restrict your breathing, so a professional’s advice is required.

The good news is that GERD can be effectively treated over time, and lifestyle tweaks including the food and drinks you consume can limit the discomfort.