Symptoms and causes

What is

Acidic coffee can lead to heartburn symptoms.

Heartburn is the name given to the burning feeling or heat that begins in your chest and rises upwards to the throat. It usually comes in waves and is in response to stomach acid rising up through a valve from the stomach into the oesophagus (food pipe).1 In most cases, heartburn symptoms, including the burning sensation or pain, are occurring due to stomach acid irritating the unprotected oesophagus.

Heartburn usually happens after eating or when you go to bed or at night. How long does heartburn last? It can last for several hours or more. Many people suffer sleepless nights as a result of heartburn because the lying down position can contribute to the condition and increase the heartburn pain.

Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of GORD - Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease. It might sound scary, but in most cases GORD is not a serious condition and is experienced by one in ten people every day.2 However, persistent episodes can damage the lining of the oesophagus, so have a chat with your GP or pharmacist if you’re at all concerned.

Heartburn can be more common during pregnancy as the body changes hormonally and physically. To find out more about Rennie and pregnancy, visit our heartburn during pregnancy page.

What are the

Icon of a person suffering from heartburn symptoms: burning sensation in chest and throat

The heartburn symptoms can be described in lots of ways.

  • A burning sensation in your chest or throat after eating
  • A hot sour or salty tasting fluid in the back of your throat and difficulty swallowing
  • Pressure behind the breastbone
  • Feeling bloated
  • Needing to burp
  • Feeling sick
heartburn causes and symptoms

What causes

Hot red chillies - foods to avoid with heartburn.

Heartburn is very common. In most cases, it is caused by acid reflux, which is when the ring of muscle or valve (called the sphincter muscle) at the entrance to your stomach doesn’t close tightly, or relaxes too often, allowing acid from the stomach to travel out and up the oesophagus (food pipe).1

Certain foods can increase the likelihood of heartburn for different reasons. Foods to avoid with heartburn include fried or greasy foods, high fat meats and whole milk dairy products, because they can cause the valve to relax. Caffeinated drinks, coffee, alcohol and spicy foods can all stimulate excess acid production and increase the likelihood of heartburn.

Can stress cause heartburn? Some people find they experience heartburn when they are stressed.4

Being overweight means you can be more likely to suffer from heartburn because of increased pressure on your stomach, which can force open the valve after a meal.2,4 Even tight clothing can do this.

Are you suffering from heartburn? Read some treatment tips to help relieve the symptoms of heartburn

1. www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art/.asp?articlekey=144579&pf=2 [Accessed 11.02.2020]

2. https://thephysiciansclinic.co.uk/specialities/gastroenterology-hepatology/symptoms/acid-reflux/ [Accessed 11.02.2020]

3. Anand R Kumar & Philip O Katz. Functional esophageal disorders: a review of diagnosis and management. Expert Review of Gastroenterology & Hepatology(2013); 7 (5): 453-461

Treating heartburn >


Rennie Duo

Rennie Duo

With its dual action, Rennie® Duo combines its raft-forming and acid-neutralizing properties to provide comprehensive relief and protection from reflux than either action alone.

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Rennie peppermint

Rennie Peppermint

Containing antacid to neutralise excess stomach acid, Rennie Peppermint tablets work fast to relieve the symptoms of heartburn and indigestion.2,3,4

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Rennie spearmint

Rennie Spearmint

Containing antacid to neutralise excess stomach acid, Rennie Spearmint tablets work fast to relieve the symptoms of heartburn and indigestion.2,3,4

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Rennie orange flavour

Rennie Orange

A refreshing alternative to mint flavour tablets for treating your heartburn and indigestion. Rennie Orange gives the same fast and effective relief as the rest of the Rennie range.2,3,4

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Rennie Aniseed

Rennie Aniseed

Containing antacid to neutralise excess stomach acid, Rennie®Aniseed tablets work fast to relieve the symptoms of heartburn and indigestion.2,3,4

Learn more

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