How Long Does Heartburn Last?

How Long Does Heartburn Last?

If you have frequent heartburn and you think it is too much acid, it is highly unlikely to be the cause of your reflux problem, because over 90% of adults who suffer from reflux, have normal or below normal levels of stomach acid. It is a fact that as we age, our acid levels decline and by age 50 we only have 15% of the stomach acid we had at age 25.

 More alarming is that 35% of us, over 65, produce no stomach acid at all. That could explains why calcium deficiencies is such a common health problems of older adults. Since stomach acid is essential for the proper calcium absorption. 

How long does a heartburn last?

Most symptoms last from 2 to 3 hours depending on circumstance.

What does heartburn feel like?

These symptoms are often associated with heartburn:

  • A Burning or pain in the chest or below the breast bone
  • Discomfort in the upper abdomen
  • Stomach pain after eating
  • Sour and bitter taste
  • Overly full
  • Belching, burping, nausea
  • Increased burning when bending over, lying down, or eating
  • Cough, sore throat, hoarseness
  • Feeling like something is stuck in the throat

Is my heartburn a disease?

Virtually every adult has experienced heartburn. The duration of heartburn, pushes the diagnosis of acid reflux and the damage it causes, into the disease category. If it is an occasional acid reflux symptom and it is remedied with a lifestyle change or eating habit or Tums, that should not be a cause for alarm.

When acid reflux goes beyond a feeling of discomfort and is present after every meal, drastic measures may need to be done. The use of over-the-counter or prescribed medication to decrease the production of stomach acid may be needed. But, please see a doctor and get the proper tests done to determine what your acid level is and how best to treat the condition. Remember if you are over age 50, it maybe a sign of a low acid condition and you DO NOT want to be treated for a high acid symptoms which would make your overall health worse.

Quick tips to relieve your heartburn feeling

Symptoms can be managed by simply changing some lifestyle habits or avoiding certain triggers. Below are some tips to help you relieve your symptoms:

Eat smaller portions throughout the day

Excessive food in the stomach creates higher amounts of pressure, leading to increased chances of stomach acid escaping through the esophageal sphincter.

Avoid trigger foods

Certain food can increase the amount of acidity in the stomach, referred to as trigger foods. Trigger foods increases acid production and makes symptoms worse.

Some trigger foods include:

  • Fried foods
  • Foods that contain artificial sweeteners
  • Preservatives
  • Tomatoes
  • Citrus fruits
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Caffeinated products
  • Peppermint
  • Alcohol

Control your stress

Be it from your work or due to problems at home. Stress can wreak havoc on the body, causing the production of stress hormones that can increase acid reflux symptoms. The gut and the brain are connected by a complex network of nerves that control everything from muscle concentration to the amount of acid produced thus having an excessive amount of emotional stress can be linked to fluctuations in hormone levels.

It may be due to your medication

One of the side-effects of the medication you currently take. Certain medication used for the treatment of high blood pressure has shown to induce acid reflux symptoms. Your birth control pill has also been implicated. Even smoking is known for relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter, leading to acid reflux.

When to see a doctor?

It is never a bad idea to get expert advice of professional espically when there’s a problem with your body. Having heartburn for a longer period of time can actually lead to life threatening complications. If you experience the following symptoms alongside your heartburn, it’s recommended to see a doctor right away.

  • Large amounts of vomiting
  • Forceful vomiting
  • Vomit that is yellow or bloody or looks like coffee grounds
  • Difficulty breathing after vomiting
  • Mouth or throat pain after vomiting
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing

More Information is available

You should also read my other articles on Heartburn | Did you know there a 2 kinds  and Why We Need Stomach Acid because this article only presents some of the many symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and if you do not get any relief doing any of these fixes or cures and want some VERY important information!

11 Replies to “How Long Does Heartburn Last?”

  1. Great article with a good explanation of trigger foods to avoid and what causes the irritation. I use a teaspoon of bi-carbonate of soda mixed in 100ml of water when I have it. Usually after eating junk food like pizza. Thank you for sharing this information.

  2. I always ate a lot of fried food and I often had heartburn but I did not know by what. Thanks to your website I found out by what. Are there any home treatment, do I have to go to the doctor? Thanks.

