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Is Heartburn And Acid Reflux The Same Thing

Aggravating Factors For Acid Reflux Can Include:

Heartburn, Reflux and GERD: All The Same Thing?
  • Smoking
  • Consuming large meals or eating food late at night
  • Consuming certain trigger foods, such as fatty or fried foods
  • Drinking certain beverages, such as alcohol or coffee
  • Taking certain medications, such as aspirin

Some of these factors can be hard to discern on your own.

If you suspect that they might be contributing to the onset or deterioration of your acid reflux or GERD symptoms, you may want to consult a doctor as soon as possible so that preventive action can be taken.

About The Linx Procedure

The LINX device

The LINX device is a flexible ring that is intended to reduce daily GERD symptoms. When a patient swallows food or water, the device will expand to allow food to enter the stomach. Then almost immediately, it will close again to prevent reflux from the stomach into the esophagus.

The LINX device is implanted surgically. The LINX procedure is done laparoscopically, meaning that the surgeon makes 3 or 4 smaller incisions in the abdomen and uses tools and cameras to implant the device.

Its a quick procedure and minimally invasive. Patients often go home from the hospital the very same day.

The device is safe and effective in the long-term.

Differences Between Heartburn And Indigestion

There is often confusion in distinguishing between indigestion and heartburn. Both share certain common causes and other similarities, but the two are essentially different from each other. A key way to determine the difference between heartburn and indigestion is that indigestion is a condition with heartburn as one of its symptoms, albeit the causal link is not always present. Heartburn is more of a symptom than a condition in itself, which is commonly associated with acid reflux incidences including gastroesophageal reflux disease .

Recommended Reading: Best Thing For Severe Heartburn

Read Also: Why Am I Having Heartburn All Day

How Can I Prevent Indigestion

The best way to prevent indigestion is to avoid the foods and situations that seem to cause it. Keeping a food diary is helpful in identifying foods that cause indigestion. Here are some other suggestions:

  • Eat small meals so the stomach does not have to work as hard or as long.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Avoid foods that contain high amounts of acids, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes.
  • Reduce or avoid foods and beverages that contain caffeine.
  • If stress is a trigger for your indigestion, learn new methods for managing stress, such as relaxation and biofeedback techniques.
  • If you smoke, quit.Ã Smoking can irritate the lining of the stomach.
  • Cut back on alcohol consumption, because alcohol can also irritate the stomach lining.
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting garments, because they tend to compress the stomach, which can cause its contents to enter the esophagus.
  • Donât exercise with a full stomach. Rather, exercise before a meal or at least one hour after eating a meal.
  • Donât lie down right after eating.
  • Wait at least three hours after your last meal of the day before going to bed.
  • Sleep with your head elevated above your feet and use pillows to prop yourself up. This will help allow digestive juices to flow into the intestines rather than to the esophagus.

Gaviscon Dual Action To The Rescue

Acid Reflux and GERD: The same thing?

Gaviscon Dual Action works in two ways to effectively relieve the symptoms of heartburn and indigestion:

  • The antacid the antacid in Gaviscon Dual Action neutralises excess stomach acid to relieve the pain and discomfort of indigestion.
  • The raft the alginate in Gaviscon Dual Action forms a thick layer on top of your stomach contents. The raft then acts as a physical barrier that helps keep your stomach contents where they belong in your stomach and not in your oesophagus where they can cause discomfort and burning pain.
  • Gaviscon Dual Action Liquid starts to soothe from 4 minutes!*

    However, if you are ever concerned about your symptoms, always seek medical advice. Likewise see a healthcare professional if your symptoms become frequent or get worse.

    *Strugala V, et al. J Int Med Res 2010.

    Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.


    Recommended Reading: Best Way To Fight Heartburn

    Symptoms Of Acid Reflux And Heartburn

    If you have acid reflux, you may experience uncomfortable symptoms of heartburn, such as:

    • A burning feeling behind your breastbone that occurs after you eat
    • Chest pain
    • Regurgitating food
    • A feeling of a lump in your throat

    Heartburn can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, and it usually goes away when your food is fully digested.

    Over-the-counter and prescription heartburn medications can also prevent or lessen symptoms.

    Give Yourself A Buffer Before Bedtime

    If you lay down immediately after eating, its going to be easier for acid to flow back up. Thats why we recommend eating your last meal of the day two to three hours before bedtime. You can even develop a bedtime routine with activities like meditation thatll make your mind and body even more relaxed.

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    How Livi Can Help

    If lifestyle changes and medication dont help, your doctor may refer you for an endoscopy, for further investigation. An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube that has a light and camera at one end so images of the inside of your body can be seen on a screen. Its not usually painful but may be a little uncomfortable and usually takes 15-45 minutes. This procedure can help a specialist determine any deeper causes of your indigestion and identify a course of suitable treatment.

