The hollow tube connecting your mouth to your stomach is called the oesophagus. At the lower end of this tube is a muscle called the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES).  This muscle prevents food from moving back up your oesophagus once it reaches your stomach. However if this muscle does not close properly the acid that your stomach produces to digest your food may leak into your oesophagus causing a burning sensation.

Treatment for heartburn is usually done using a gradual approach. Your GP may recommend diet or lifestyle changes. Often over the counter antacids relieve the symptoms. Stronger medication to decrease the levels of stomach acid produced may also be prescribed.

If your heartburn symptoms persist or increase your GP may refer you to specialist consultant.