    1. Michael,
      Thank for visiting, Yes there are, but you need to find out what triggers the symptoms, does eating any amount of fried foods cause the problem or only when you overeat? How often do you have these problems, only when you eat fried foods? if you have other trigger food problems? if you can narrow it down to fried foods then you may only need the over the counter ‘NEXIUM’ the purple pill. Read my other article for more information.

  3. i Ross, a very informative article,i started having heartburn i think when i was about 15,the only way i got rid of it was when i reduced my intake of fried food and fizzy drinks.

    1. Thank you for the comments, Frequent indigestion is NOT normal and needs to be treated correctly by identifying which type of problems your stomach is having. This may sound strange, but there are two forms of indigestion, The treatment for one codition is to add acid to the stomach. the other is when you use TUMS or Rolaids which is meant to neutralize or decrease excessive acid which relieves Heartburn. You need to know which one it is so Please Read my other article ‘’ for methods to test for this condition. Knowing which is causing the problem is VERY important to solving it.

      Again thanks for to comment and if you have any questions please let me know.
      Live well my friend

  4. Ross I had a recent heartburn attack for the first time a few weeks ago. I’ve been researching ways to stop it and come across your site.
    Thanks for your tips and think mine was triggered by fried food which I’m now staying away from.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Vince,
      Thanks for the comments
      Remember Heartburn is not NORMAL it is a symptom of a problem in your digestive system and needs the correct solution, treating only the symptom is not a cure it is masking the underlying condition. You need to determine what the real cause is. If your stomach produces to much acid when you eat Fried food, that just means your stomach is already producing to high a level of stomach acid but has nothing to react on and you don’t feel the pain. Do the simple tests outlined in the article if the test indicate a high acid, you may need to get the ‘purple pill’ to medically reduce stomach acid. Which will stop any further damage to the stomach lining and you can eat fried foods again. If it tests indicate low acid than you have to add acid to your meals, yes, low acid can still give the feeling of fullness or sour taste and burning in the wind pipe but it is caused by undigested sour food. And add acid to each meal solves the issue and you can eat normally again. Major benefits to either condition is overall a better health condition and wellness.

      Thanks again for the comments and if you have any questions hope I can give you shorter answers.
      Live well my freind

  5. Hello Ross, Thank you so much for doing an article on a topic that we all experience and are not happy about. This was so informative and thorough. I really appreciate how you listed possible triggers also. If someone is having indigestion very often is there a cause for alarm? And I heard that apple cider vinegar, like Graggs is great for this. What do you think?
    In peace and gratitude, ariel

    1. Thank you for the comments, and to answer your question, frequent indigestion is NOT normal and needs to be treated correctly by identifying which type of problems your stomach is having. This may sound strange, but there are two forms of indigestion, one, the feeling of fullness, burping or belching soon after eating any meal that contains red meats (pork and chicken are white meat) or cheeses, fried food of any kind. BUT YOU DO NOT get the burning Heartburn type of feeling. This is the sign of LOW stomach acid. The treatment for this conditions is to add acid to the stomach not TUMS or Rolaids which is meant to neutralize or decrease excessive acid. Please Read my other article ‘’ for methods to test for this condition. Knowing which is causing the problem is VERY important to solving it.

      Thanks again and stay well my friend, if you have question please let me know.

  6. Hey Ross,
    Thanks for a great article. In my experience, foods rich in carbohydrates have been found to trigger heart burn. I am talking about foods like bread, sweet potatoes, cassava and the like. Just taking water is very helpful to significantly bring down the pain associated with a heart burn – probably because it dilutes whatever acid that may be troubling you. Any thoughts on water as a remedy? All the best Ross.

    1. Mark,

      Thank you for your comments..

      Stomach acid or Hydrochloric acid is produced only in the presence of proteins and is inhibited by sugars and starches. A high-carbohydrate diet significantly reduces the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. A lack of adequate levels of hydrochloric acid and any foods can still give you the symptoms of Heartburn or sour stomach the same as high stomach acid. Please read my other article and do the suggested test to determine which you may have. yes there ARE high and low stomach acid and both can be helped with drinking water but you are only masking the problem and hurting yourself in the long run.


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