    This article has been medically approved by Dr Rhianna McClymont, Livi Lead GP

    Heartburn And Acid Reflux Same Thing

    Heartburn, Acid Reflux and GERD The Differences Decoded

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    Recommended Reading: What Foods Cause Heartburn Or Acid Reflux

    What Causes Acid Reflux Disease

    One common cause of acid reflux disease is a stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia. This occurs when the upper part of the stomach and LES move above the diaphragm, a muscle that separates your stomach from your chest. Normally, the diaphragm helps keep acid in our stomach. But if you have a hiatal hernia, acid can move up into your esophagus and cause symptoms of acid reflux disease.

    These are other common risk factors for acid reflux disease:

    • Eating large meals or lying down right after a meal

    Is There A Difference Between Acid Reflux And Indigestion

    Quite often, the terms acid reflux and indigestion are used interchangeably without fully understanding the differences between the two.

    There are in fact a number of differences between the two as indigestion is not, as many believe, just a milder form of acid reflux.

    Rennie have taken the time to look into the two issues, and have put together this guide to allow you to understand the differences for yourself.

    Read Also: Natural Ways To Treat Heartburn

    Medical Treatments For Gerd

    Medications are available with and without a prescription for acid reflux and GERD.

    Antacids: First-line treatments for acid reflux are usually antacids. These medicines act quickly to reduce the effect of stomach acid, which can relieve symptoms. Examples of these medicines are Tums and Rolaids.

    If these medicines dont relieve acid reflux or a person has GERD, other treatments can include:

    H2 blockers: H2 blockers are designed to reduce the amount of acid a persons stomach produces. Sometimes taking these medicines with antacids can help. Examples of these medicines include cimetidine and famotidine .

    Proton pump inhibitors: These medications work longer than H2 blockers to reduce acid in the stomach. They can also help heal the stomach lining. Examples include:

    • esomeprazole
    • lansoprazole
    • pantoprazole

    Prokinetics: These are medications like metoclopramide . There is controversy as to whether these medications benefit people with GERD. Many new prokinetics have been removed from the market due to serious side effects .

    If medications dont reduce a persons acid reflux symptoms, a doctor may recommend surgery to avoid further damage to the esophagus and stomach. One surgical approach is known as Nissen fundoplication. This involves wrapping a portion of your stomach around the esophagus to strengthen the LES.

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    Causes Of Acid Reflux And Heartburn

    Is Acid Reflux And Gerd The Same ~ Gerd Problem

    Acid reflux and heartburn can happen to anyone and for a multitude of reasons, but there are several that are the most common.

    Medical conditions that may contribute to acid reflux and heartburn include:

    • Pregnancy
    • A hiatal hernia, when your stomach bulges into your chest
    • Medications such as aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs

    Acid reflux that happens frequently and interferes with your daily functioning is called gastroesophageal reflux Acid reflux that happens frequently and interferes with your daily functioning may be a medical condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease .

    Health conditions or lifestyle factors that increase your risk of GERD are:

    • Obesity
    • Drinking alcohol or coffee
    • Taking aspirin

    If you think you may have GERD, consult with your health care provider, who can help you understand the cause and find a treatment to alleviate your symptoms and prevent long-term damage to your esophagus.

    Also Check: Why Am I Having A Lot Of Heartburn

    Causes Of Acid Reflux Disease:

    The lower oesophagal sphincter is present at the junction of the oesophagus and stomach. It acts as a valve and prevents the backflow of gastric contents into the oesophagus. Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when LES is not functioning properly. It can be due to the following causes:

    1. Abnormalities of the lower oesophagal sphincter: Lower oesophagal sphincter is the most important factor in GER. People have GER because the LES in them have decreased tone and is not tight enough to prevent the backflow of gastric contents.

    In others, basal sphincter tone is normal but reflux occurs in response to frequent episodes of inappropriate sphincter relaxation.

    2. Hiatal hernia: Hiatal hernia is the herniation of the stomach through the diaphragm into the chest. The diaphragm is a muscle that separates the abdominal cavity from the chest.

    However, it has openings in it for the passages of the oesophagus, blood vessels and nerves. A sliding hiatal hernia is when the stomach herniates through the oesophagal foramen. But how is all this related to GER? Hiatal hernia is associated with acid reflux disease because it interferes with the normal functioning of the lower oesophagal sphincter.

    Hiatus hernia causes reflux because the pressure gradient between the abdominal and thoracic cavities is lost which normally pinches the hiatus. In addition, the oblique angle between the cardia and oesophagus disappears.

    Acid Reflux: The Cause

    Acid reflux is when the contents of your stomachlike food or acidsgo in the wrong direction. They travel from your stomach back to your throat through the tube connecting them, your esophagus.

    When you have acid reflux, you may taste food or stomach acid in the back of your mouth. This can be uncomfortable and make you feel sick. Acid reflux is also referred to as GER .

