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Is Heartburn And Indigestion The Same Thing

Gaviscon Dual Action To The Rescue

Heartburn, Reflux and GERD: All 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.


    How Is Gerd Diagnosed

    The typical tests that your doctor will use to help diagnose GERD include:

    24-hour impedance-probe study: This study involves inserting a flexible tub into your nose and advancing it into the esophagus. The tube has sensors that can detect if acid is refluxing past the esophagus.

    Upper endoscopy: This test involves using a special tube with a camera on its end. When youre sedated, the tube can be passed from your mouth into your stomach and part of your small intestine. The upper endoscopy test can help a doctor identify any signs of damage, tumors, inflammation, or ulcers in these areas. Your doctor will usually take a tissue sample known as a biopsy.

    Acid from the stomach can damage the lining of the esophagus if GERD is left untreated. This can cause:

    The acid can also cause a change in the cells in the esophagus over time. This is called Barretts esophagus. About 10 to 15 percent of people with GERD will develop this condition. Barretts esophagus increases your risk for a type of esophageal cancer known as adenocarcinoma. Experts believe that most cases of this type of esophageal cancer start from cells within Barretts tissue.

    Eating certain foods are known to increase the amount of acid in the stomach, which can lead to symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. Avoiding these foods may help to reduce symptoms without taking medications. Examples include:

    • alcoholic beverages

    Making lifestyle changes such as:

    Who Is At Risk For Indigestion

    People of all ages and of both sexes are affected by indigestion. Itâs extremely common. An individualâs risk increases with:

    • Excess alcohol consumption
    • Use of drugs that may irritate the stomach, such as aspirin and other pain relievers
    • Conditions where there is an abnormality in the digestive tract, such as an ulcer
    • Emotional problems, such as anxiety or depression

    Read Also: Foods To Eat To Avoid Heartburn

    Preventing And Managing Heartburn

    There are many things you can do to help reduce your experience of heartburn.

    The first step is make sure your daily meals are based around a variety of foods from each of the five food groups recommended by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating This includes vegetables, fruit, wholegrain breads and cereals, lean meats and meat-alternatives, and reduced-fat dairy and non-dairy alternatives. For an idea on how to get balance and variety into your daily meals, check out these sample meal plans for men and women.

    Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help prevent heartburn. By not overfilling the stomach, there is less chance of stomach acid rising into your oesophagus. Remember to choose healthy foods and be mindful of how much you eat across the day.

    Try to eat your last meal a few hours before bedtime. This gives your stomach enough time to empty and can reduce your experience of reflux when lying down in bed.

    Fatty foods take longer to break down in the stomach, which is why these foods often trigger heartburn symptoms. Consider ways to prepare meals that reduce the amount of fat. For example:

    • Use low-fat cooking methods such as steaming, grilling or lightly pan-frying instead of deep- or shallow-frying.
    • Trim the fat off meats and choose leaner cuts.
    • Choose reduced-fat dairy products.

    When To See A Doctor About Heartburn Vs Indigestion

    Is Heartburn &  Acid Reflux the Same Thing?

    If your symptoms of heartburn and/or indigestion dont improve after a few weeks of home remedies and preventive measures, see your doctor.

    Chronic heartburn or indigestion issues could be a sign of an underlying medical condition that needs treatment. To get to the root of chronic indigestion or heartburn issues, your doctor may order a few tests, including:

    • a physical exam of your abdomen
    • acid probe tests to measure when stomach acid reaches back into your esophagus
    • imaging tests, such as X-rays and endoscopies , to look at your esophagus and stomach
    • blood or stool tests to rule out bacterial infections that may be causing indigestion
    • pain in your abdomen that doesnt go away
    • frequent vomiting
    • blood in vomit or stools
    • tar-colored stools

    Read Also: Cure For Heartburn During Pregnancy

    How To Relieve Heartburn And Indigestion

    Both heartburn and indigestion treatment options neutralise stomach acid, reduce the production of stomach acid, or form a physical barrier to help prevent stomach acid from moving into the oesophagus.

    Medications for heartburn and indigestion include

    • Antacids that work by neutralising the acid produced by your stomach
    • Alginates that form a raft to block acid from travelling back into the oesophagus
    • H2-antagonists and proton-pump inhibitors that work to stop the production of acid in your stomach

    Other ways you can help relieve or prevent heartburn and indigestion include:

    • Avoiding or limiting food and drinks that can trigger symptoms
    • Eating smaller meals
    • Waiting 2 to 3 hours after eating or drinking before lying down

    Gerd: The More Serious Cause

    GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease .

    Like its name suggests, GERD is a more serious version of acid reflux. They can both cause heartburn. Often people who experience heartburn more than twice a week have GERD.

    GERD happens when the closure in your lower esophaguswhich is near your stomachbecomes weak or relaxes when it should not. Symptoms include heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, dry cough, shortness of breath, or trouble swallowing.

