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Is Heartburn And Indigestion The Same

Gaviscon Dual Action To The Rescue

Heartburn and Indigestion: What’s the Difference? With Dr. Richard Onishi | San Diego Health

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 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

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    Do You Have Laryngopharyngeal Reflux

    Laryngopharyngeal reflux or LPR is a type of esophageal reflux that doesnt involve the tell-tale sign of GERD: heartburn. As a result, patients have a difficult time understanding the nature of their symptoms. In most cases, patients with LPR dont even know they have reflux, which is why the disorder is called silent reflux.

    LPR is caused by the same mechanism that triggers GERD. When the lower esophageal sphincter loosens, stomach contents travel back up the esophagus. In this case, stomach acids travel further up the pharynx, reaching the larynx and nasal pathways. As a result, a patient with LPR experiences symptoms like:

    • Chronic cough

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    Now You Know The Differences And Similarities

    All these conditions are sometimes even wrongfully diagnosed by medical practitioners, because of the similarities in their symptoms and causes.

    However, most sufferers will agree that the symptoms of GERD, heartburn, acid reflux and indigestion are usually observed and felt right after bingeing on the wrong types of foods and drinks.

    So now you know! Just remember, GERD is a clinical diagnosis, acid reflux is the action of regurgitated acid into the oesophagus and heartburn pain and indigestion are some of the many symptoms associated with them.

    If I Have Heartburn Should I See My Health Care Professional

    Is Heartburn &  Acid Reflux the Same Thing?

    That depends. If a person has heartburn more than three times a week for at least two weeks, he or she should see a health care professional. On the other hand, if a person only has occasional bouts of heartburn, he or she may find that taking nonprescription antacids and making some simple changes in lifestyle can resolve the heartburn. If these measures do not help, then a visit to a health care professional is warranted.

    If a person has any of these symptoms, with or without heartburn, call a doctor or go to a hospital emergency department right away:

    • Throwing up blood or passing blood in bowel movements
    • Severe pain, dizziness, or lightheadedness
    • Difficulty swallowing

    With proper understanding of the condition and treatment, relief can be attained.

    When I have chest pain, how can I tell whether it is my heart or just heartburn?

    Sometimes a person can’t tell the difference. Just like chest pain from the heart, heartburn sometimes spreads from the chest to the jaw, shoulders, arms, or back. If a person has chest pain for any reason, seek medical care immediately.


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    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.

    Indigestion Doesnt Always Involve Reflux

    Indigestion conveys that a person is having unpleasant stomach symptoms, perhaps associated with his intake or a specific meal, but not necessarily so. Occasional heartburn from acid reflux is very common, so for many people who say they have indigestion, its likely they are referring to acid reflux symptoms. However, many possibilities other than acid reflux can make a person feel like theres something wrong with their stomach. For some, the medical term dyspepsia is a better fit than heartburn for these symptoms. Dyspepsia is a burning discomfort in the stomach, sometimes likened to hunger pains except that it occurs on a full stomach, too. Like acid reflux, dyspepsia may be accompanied by a variety of other symptoms, including belching, bloating and feelings of gassiness, nausea or fullness.

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    Whats The Difference Between Acid Reflux Heartburn And Gerd

    Many of us will experience some digestive discomfort in our lifetime. A common complaint people have is heartburn or acid reflux. People use the terms heartburn and acid reflux almost interchangeably. You may also hear cases of acid reflux referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease .

    So if youre dealing with any of these issues, you might want to know: whats the difference between acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD? All three are closely related, but they differ in important ways. In the most basic terms: heartburn is a symptom, acid reflux is a process, and GERD is a chronic condition.


    Most people have experienced what is referred to as heartburn. Many people get heartburn after eating certain foods. Heartburn is a feeling of burning in the chest. The burning pain may be mild or severe. It often begins as discomfort behind the breastbone but can move up to the neck and throat. Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux and GERD.

    Acid Reflux

    Acid reflux is a process in which stomach acid flows backward into the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that connects the stomach to the throat. Acid reflux is sometimes called gastroesophageal reflux, or GER and is the cause of heartburn.

