Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling 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 or salty tasting fluid in the back of your throat accompanied with difficulty swallowing.
  • Pressure behind the breastbone.
  • Needing to burp.
  • Feeling sick.
  • Other

In the majority of cases, heartburn is a natural response to stomach acid. But we understand how disruptive it can be, which is why we’ve identified foods that are best to avoid.

What are the habits that typically contribute to heartburn/ indigestion?

  • 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, lipids in our body that protect us from acid.
  • Drinking alcohol. Alcohol relaxes the lower oesophageal sphincter (the muscles that protect you from acid). Plus, the greasy foods we enjoy alongside a drink don’t help matters either.
  • Smoking. Like alcohol, nicotine relaxes the lower oesophageal sphincter, increasing the likelihood of acids refluxing (moving) up your stomach.

Stress and excess weight are also contributing factors, so observing a careful diet and getting plenty of exercise will likely help. That said, you don’t have to put your life on hold because of heartburn - and we’re here to help.

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, which can all also cause the sphincter valve to open


Heartburn can have a huge impact on both your quality and quantity of sleep, with acid reflux most likely to occur around bedtime. Compounding this is the fact that lying down makes it easier for the acid to travel up your throat. What’s more, heavy meals before bed puts more pressure on your upper oesophageal sphincter valve, forcing it open.

Lifestyle is always an important consideration. 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 that protects you from the potential harms of heartburn - especially when you’re sleeping.


To stop acid from rising up and causing irritation, Gaviscon products use sodium alginate, a viscous formulation that forms a protective barrier in the stomach. Some Gaviscon products also contain antacids, which turn excess acid into water and other neutral substances. 

Dosage: Take 10-20 ml (Gaviscon Liquid) or 5-10 ml (Gaviscon Advance) after meals and at bedtime. Consider one teaspoon to equal 5 ml. 

All information presented is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. If symptoms are severe or prolonged you should consult a doctor or pharmacist. 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 oesophagus that keeps this acid in place. Occasionally, the acid will get through, and create the feeling of heartburn. Sufferers often complain of discomfort after eating, or when lying down.

Experiencing symptoms every week? We’re here to help. Guardium can be taken for up to 24 hour relief. Guardium is a Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI), which contains esomeprazole that works by blocking acid pumps in your stomach.

Pair it with one of our other products, such as Gaviscon Advance or Gaviscon Double Action for fast effective relief while Guardium takes effect. Do not use Guardium for more than 14 days or Gaviscon for more than 7 Days.

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

GORD 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.

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