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What is Indigestion

Indigestion is the name used to describe pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen, usually experienced after meals. When the pain is felt behind the breast bone, it is commonly referred to as Heartburn.

What Causes Heartburn?

Heartburn is caused by acid moving from the stomach into the oesophagus. The acid is needed in order to digest food. The stomach lining is protected from this acid, whereas the oesophagus is not. The resultant pain is caused by the acid ‘burning’ the oesophagus. Heartburn is not caused by too much acid, but by the acid being in the wrong place.

The valve at the top of the stomach should act as a barrier to prevent the acid from flowing into the oesophagus. When this valve does not work properly, the result can be Heartburn. Most Heartburn can be relieved by managing your eating habits or by the use of simple antacids. It is advisable to seek medical advice if you suffer from prolonged symptoms or pain.