    Common symptoms of acid reflux include burning pain and pressure starting behind the breastbone that may extend up the neck and throat, sore throat, cough, bitter taste in the throat, and a sour taste in the mouth.


    Make an Appointment

    How Is Indigestion Diagnosed

    Heartburn, Reflux and GERD: All The Same Thing?

    If you are experiencing symptoms of indigestion, make an appointment to see your doctor. Because indigestion is such a broad term, it is helpful to provide your doctor with a precise description of the discomfort you are experiencing. In describing the symptoms, try to define where in the abdomen the discomfort usually occurs.

    Your doctor will rule out any underlying conditions that may be causing your symptoms. Your doctor may perform several blood tests and you may have X-rays of the stomach or small intestine. Your doctor may also suggest you have an upper endoscopy to look closely at the inside of the stomach. During the procedure, an endoscope a flexible tube that contains a light and a camera to produce images from inside the body is used to look inside your stomach.

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    Cause #: Gerd Or Acid Reflux

    Another possible cause for experiencing both heartburn and constipation is acid reflux or GERD.

    If you have acid reflux, likely, the link between the heartburn and constipation is not the condition, but the way that you are treating it.

    Many people who suffer from GERD, a condition where stomach acid can get into the esophagus and cause a burning sensation, are taking some type of medication to ease the symptoms.

    If you look at the details on many of those medications, you will see that the side effects often include constipation.

    That is because many medications dehydrate the body or change the way that certain nutritional aspects are absorbed and processed in the body.

    To combat this issue, youll have to make some changes focused on preventing and relieving constipation since the medicine should eventually help the heartburn.

    Plus, all of these constipation solutions often help people feel heartburn less frequently.

    Potential Solutions

    The main goal here should be to counteract what the medication is doing to your body, so you will want to give what it is taking away: water and fiber.

    Water and fiber uptake are two of the things that are most affected by medicines that treat GERD, so you should increase how much water you drink and also improve your diet.

    Your diet should include some fiber supplements such as Mucinex as well as a lot of fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber.

    What Kinds Of Complications Are Caused By Frequent Heartburn

    • Excess stomach acid in the esophagus can cause ulcers, damage to the inner layers of the esophageal wall, and narrowing .
    • Very rarely, the esophagus may bleed or tear completely because it is so damaged. In severe cases, a person may vomit blood or have small amounts of blood in bowel movements, found only on testing the stool.
    • Regurgitated stomach acid can damage the respiratory tract, causing asthma, hoarseness, chronic cough, sore throat, or tooth damage . A person may feel as if he or she has a lump in the throat.
    • If the acid exposure continues for long periods of time, the esophagus becomes thick and damaged. A person may then have difficulty swallowing and food becomes stuck.

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    Pharmacy First Scotland: Indigestion Treatment From Your Pharmacy

    Most people will not need to seek medical advice for their indigestion. However, your pharmacist may advise you see your GP if you have recurring indigestion and any of the following apply:

    • you are 55 years old or over
    • you have lost a lot of weight without meaning to
    • you have a lump in your stomach
    • you have blood in your vomit or blood in your stools

    This is because these symptoms may be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as a stomach ulcer or stomach cancer. You may need to be referred for an endoscopy to rule out any serious cause.

    An endoscopy is a procedure where the inside of the body is examined using an endoscope .

    Severe indigestion can cause long-term problems with parts of your digestive tract, such as scarring of the oesophagus or the passage from your stomach. Read more about the possible complications of severe indigestion.

    A Pharmacist Can Help With Indigestion

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

    A pharmacist can recommend medicines to ease the burning feeling or pain that can come with indigestion.

    Medicines that help reduce acid in your stomach include:

    • antacids
    • proton pump inhibitors

    Some indigestion medicines are best to take after eating as their effects last longer. Check the information leaflet that comes with the medicines for more information.

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    Causes Of Heartburn And Gas

    The reason behind the occurrence of heartburn and gas is due to indigestion and other underlying health conditions. As explained above, if a person shows signs of acid reflux due to gastroesophageal reflux disease, it is natural for him or her to experience the heartburn sensation. In particular cases, undigested food leads to bloating and development of gas.

