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The Difference Between Heartburn And Indigestion

How Is Indigestion Diagnosed

What Is The Difference Between Heartburn And Acid Reflux?

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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Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • Whats causing my indigestion?
  • What are some foods I should avoid to help with my indigestion?
  • How much time do I need to leave been my final meal of the day and bedtime?
  • Does sleeping on an elevated pillow help indigestion?
  • What medicines will help my indigestion? Do they have side effects?
  • Are there any medicines I should avoid that may make my indigestion worse?
  • What should I do when nothing seems to help my indigestion?

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What Is The Difference Between Heartburn And Acid Reflux

Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux. Heartburn describes a feeling of burning, pain, or discomfort in the chest that can be quite uncomfortable. You also may a sour or bitter taste in the throat and mouth, and it usually occurs after you eat a big meal or when you lay down.

Not everyone with GERD will experience heartburn. Other symptoms of acid reflux include regurgitation of acid into the throat or mouth, a bitter taste in the mouth, upset stomach, belching, nausea after eating, feeling full, stomach and upper abdomen bloating, dry cough, wheezing, hoarseness, feeling of tightness in the throat, and in some people, vomiting.

What Is Acid Reflux

What is the difference between Indigestion and Heart burn ...

A circular muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter joins your esophagus and stomach. This muscle is in charge of tightening your esophagus after food passes to the stomach. If this muscle is weak or doesnt tighten properly, the acid from your stomach can move backward into your esophagus. This is known as acid reflux.

Acid reflux can cause heartburn and other symptoms that include:

  • cough

Most people can experience heartburn and acid reflux intermittently related to something they ate or habits like lying down immediately after eating. However, GERD is a chronic condition where doctors start to examine long-lasting habits and parts of a persons anatomy that could cause GERD. Examples of the causes of GERD include:

  • being overweight or obese, which puts extra pressure on the stomach
  • hiatal hernia, which reduces pressure in the LES
  • smoking
  • consuming alcohol
  • pregnancy
  • taking medicines known to weaken the LES, such as antihistamines, calcium channel blockers, pain-relieving medicines, sedatives, and antidepressants

Symptoms of GERD may disrupt your daily life. Fortunately, they can usually be controlled with treatment. Options include:

  • diet modification
  • smoking cessation
  • alcohol cessation

Medications for GERD work to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. They may not be effective for everyone. Some people need surgery to help reinforce the LES.

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Gaviscon Dual Action To The Rescue

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.

    RB-M-12623

    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.

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    Whats The Difference Between Acid Reflux And Gerd

    Got a burning feeling in your upper chest? If youre thinking heartburn, youre probably right. Heartburn is the manifestation the symptom of acid reflux, or stomach contents coming back up in your esophagus, says Matilda Hagan, MD, a gastroenterologist at The Center for Inflammatory Bowel and Colorectal Diseases at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

    You can often pinpoint a reason for the burn , but if heartburn happens often defined as a couple of times a week it could be a symptom of a more serious condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease .

    While it may seem that GERD is just a fancy name for heartburn, they are more like close cousins than identical twins.

    Differences Between Heartburn And Indigestion

    Heartburn, Acid Reflux and GERD The Differences Decoded

    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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    Where Is The Pain

    The pain experienced by gallbladder symptoms must be understood according to the function of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a hollow organ, found beneath your liver and up to the right side of your abdomen. If the pain you are experiencing is beneath your lower right ribs, and potentially radiating into regions of the right upper back, chest, or shoulder, these are symptoms of gallbladder disease.

    Compare this to heartburn or acid reflux. Any pain you experience from acid reflux is due to the contents of your stomach rising into your esophagus, typically causing sharp pain in your stomach and lower chest, which is in and of itself a different location. This is perhaps the most important identifier of whether a pain is due to gallbladder disease or from acid reflux.

    The Next Steps May Differ

    While occasional heartburn or indigestion happens to most people at some point, symptoms that occur frequently or over an extended period of time need to be evaluated by your doctor, as they could indicate a serious illness.

    In some cases, heartburn and indigestion respond to lifestyle changes. Avoiding trigger foods, shedding excess weight, not eating too close to bedtime and elevating the head of the bed are all potentially helpful. Eating smaller meals, eating more slowly, not smoking or consuming alcohol and reducing stress may be helpful as well. Heartburn also responds to over-the-counter and prescription medications that suppress stomach acid.

    If the underlying cause of your symptoms is unclear, additional tests may be needed in some instances and an endoscopy may be performed. Endoscopy is a procedure in which a slender tube containing a camera is slid down the throat to examine digestive tract lining. Testing can also determine the presence of H. pylori bacteria. If your doctor identifies an underlying cause of indigestion, a specific treatment program may be recommended.

    Medical advisor: Jonathan E. Aviv, M.D., FACS

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    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.

    • difficulty breathing

    Treating Heartburn Vs Indigestion

    What is the difference between Indigestion and Heart burn ...

    Both heartburn and indigestion may be treated with over-the-counter products, such as:

    • Antacids for mild, occasional heartburn symptoms. Antacids work by neutralizing stomach acid. They may be taken as soon as you experience symptoms, or before eating trigger foods to prevent them. Antacids arent meant to be taken every day, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. Daily use can cause GI upset.
    • Proton pump inhibitors for long-term treatment. PPIs work by decreasing the amount of acid in your stomach, allowing your esophagus to heal.
    • Histamine-H2-receptor antagonists . These are also designed to decrease stomach acid, but they arent as strong as PPIs.

    Ask your doctor before taking any herbal remedies for GI issues, as you may unintentionally make your heartburn or indigestion worse.

    Occasional heartburn or indigestion is largely preventable. Prevention methods are the same for both conditions.

    Here are some of the ways you can help decrease a flare-up of heartburn and indigestion symptoms:

    These preventive measures may also help alleviate symptoms of chronic heartburn or indigestion, but youll need to see your doctor to help treat the underlying causes to help prevent further complications.

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    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.
    • Don’t exercise with a full stomach. Rather, exercise before a meal or at least one hour after eating a meal.
    • Don’t 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.

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

    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.

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    Who Is At Risk For Indigestion

    People of all ages and of both sexes are affected by indigestion. It’s extremely common. An individual’s 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

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

    How to tell a heart attack from indigestion?

    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.

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

    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.

    Difference Between Acid Reflux And Indigestion

    Acid reflux is a state characterized by burning pain. The condition results in the throat and esophagus getting immense acid. The acid is produced by the stomach and causes a burning effect.

    You can ease the burning effect using antacids medicine which neutralizes the acid. Indigestion is the pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen. In medical, the condition is known as dyspepsia.

    The condition is caused by overeating. But it can also be caused by drinking alcohol, smoking, stress, and pregnancy. Indigestion causes physical discomfort, low-grade pain, or nausea.

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