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Heart burn (gastrooesophageal reflux disease - GORD)

Heartburn as its name suggests is a burning sensation and sometimes pain felt in the stomach, behind the sternum and through the chest. Heart burn occurs when hydrochloric acid, which is essential for the digestion of food, travels back up the oesophagus and causes irritation of tissue. Normally, a sphincter shuts close and prevents the back-travel of this acid. GORD can scar tissue and if it enters the lung, can produce asthma-esque symptoms.

Triggers: alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, citrus fruits and products, spicy food, peppermint, stress, enzyme deficiencies and gallbladder issues.

Symptoms: pain in the chest, bloating, flatulence, shortness of breath, nausea,

Who to consult: Dietician, gastroenterologist, GP, naturopath, pharmacist.