Heartburn is a common problem created by acid reflux, a condition where some of the stomach contents are forced back up into the oesophagus. It creates a burning pain in the lower chest. A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that it’s the body’s inflammatory response—more than the stomach acid itself—that’s causing the damage. If you don’t get treatment for serious heartburn, you can develop additional health problems, such as an inflammation of the oesophagus, which is called oesophagitis, or Barrett’s oesophagus. Barrett’s oesophagus causes changes in the lining of the oesophagus that can increase your risk of oesophageal cancer.