Despite its name, heartburn does not affect the heart.

This common disorder, from which some 80 million Americans suffer each month, is caused when acids in the stomach flow backward into the esophagus. This tube between the stomach and the mouth passes close to the heart.Items that can cause heartburn, according to the makers of Gaviscon Antacid, include fatty foods, onion, spices, coffee, soda pop, milk, fruit and whole grain foods.

Stress, nervous tension and emotional upset can also produce stomach acid, leading to heartburn.