“Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is when you have acid coming up into the stomach into your esophagus frequently,” says Dr. Raj. Acid reflux is the reason you have heartburn.
If you’ve got either heartburn or indigestion that you can’t remedy with lifestyle and dietary changes, it’s best to see your doctor to rule out the possibility of an underlying digestive health or other condition and get advice on getting real and lasting relief. There are medications available to treat heartburn, like antacids and drugs that reduce the acids in the stomach that trigger this condition. “In the absence of obvious causes, such as the use of NSAIDs, and if the patient has no alarming features such as weight loss, anemia, or older age with new-onset symptoms [of heartburn], first-line therapy with antacids is perfectly acceptable,” says Francisco Marrero, MD, a gastroenterologist with the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. You’ve finished a delicious meal just, but your stomach is feeling from satisfied far.
Not only can your doctor help you treat GERD symptoms, but you may also figure out the underlying source of the problem to nix heartburn for good. GERD is a chronic condition.
Because heartburn can spread to the neck, throat, and jaw, it might feel like the radiating chest pain of a heart attack. For example, high amounts of pressure on the abdomen can cause the sphincter to grow slack. For this good reason, acid reflux is common in people who are overweight, obese, or pregnant.
Because indigestion can be caused by anxiety, diet and lifestyle, or another medical condition, it may be difficult to know what is causing it. Visit your health-care professional for regular health check-ups. Some testing performed to diagnose the cause of your indigestion may be repeated in the future to gauge the response to treatment. The prognosis for indigestion is good if indigestion is caused by lifestyle factors generally.
Here’s what you need to know about these three distinct issues. Don’t miss the 21 health secrets your gut is trying to tell you. Acid reflux and the heartburn it causes are not usually a problem if they happen once in a while. However, if acid reflux becomes chronic, it can progress to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- You may feel like you have food stuck in your throat or like you are choking or your throat is tight.
- Enteryx is a solution that becomes spongy and reinforces the LES to keep stomach acid from flowing into the esophagus.
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common condition, where acid from the stomach leaks up into the oesophagus (gullet).
- eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, treatment or diagnosis.
- Acid reflux can lead to heartburn and difficulty eating but it can also result in a sore throat.
- While none of the conditions are life-threatening, they can lead to medical complications and more severe diseases if they’re not treated.
It occurs when stomach acid travels up the food pipe to the mouth. Distinguishing between heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD might be hard, because they may feel the same in the moment all. However, understanding the differences can help a person find the right treatment. Sometimes GERD can cause serious complications.
A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach is above the diaphragm, the muscle wall that separates the stomach from the chest. The diaphragm helps the LES keep acid from coming up into the esophagus. When a hiatal hernia is present, it is easier for the acid to come up.
What’s the difference between heartburn and acid reflux?
Acid reflux causes stomach acid to travel up the food pipe into the mouth. Heartburn is not a condition on its own, and it has nothing to do with the heart. Instead, it is a symptom of acid reflux. Licorice root is another folk remedy that’s been used to treat heartburn.
Explore Everyday Health
Eighty-five percent of esophageal cancers are found in people 55 and older; four times as many men get the disease as women roughly. Distinguishing between heartburn acid reflux and GERD may be hard because they may all feel the same in the moment. However, understanding the differences can help a person find the right treatment. Chest pain caused by insufficient blood flow to the heart (angina) or a heart attack is often described as a feeling of tightness, constriction, or pressure, rather than a burning sensation (see “Heartburn or heart attack?”). But it’s not always easy to tell the difference.