The terms related to heartburn, acid reflux and GERD are synonymous. But a very fine line of difference exists between them. Properly identifying these medical terms is important to understand the root cause of the problem and identify the prospective diagnosis.
The following article will cover differences between all the three terms so that you can make an informed decision.
What is heartburn?
Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest that can be caused by various things, such as eating spicy food, lying down after eating, or wearing tight clothing. When the esophagus (the tube that goes from the mouth to the stomach) is irritated, it can cause heartburn. The stomach acid can also rise up into the throat and mouth, causing a sour taste.
It involves a feeling of mild to severe pain in the chest. That is why it is also called heart attack pain.
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The lining of the food pipe is very delicate. Food pipes only bring food to the stomach. But sometimes, the juices and the gasses secreted in the stomach reach the food pipe to cause a burning sensation in the food pipe. This pain is very sharp and tightening. It is nothing short of chest pain. Some people even experience this kind of scene around their throats.
When does it occur?
This problem has got a lot to do with the timing of eating. Lifestyle habits and weight management also have had an impact on the occurrence of this problem. Heartburn is very common if the individual does not follow a schedule. Acidic and spicy food also causes Heartburn in the individual.
How to avoid it?
It can be treated with the help of medications like an antacid. But if it cannot be cured with the help of this medicine, then visiting the doctor and getting yourself tested would be the correct course of action.
What is acid reflux?
A small muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter connects the stomach and the food pipe. It helps to regulate the movement of the food from the food pipe to the stomach for digestion. At the time of passing the food, the muscle becomes very tight. But if the muscle does not tighten properly, then all the acid collected in the stomach for the digestion of the food will move toward the esophagus.
It causes Acid Reflux. The muscle needs to tighten itself so that the action of acid does not impact the food pipe. It is Responsible for the production of different types of symptoms. Some include sore throat, cough, bitter taste and burning sensations. Sometimes it can also lead to heartburn.
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How to prevent it?
This problem is always caused among people who smoke a lot and consume alcohol. The muscle is naturally tight in all humans, but lifestyle habits have a huge impact on the ability of this muscle to pass the food. A mild form of this problem can be cured with the help of medicines. But if it is ignored for a long time, then it can result in causing GERD.
What is GERD?
It is a very serious and chronic form of Acid Reflux. It results in causing inflammation in the food Pipe, and long-term damage to the functioning of this organ. It is so severe that it can also be an early symptom of Cancer.
The pain level is so high that it cannot be easily cured with the help of over-the-counter medication. It is responsible for causing a lot of symptoms in the human body. Some of the risk factors caused by GERD include:
- Having an extremely bad breath
- It also damages the enamel of the tooth in the long run. It happens due to the excessive collection of acid in the food pipe, which ultimately reaches the mouth and affects the teeth.
- This problem makes a person feel like the food he has just ingested is stuck at the back of his throat.
- It can also cause a huge amount of chest pain
- Due to the affected mouth, it becomes difficult to swallow and chew food properly.
Aftereffects of the problem
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This problem is usually experienced by people in a very intermittent way, especially after they eat something. Detecting this chronic condition involves a complete examination of the human body, and the different body parts are analyzed with the help of screening.
The complete body history and the individual's daily routine are taken into Accord before deciding the course of treatment and diagnosis of the patient. The specific factors which play an important role in the treatment have been given in the following way.
- The individual's weight management has a lot to do with this process. Being overweight produces extra pressure on the stomach.
- Smoking habits and consumption of alcohol are also taken into consideration before deciding the treatment.
- Pregnancy and the history of miscarriage are equally important.
- The medication on which a person is dependent is also taken into consideration. It can include even basic medication like multivitamins and pain relievers.
- Dependence of sedatives and anti depressants are also analyzed by the medical team in advance so that no complication happens at the latest stage of the treatment.
Understanding all of these terms is important to develop solutions and diagnoses. The patient needs to get himself checked by the medical team before taking the medicines. It can be a false alarm, and the intake of the wrong medication can increase complications. Proper medical determination is effective in the long run for detecting the problem. It is very important because it reduces the excessive burden on individuals. The first principle of healthy living is medical screening in order to avoid long-term complications. So, be sure to visit your doctor for regular checkups.