    The other reason for causing heartburn is due to the weak lower esophageal sphincter. With such a case, the barrier has a small opening which causes the acids developed during the digestive system to escape into the esophagus tube. It is at this time that the individual experience the heartburn sensation. Many people misunderstand it for heart attack.

    The following is the list that is common across all ages that cause heartburn and gas:

    • Chocolate
    • Vegetables high in citrus content
    • Aspirin
    • Fried foods
    • Fatty foods.

    For adults, you can also add alcohol abuse, smoking, and pregnancy to be the cause of heartburn and gas.

    What Is Heartburn: An Overview

    Heartburn is a problem that creates a burning pain in the chest whenever acid reflux or other acid-related issues in the stomach cause excessive stomach contents or acid to be pushed up into the esophagus.

    When these things come into the esophagus, it can erode the lining there, and the early stages of this process feel like the slight burning of mild heartburn.

    As heartburn becomes more frequent or stronger in some cases, it can cause serious if not permanent damage to the esophagus, so it needs to be treated and handled as soon as possible.

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    The Symptoms Of These Two Health Problems May Overlap And Sometimes So Do The Treatments

    During your regular after-dinner walk around the neighborhood, you feel a painful sensation in the center of your chest. Could it be your heartburn flaring up again, or something more serious?

    Heartburn is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease , often called acid reflux. Acid from the stomach bubbles up into the esophagus, causing a painful burning just behind the breastbone. Not surprisingly, it’s often mistaken for a heart attack. In fact, of the over eight million emergency room visits for chest pain each year, severe heartburn accounts for over half the cases in which actual heart problems are ruled out.

    Chest pain caused by insufficient blood flow to the heart or a heart attack is often described as a feeling of tightness, constriction, or pressure, rather than a burning sensation . But it’s not always easy to tell the difference. “Chest discomfort brought on by exercise is more likely to be a heart-related problem,” says Dr. Michelle O’Donoghue, cardiovascular specialist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. But you can also have angina that’s not related to physical activity, she notes. If you have any symptoms you’re not sure about, see a doctor. And call 911 if you feel chest tightness, have trouble breathing, break into a sweat, turn pale, or become very weak.

    GERD and heart disease are both common, and many people take medications to prevent or treat both conditions.

    What Is The Treatment For Heartburn

    Heart attack mistaken for heartburn Symptoms not same for all

    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 don’t seem to help.

    Nonprescription antacids are only part of the treatment for heartburn. They can work very well, but these antacids alone usually can’t 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 don’t, adding a nonprescription antacid can be helpful.

    How do antacids work?

    What if lifestyle changes and antacids don’t 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?

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    What Triggers Indigestion

    Depending on what’s causing your indigestion, you may experience abdominal pain, bloating , belching and gas, nausea, vomiting, and acidic taste in your mouth, “growling” stomach, and even diarrhea. Symptoms usually get worse when you’re stressed but normally go away in a few hours.

    Indigestion can be linked to more serious chronic conditions, including ulcers, pancreas abnormalities, or acid reflux disease. Speak to your doctor if your symptoms are severe or last for more than two weeks.


  • Indigestion . National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
  • Heartburn Causes. Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 7 Aug. 2014,
  • Amos, Julie-Ann. Acid Reflux Statistics and Facts. Healthline, Healthline Media, 30 June 2012,
  • Indigestion. Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 24 Aug. 2016,
  • Heartburn Or Heart Attack

    The symptoms of heartburn may mimic those of angina or a heart attack . If you’re uncertain, don’t hesitate to get to an emergency room for an evaluation as soon as possible.


    • Tightness, pressure, squeezing, stabbing, or dull pain, most often in the center of the chest

    • Pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck, or arms

    • Irregular or rapid heartbeat

    • Cold sweat or clammy skin

    • Lightheadedness, weakness, or dizziness

    • Nausea, indigestion, and sometimes vomiting

    • The appearance of symptoms with physical exertion or extreme stress


    • Burning chest pain that begins at the breastbone

    • Pain that moves up toward your throat but doesn’t typically radiate to your shoulders, neck, or arms

    • Sensation that food is coming back into your mouth

    • Bitter or acidic taste at the back of your throat

    • Pain that worsens when you lie down or bend over

    • The appearance of symptoms after a large or spicy meal

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