    Recommended Reading: Do Tums Help Heartburn During Pregnancy

    Diagnosing H Pylori Infection

    If your GP thinks that your symptoms may be due to an infection with H pylori bacteria, you may need to have a test for it, such as:

    • a stool antigen test a pea-sized stool sample will be tested for H pylori bacteria
    • a breath test
    • a blood test a blood sample will be tested for antibodies to H pylori bacteria

    Antibiotics and PPIs can affect the results of a urea breath test or a stool antigen test. Therefore, these tests may need to be delayed until two weeks after you last used a PPI, and four weeks after you last used an antibiotic.

    How Do I Know If I Have Gerd

    What Is The Difference Between Heartburn And Acid Reflux?

    Occasional episodes of gastroesophageal reflux are common in healthy individuals. Reflux is normally followed by oesophagal peristaltic waves that efficiently clear the gullet, alkaline saliva neutralizes residual acid and symptoms do not occur. Gastro oesophagal reflux disease develops when the oesophagal mucosa is exposed to gastroduodenal contents for prolonged periods, resulting in symptoms.

    It means if you experience one or two episodes of reflux of food, it does not mean that you have GERD. But if these episodes are reoccurring more than twice a week, then you should seek medical care because you may have GERD.

    Read Also: How To Take Away Heartburn When Pregnant

    Best Home Remedies For Heartburn Relief

    3. Peppermint. Peppermint is another great way to sooth your acid reflux and keep your pregnancy heartburn at bay. Try sucking on sugar-free peppermint candies or drinking a glass of peppermint tea. 4. Apple Cider Vinegar. Like lemon, apple cider vinegar has a wide variety of applications, including natural heartburn relief.

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    What Is The Treatment For Heartburn

    The health care professional will recommend treating heartburn in a stepwise fashion. For mild or occasional symptoms, simple lifestyle modifications may be enough. The next step is nonprescription antacids such as Maalox, Mylanta, Tums, or Rolaids. Other treatments include acid blockers and even surgery. In most cases, one or more of these treatments provide relief from heartburn and prevent it from turning into a more serious disease.

    I take nonprescription antacids for heartburn, but they dont seem to help.

    Nonprescription antacids are only part of the treatment for heartburn. They can work very well, but these antacids alone usually cant stop heartburn. A health care professional will probably recommend that the patient make lifestyle changes in addition to other treatments.

    What kind of lifestyle changes and remedies can I make to reduce heartburn?

    Try any or all of the following:

    Will these changes stop the heartburn?

    They may. If they dont, adding a nonprescription antacid can be helpful.

    How do antacids work?

    What if lifestyle changes and antacids dont work?

    If a person still has symptoms after lifestyle modifications and antacids, a health care professional probably will prescribe a stronger drug. The usual choice is one of the histamine-2 blockers, or acid blockers. These drugs block the biochemical process that creates acid in the stomach.

    What are acid blockers?

    Also Check: Fast Acting Heartburn Relief Medicine

    Measure Yourself On The Richter Scale/acid Test

    How significant is your heartburn? What are the chances that it is something more serious? If you need a yardstick, heres a simple self-test developed by a panel of experts from the American College of Gastroenterology.

    Remember, if you have heartburn two or more times a week, or still have symptoms on your over-the-counter or prescription medicines, see your doctor.

    Take this Richter Scale/Acid Test to see if youre a GERD sufferer and are taking the right steps to treat it.

  • Do you frequently have one or more of the following:
  • an uncomfortable feeling behind the breastbone that seems to be moving upward from the stomach?
  • a burning sensation in the back of your throat?
  • a bitter acid taste in your mouth?
  • Do you often experience these problems after meals?
  • Do you experience heartburn or acid indigestion two or more times per week?
  • Do you find that antacids only provide temporary relief from your symptoms?
  • Are you taking prescription medication to treat heartburn, but still having symptoms?
  • If you said yes to two or more of the above, you may have GERD. To know for sure, see your doctor or a gastrointestinal specialist. They can help you live pain free.

    Q: Are Heartburn And Acid Reflux The Same Thing What About Gerd

    Is Acid Reflux the Same as Heartburn?

    A: They are different but related. It starts with the esophagus. The esophagus is made up of predominantly smooth muscle. It extends from the throat down through the chest cavity and, when it gets past the abdomen, joins up with the stomach. When you swallow, the esophagus opens and then squeezes food down.

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    At the very bottom of theesophagus, there is a valve that separates it from the stomach. That valve shouldnormally be closed. When you swallow, it opens so that food can pass through,and then it closes again. Acid reflux is a disorder that occurs when that valveopens when its not supposed to, so stomach contents can flow backward from the stomach into the esophagus and causesymptoms.

    Now, normal individuals can have up to an hour of reflux per day and not feel it. But if people have problematic reflux, it can cause heartburn, which is a burning thats felt mid-chest, below the sternum, especially after meals or at night when you lie down. So heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux. Acid reflux can also cause regurgitation.

    GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. Its a more severe form of acid reflux where the stomach contents flowing back up into the esophagus becomes problematic. It can also cause a cough or the feeling that theres a lump in the back of your throat.

    Also Check: How To Help Heartburn While Pregnant


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