Ten per cent of people experience heartburn (or acid reflux) at least once per week, but for most people it is mild and temporary. Those who suffer from heartburn and acid reflux more consistently may have gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD or GERD). While many report that certain foods (citrus, chocolate, caffeine, spicy foods, garlic, tomatoes) exacerbate the pain, these are not universal. Heartburn is more common in people who are overweight or obese, pregnant or at times of stress.
Heavy meals, bending over forward, or lying down can bring the reflux on. Sometimes it is associated with regurgitation, or fluid coming up from your stomach to your throat, perhaps like a “wet burp”.
Usually, reflux causes no complications, but if you have any difficulty swallowing, or find that you need to chew more thoroughly than before, it is important to investigate further. Other symptoms which should be carefully considered are weight loss, blood in vomit, or black stools.