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What Is The Difference Between Heartburn And Acid Indigestion

What Can You Do If You Have Heartburn

What Is The Difference Between Heartburn And Acid Reflux?

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.

Key Difference Gerd Vs Acid Reflux

Acid reflux and GERD are two related conditions. Acid reflux is the backflow of the gastric acids into the esophagus. When this condition progresses into a more advanced stage where there is a significant level of gastric acid reflux into the esophagus that condition is identified as GERD. The key difference between GERD and acid reflux is that GERD is considered as a pathological condition whereas acid reflux is not.

How Do They Differ

The easiest way to remember this difference: acid reflux is the cause and heartburn is the effect. The acid reflux that you feel is considered to be the fire, while the heartburn is the smoke. When acid reflux begins to push all of your stomach acids further up the esophagus, the resulting pain that the person feels is the actual heartburn.

It is the bodys natural reaction to increased stomach acids, bile and assorted foodstuffs traveling to areas where they are not always welcome. Heartburn is the human bodys way of alerting its host to the damages that are taking place inside of them, a method for letting people know when it is time to alter their lifestyle or seek medical assistance.

Those who suffer from acid reflux on a constant basis may have a disease known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or simply acid reflux disease. Both of these terms are used to describe a person who suffers from chronic acid refluxs condition. The onset of diseases related to acid reflux are often exacerbated by lifestyle choices that the person makes.

This includes their eating habits , the amount of exercise that they receive on a daily basis, whether or not they are a smoker and any excessive food consumption.

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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.

Not Sure If What Youre Feeling Is A Heart Attack Or Heartburn

Heres The Difference Between Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and ...

I tell my patients that if you belch and the symptoms go away, it probably isnt related to your heart but to your esophagus, Bauman said. But if you have shortness of breath or sweating, then its likely a heart-related issue.

However, everyone is different, and not all symptoms are caused by one or the other, so:

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What Are The Treatment Options

Usually the best way to treat both of them is by following a low acid diet like the Wipeout Diet. Also check my article on the best LPR Foods to Eat. Generally people with LPR may need to be more strict to the diet to see an improvement whereas for people with GERD simply eliminating the trigger foods will often be enough to stop or lessen symptoms.

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.

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What Is A Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when an artery supplying the heart muscle with blood and oxygen is blocked. We observe such blockage due to the buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances, which form plaque in the coronary arteries that feed the heart.

And when coronary artery disease causes a loss of blood supply to part of the heart muscle, this is a heart attack. We can include these conditions in heart attack primary reasons.

How Are Gerd And Lpr Diagnosed

How to tell a heart attack from indigestion?

Usually GERD can be diagnosed by a doctor or by taking some medical tests like endoscopy or esophageal pH test. LPR can be quite accurately diagnosed using a test called RSI test which is simply based on symptoms. You can take the RSI test here.

In terms of a more medical test the best option for someone with LPR is Restech pH study sometimes referred to as Dx-ph test. This is very similar in theory to the traditional and much more common esophageal pH study though the clear difference with this test is its much more sensitive to gaseous reflux unlike the standard study which is really best used for diagnosis of GERD. And because LPR is primarily gaseous this is important for detecting the acid.

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The Difference Between Gastritis And Gerd

by Community Member

A little bit of anatomy may help explain the difference between gastritis and GERD. Where the esophagus meets the stomach there’s a sphincter . This sphincter allows food into the stomach and helps to keep food from backwashing up into the esophagus. Some reflux is normal. When the acid irritates the lining of the esophagus the result is GERD. The symptoms of this are the classic heartburn symptoms as well as the less well known symptoms of chronic cough, voice changes, etc.

So, while GERD is related to irritation in the esophagus, gastritis is related to irritation in the stomach. Symptoms of gastritis include eating a few bites and feeling full, nausea, bloating, and/or lack of appetite. Gastritis can worsen to the point of causing an ulcer which has the additional symptoms of black/tarry stools and/or vomit.

Many of the causes of GERD are the same as the causes of gastritis including long term use of NSAIDs for pain relief, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption. On the other hand, gastritis can also be caused by H Pylori infection and can happen short term after a viral illness.

