Heartburn is a burning in the chest and throat caused by acid reflux. If you experience heartburn at least twice a week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Untreated, GERD can cause serious damage—esophagitis or Barrett’s esophagus, which can be a precursor to cancer. Acid reflux can also be caused by hiatal hernia. Learn to control common acid reflux triggers like stress, certain foods and obesity. Get the facts about treatments, including diet and lifestyle modification, antacids, H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors.