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Heartburn

A burning sensation in the chest after eating is a form of indigestion, felt when the acid contents of the stomach are forced back into the food pipe.

• It should not be confused with having a heart attack, which is caused by a reduction in the blood supply to the heart. This leaves the victim with severe pains in the chest, sometimes spreading down one or both arms, dizziness and shortness of breath.

Occasional heartburn is quite normal and is mainly caused by eating too quickly, by eating spicy foods or by swallowing a gassy drink. It can be relieved by taking antacids, obtainable from chemists in tablet or liquid form.

Sufferers should avoid spicy food and dressings, alcohol, aspirin, garlic, onions, chocolate and coffee. Eat smaller meals, eat them slowly and sit upright at the table. If the symptoms persist, consult your doctor.