The gold standard test for gastritis is to do an endoscopy but before completing this somewhat invasive test a doctor may prefer to do a stool or breath test for H Pylori infection or may do a medication trial.

Are There Potential Complications With Acid Reflux Symptoms

Usually, acid reflux symptoms cause no complications. In a few cases, continued esophageal damage can lead to scarring, which may cause the esophagus to narrow. The narrowing creates strictures and makes it difficult to swallow. You may have dysphagia, a sensation that food is stuck in your esophagus. In some cases, normal cells in the lining of the esophagus may be replaced by a different type of cell. This is called Barrett’s esophagus, which can sometimes develop into cancer.

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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.

Give Yourself A Buffer Before Bedtime

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

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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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

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.

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What Is The Difference Between Heartburn Acid Reflux And Gerd

The terms heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD are frequently utilized interchangeably. They really have very different meanings.

Understanding the differences in between heartburn, acid reflux, and gastroesophageal reflux disease involves understanding the links between them.

Acid reflux is a common medical condition that can range in intensity from mild to major. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is the chronic, more serious form of acid reflux. Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux and GERD.

Summary Gerd Vs Acid Reflux

The Difference Between Heartburn & Indigestion | TUMS

Acid reflux has become an extremely common condition nowadays. Not adhering to a daily exercise plan, sedentary and busy lifestyle along with the fast food that people are vastly consuming have contributed to the increased incidence of this condition. When this condition progresses into a more advanced stage where there is a significant level of gastric acid reflux into the esophagus that condition is identified as GERD. This is the difference between GERD and acid reflux.

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Whats The Difference Heartburn Vs Acid Reflux Vs Gerd

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.

Can You Have Reflux Without Heartburn

Most of us have heard of gastroesophageal reflux disease, frequently referred to as GERD. GERD is one of the most commonly diagnosed digestive disorders in the U.S. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, more than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month. GERD is a common and oftentimes a complex, chronic condition that manifests in various ways other than with the typical heartburn symptoms. It can be difficult to diagnose and manage, but with the proper dietary, behavioral and medical therapy, a patient can return to a normal healthy life, says Chris Lascarides, MD, gastroenterologist at Mather Gastroenterology. If you have GERD, you may have experienced heartburn or indigestion. But is it possible to suffer from reflux and not know it?

Laryngopharyngeal reflux or silent reflux is a condition in which acid from the stomach travels up the esophagus and gets to the throat. This type of acid reflux typically does not produce heartburn or indigestion like GERD. Because these hallmark GERD symptoms are absent, or silent, many people dont realize theyre suffering from reflux.

Whats the difference between silent reflux & GERD?

Someone with silent reflux may not have classic GERD symptoms, particularly heartburn, making it more difficult to diagnose, and leaving the sufferer unaware that they have it. The most common symptoms of silent reflux include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Mild difficulty swallowing
  • Non-productive throat clearing

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Treatment And Health Effects

Heartburn does not typically require the person who is experiencing it to seek medical attention, as long as it is not occurring on a consistent basis. All it takes to treat most cases of heartburn are some over the counter antacids and a concerted effort to avoid foods that are excessively spicy.

On the other hand, acid reflux is usually an indication that a much bigger problem is taking place and should be treated by a physician as soon as possible. Whereas heartburn only requires medical attention in instances where over the counter medications fail to provide or it is occurring more than once a week, acid reflux is considered to be the more serious ailment.

Acid reflux, when untreated, has more of an adverse impact on a persons daily living. They will need to change their diet, quit smoking if they are addicted to tobacco, and lose weight in order to bring their acid reflux down to a comfortable level. In certain instances, the person may even need a surgical procedure if the acid reflux remains a chronic ailment following medical treatment.

Other serious damages that can be caused by acid reflux include erosion of the patients stomach lining, internal bleeding, the development of ulcers, and scarring. And while it may be a rare occurrence, there is also the risk that a person could develop cancer in their esophagus.

How To Relieve Heartburn And Indigestion

Difference Between Heartburn and Angina

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

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