    Treating GERD may require prescription medications. Occasionally, surgery or other procedures may be necessary.

    If you suspect you have GERD, make sure to see your provider or a gastroenterologist, a doctor who focuses on the digestive system. This can help prevent future damage to your esophagus, or cancer.

    MedlinePlus National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

    Image credit:

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    What Can You Do If You Have Heartburn

    If you experience occasional heartburn from acid reflux, try these:

    • Donât lay down after eating for two to three hours
    • Raise the head of your bed so gravity helps keep your stomach contents in your stomach
    • Eat smaller, more frequent meals instead of two to three large meals
    • Donât smoke
    • Avoid tight clothing that can put pressure on your stomach
    • Keep a food diary to pinpoint trigger foods to avoid
    • Lose extra weight
    • Use over the counter antacids if needed*

    If youâre taking antacids more than two times per week, or your symptoms are getting worse, you may have GERD. Your doctor can talk to you about your history and symptoms, rule out other conditions, and determine if you have acid reflux or GERD.

    Together you can come up with a plan to treat your symptoms and avoid the complications that can come from untreated GERD.

    Whats The Difference Heartburn Vs Acid Reflux Vs Gerd

    Reflux, GERD & the Asthma Connection

    If acid reflux, and the heartburn it causes, becomes chronic, it can progress to GERD.

    Heartburn is very common, affecting more than 60 million Americans at least once a month. Acid reflux and GERDare related to heartburn but each means something a little different. While none of the conditions are life-threatening, they can lead to medical complications and more severe diseases if theyre not treated.

    Also Check: Why Do You Get Heartburn All The Time

    When To Seek Medical Advice

    Having mild, infrequent heartburn generally isnt cause for concern. But if youre experiencing heartburn more than twice a week, or if your symptoms are severe or getting worse, its important to speak with your doctor. Frequent heartburn could be a sign of gastro-oesophageal reflux , a condition that requires prescription medication and monitoring.

    If you are experiencing chest pain and arent sure if its heartburn or a heart attack, seek immediate medical attention by calling triple zero .

    Whats The Difference Between Heartburn Acid Reflux And Indigestion

    Indigestion can be felt as discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen, also known as dyspepsia. Its incredibly common with around 40% of adults experiencing it each year.

    One of the main symptoms of indigestion is heartburn and acid reflux . Heartburn is felt as a burning sensation behind your breastbone or in your throat. It happens when acid from your stomach comes up your oesophagus and into your throat, which is called acid reflux. Most people only have occasional episodes, but when this keeps happening, its called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease .

    Dyspepsia and heartburn may occur together or on their own and symptoms usually appear soon after eating or drinking.

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    Heartburn And Gerd In Pregnant Women

    Heartburn and GERD are commonly associated with pregnancy and can occur in women who may never have had GERD symptoms before. Pregnant women usually experience GERD symptoms around the first trimester. It then worsens in the last trimester. The good news is that when your baby is born, your symptoms usually go away.

    Pregnancy can increase levels of the hormone progesterone, which can cause the muscles of the lower esophagus to relax. This makes it more likely that acid will reflux. Increased pressure on the stomach from a growing uterus can also increase a womans likelihood for having GERD.

    Symptoms include pain that gets worse after a meal and acid regurgitation. Because the symptoms tend to be temporary, a woman usually doesnt experience the long-term complications associated with GERD, like ongoing inflammation.

    Doctors usually avoid prescribing too many medications while a woman is pregnant because the medicine can be passed along to the fetus. Instead, doctors usually recommend making lifestyle changes, such as avoiding foods known to cause acid reflux and sleeping with the head slightly elevated. Taking antacids that contain magnesium, aluminum, and calcium may be permitted. However, antacids with sodium bicarbonate should be avoided in pregnant women because they can affect a womans fluid volumes.

    How Can My Doctor Tell If I Have Heartburn Or Acid Reflux

    Are GERD and Heartburn the Same Thing?

    A medical doctor can often diagnose GERD and heartburn by your description of the symptoms your experience.

    You may see a gastroenterologist, a medical specialist in disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, who may order an upper GI series. This is a series of X-rays of the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the intestine often used to rule out other health conditions. An upper GI endoscopy, where a flexible probe with a tiny camera at the end is passed down your throat to see the esophagus. This helps diagnose how severe your acid reflux is, and can also rule out other health complications.

    If your symptoms are not clearly from acid reflux, your doctor may perform other tests to rule out important conditions like heart attack, ulcers, lung problems, esophagus problems, and gastritis.

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    When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider

    Indigestion can be a sign of a serious health problem. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have indigestion and any of these symptoms:

    • Frequent vomiting
    • Weight loss or not feeling hungry
    • Bloody, black, or tarry stools
    • Sudden sharp pain in your belly or abdomen
    • Trouble breathing
    • Pain that spreads to your jaw, neck, or arm
    • Difficult, painful swallowing
    • Yellow coloring of your eyes or skin

    Also call your healthcare provider if you have indigestion that lasts longer than 2 weeks.

