Understanding Acid Reflux, Heart Burn, and GERD

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Source: Gazette Review

The terms heart burn, GERD and acid reflux sound very similar to most of us. This is because we have heard them used to describe the same symptoms. In truth the only thing they have close to a similarity is that the symptoms are somehow alike. These conditions can be differentiated as follows:

Acid Reflux

This can be simply put as the splashing back of stomach acid into the esophagus. It occurs when the muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter, that is suppose to keep the digestive acids in the stomach does not close tightly or opens too often. The condition is usually treated by a modification of your diet or over the counter medicine such as Rolaids.

Heart Burn

There is no need to worry about your heart because a heart burn has nothing to do with the heart. It is the pain that is caused by acid reflux. A person experiencing heart burn can expect to feel a burning kind of sensation. Like acid reflux, this condition can be solved by the modification of your diet or taking over the counter antacids.

GERD

This stands for Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease. This condition is also caused by acid reflux or occasionally h. pylori infection and celiac disease. Continuous acid reflux can cause a constant irritation on the lining of the esophagus which if left untreated and could lead to complications such as increased risk of cancer.

Some of the symptoms of GERD are :

  • Sore throat
  • Heart Burn
  • Bad Breath
  • Indigestion

And many more symptoms. The diagnosis of GERD may involve a pH monitoring, esophageal biopsy, an endoscopy or a barium swallow x-ray. The main goal of treating GERD would be to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. It may involve things such as:

  • Over the Counter antacids for mild GERD
  • Prescription Histamine Inhibitors and Proton pump inhibitors for severe GERD

The symptoms of a heart attack and heart burn tend to be similar. So, it is advisable that anytime you feel uncomfortable or uneasy in the slightest bit, visit your nearest doctor or provider immediately to avoid further complications.


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