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Do you feel a burning sensation in your chest after eating spicy or acidic foods? While many factors can be responsible for heartburn, the sensation is uncomfortable in every situation. If your heartburn is consistent and lasts a few times a week or more, you may be dealing with an underlying condition like GERD — get immediate medical attention!

Even if the symptoms of heartburn are not regular, they are hard to deal with. So, how long can heartburn last? Carry on reading this blog to find out all about heartburn.

How Long Does a Heartburn Last?

There is no accurate answer for how long heartburn will last because it depends on each individual. While the symptoms of heartburn last only a few minutes for some individuals, others may deal with it for hours and even days.

If you have mild heartburn, particularly after consuming certain foods, the symptoms will go away once the meal has been digested. Moreover, the symptoms might return when you indulge in an activity that applies extra pressure on the sphincter muscle, such as lying down or bending over.

You may experience heartburn at nighttime, which is said to be most painful. It can also become pretty dangerous since the stomach acid might stay in your esophagus longer, damaging it.

Treating Heartburns

You can treat heartburn with the help of medications, including antacids, proton pump inhibitors, and H2 receptor antagonists. Other than this, lifestyle changes can also bring significant relief, such as:

  • Don’t Lie Down Immediately: If you have just eaten, avoid lying down for two hours. You can try walking instead to reduce the symptoms and keep your heartburn from becoming worse.
  • Avoid Eating Additional Food: Spicy, acidic, and citrus food make your heartburn worse — it is better to avoid eating any food until you feel better.
  • Stay Away from Potential Triggers: Certain foods can trigger heartburn as well, including tomatoes, alcohol, coffee, and more. Therefore, it is better to steer clear of foods and other things that can trigger heartburn, making your condition worse. You can continue when the heartburn has passed, preferably after it has been some time, but avoid triggers when the heartburn symptoms are still present.
  • No Smoking or Nicotine: You should refrain from smoking or using other types of nicotine to keep the heartburn from getting worse.
  • Try Elevating Your Upper Body When Sleeping: Your symptoms of heartburn at night become better if you elevate your upper body while sleeping. You can do so by using a special wedge pillow or lifting the head of the bed. Do not attempt to use extra pillows to achieve elevation; this actually makes the condition worse.
  • Wear Loose Clothing: Believe it or not, wearing loose clothing can actually help reduce the symptoms.


Your heartburn can last a few minutes to a few days, depending on the cause and your condition. Visit Gastroenterology at (281) 357-1977 for effective treatments, or give us a call at 421 School St., Suite 110, Tomball, TX 77375.

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