    Is Heartburn And Gas The Same Thing

    Both heartburn and gas are symptoms of an underlying condition present in your stomach. It is common for any human being to experience heartburn and gas at some point. However, when the frequency of heartburn and gas increases more than thrice a week, with frequent repetitions, then it is time to visit a doctor.

    Also Check: Can You Get Rid Of Heartburn

    When To See A Healthcare Provider

    Indigestion can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as an ulcer or occasionally cancer. If you experience the following symptoms in addition to indigestion, see your healthcare provider.

    • Heartburn more than twice a week
    • Unplanned weight loss
    • Difficulty or pain when swallowing
    • Black, tarry stools
    • Family history of gastric cancer

    You also should see your healthcare provider if you’re over 45 and have rarely had indigestion in the past.

    Differences Between Heartburn And Indigestion

    Heartburn, Acid Reflux, & GERD- Best Relief Options of Diet, Over the Counter, or Prescription PPI

    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 .

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    Telling The Difference Between Indigestion And Heartburn

    Youve just enjoyed a fantastic meal and now feel uncomfortably full.

    Maybe you ate too fast, or opted for the spiciest option on the menu.

    Situations like these can all trigger heartburn and indigestion a burning sensation in your chest accompanied by acid regurgitation and an upset stomach.

    Unfortunately, since the two conditions present themselves with similar symptoms, it can be hard to differentiate between the two.

    A closer look at the location of your symptoms can help determine which you are suffering from, as well as the best course of treatment.

    What Can I Do To Prevent Indigestion

    There are many things you can do to try to prevent indigestion.

    Making changes in your diet and eating habits can help. These include:

    • Eating several small, low-fat meals each day instead of 3 large meals
    • Eating slowly and giving yourself enough time for meals
    • Limiting spicy, fatty, greasy, or high-fiber foods
    • Chewing your food well
    • Limiting or not having any coffee, soda, or alcohol

    Avoid medicines that hurt your stomach. These include aspirin and over-the-counter pain and fever medicines . If you do take them, do so after you eat.

    Other lifestyle changes that may keep indigestion from happening include:

    • Quitting smoking
    • Finding ways to lower your emotional and physical stress, such as meditation or yoga
    • Exercising before a meal or waiting at least 1 hour after eating

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    Acid Reflux And Gerd: Are They The Same Thing

    Acid Reflux and GERD: Are They the Same Thing?Its estimated that approximately 60 million Americans are faced with a bout of heartburn each month. This can be for many reasonsheartburn can strike because of spicy food, smoking, fatty foods, and other reasons. The term heartburn is actually a misleading one, as the pain isnt coming from the heart but your esophagus. Because the esophageal lining is irritated, it makes it feel like there is burning coming from your heart or chest. Most cases of heartburn are quickly eradicated with over-the-counter medications, such as antacids. But if you find that your heartburn is frequent or persistent, there may be other reasons for your heartburn. The terms heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Read on to learn about the difference between the three and when you should consult a physician.

    How Can I Cure Gerd

    GERD vs Heartburn vs Acid Reflux: Find out the Difference ...

    Your doctor may prescribe prescription-strength antacids or proton pump inhibitor medications to help arrest the symptoms of GERD. However, just as with regular heartburn and with acid reflux, lifestyle changes help as well. If you suffer from GERD, dont eat two to three hours before bedtime, dont lie down immediately after you eat, and aim for four to five small meals a day instead of three larger ones. Quit smoking, avoid spicy foods and drink alcohol in moderation. Other foods to avoid include:

    • Chocolate
    • Tomatoes and tomato products

    Read Also: What’s The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Heartburn

    How Is Heartburn Diagnosed

    In most cases, your doctor will be able to diagnose heartburn by asking questions about your symptoms and what triggers those symptoms.

    If you have heartburn more than 2 times a week, it could be a symptom of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease or other gastrointestinal diseases. These are usually diagnosed by endoscopy, which uses a tube with a camera passed through the mouth into the stomach.

    Acid Reflux Vs Heartburn: What’s The Difference

    Acid reflux and heartburn are often used interchangeably, but they aren’t exactly the same thing. Rather, one is the cause of the other. Here’s what you need to know about each .

    Acid reflux happens when the valve between your esophagus and your stomach doesn’t seal shut properly, which leads to your stomach contents splashing back out of the stomach and into the esophagus. Unpleasant to picture, yes. But you may have this happen, and not notice any symptoms of discomfort. Often, this mix of acid, digestive juices, enzymes, and food don’t get very far in fact, many people have up to an hour a day of this reflux and don’t even notice .

    However, when you feel heartburn that burning sensation under your sternum that occurs after eating or when lying down it is a symptom of acid reflux. You may also notice a bitter or acidic taste in your mouth, and the pain may feel worse when lying down or bent over .

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