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Acid Reflux

What is the difference between heartburn and acid reflux?

By BS MediaTwitter Profile | Published: Thursday, 09 August 2018
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Table of contents
  1. Symptoms
  2. Causes
  3. Heartburn vs. heart attack
  4. Diagnosis
  5. Complications
  6. Treatment and prevention
  7. When to see a doctor
Understanding the differences between pyrosis, acid reflux, and internal organ reflux illness involves understanding the golf links between them.

According to the American College of medicine, pyrosis is a common digestive complaint in the United States, poignant more than 60 million Americans each month.

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.

If symptoms of acid reflux occur often, it can indicate that a person has internal organ reflux illness (GERD).

Distinguishing between pyrosis, acid reflux, and GERD may be hard, because they may all feel the same in the moment. nevertheless, understanding the differences can help a person find the right treatment.


The following symptoms can help a person to tell the difference between acid reflux, pyrosis, and GERD:

Symptoms of acid reflux

Acid reflux is sometimes called internal organ reflux or GER. It occurs when stomach acid travels up the food pipe to the mouth.

This can happen when the muscle at the bottom of the food pipe, which Acts of the Apostles as a entrance to the stomach, becomes weak or loose.

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest or abdomen, and it has nothing to do with the heart. People often feel pyrosis behind the sternum and after feeding. It can get worse when sitting or lying down.

Heartburn is the most common symptom of acid reflux, though it does not appear in every case.

Acid reflux besides causes the following symptoms:

  • bad breath
  • nausea or vomiting
  • difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • breathing problems

Symptoms of GERD

GERD is the term for degenerative acid reflux. The symptoms are the same, but they happen more often with GERD.

If a person experiences symptoms of acid reflux more than doubly a week for a few weeks, they may have GERD. The illness affects about 20 percentage of the U.S. population.


The stomach is built to withstand acid. The food pipe is not, and when acid rises into it, a person experiences burning pain.

The muscle at the end of the food pipe is called the lower passage anatomical sphincter. It can weaken or relax, and possibly cause acid reflux, for several reasons.

For example, high amounts of pressure on the abdomen can cause the anatomical sphincter to grow slack. For this reason, acid reflux is common in people who are overweight, corpulent, or pregnant.

Other causes of acid reflux involve:

  • smoking or regular exposure to secondhand smoke
  • alcohol consumption
  • a type of herniation called a hiatal herniation
  • feeding large meals
  • feeding late at night or just before bed
  • consuming high-fat or deep-fried foods
  • acidic drinks, so much as fruit juice

Various medications can besides trigger acid reflux, including:

  • asthma medication
  • high blood pressure medication
  • antidepressants
  • antihistamines
  • pain relievers
  • sedatives

Chest pain and related symptoms are among the top reasons for visits to emergency departments in the U.S.

Acid reflux is a common cause of chest pain, and it can be easy to confuse this pain with that of a heart attack.

Because pyrosis can spread to the neck, throat, and jaw, it may feel like the divergent chest pain of a heart attack.

There are a few shipway to tell the difference between pyrosis and a heart attack. If the pain improves after a quick antacid or a belch, or if there is a sour taste in the mouth, a person most likely has pyrosis.

A person having a heart attack often experiences a feeling of squeeze or pressure and shortness of breath.

Due to the seriousness of a heart attack, The American Heart Association recommend that anyone who believes they may be having a heart attack should seek medical care as shortly as possible. This includes people who are unsure whether their chest pain results from a heart.

Acid reflux and GERD are treatable with medications, life style changes, or both.

Some medications for acid reflux include:

  • Antacids, which neutralize stomach acid. Options include Tums, Rolaids, Pepto-Bismol, and Mylanta. galore brands can be purchased online.
  • H2 blockers, which reduce acid production. Options include famotidine, ranitidine, Axid, and Tagamet.
  • Proton pump inhibitors, a group of longer-term prescription medications that can reduce stomach acid. Options include Nexium, lansoprazole, and Prilosec.
  • Prokinetics, a type of prescription drug that helps to empty the stomach more quickly. Options include Reglan and Urecholine.

People with acid reflux or GERD can manage symptoms by taking steps to avoid triggers.

  • Start by avoiding some or all of the following:
  • deep-fried and fatty foods
  • large meals
  • smoking
  • alcohol
  • coffee
  • tomatoes and tomato products
  • spicy food
  • peppermint
  • citrus fruits and juices

Weight loss can besides help to reduce symptoms, as it decreases pressure on the food pipe.

People should besides try not to eat late at night or lie down shortly after feeding.

In serious cases of GERD, surgery may help to strengthen the muscles in the gut.

Children and pregnancy

Children, adolescents, and pregnant women often experience acid reflux.

Heartburn may occur with 17 to 45 percentage of pregnancies. fortuitously, over-the-counter pyrosis and acid reflux treatments tend to be safe to use during pregnancy.

About 10 percentage of teenagers and pre-teens experience GERD, according to the North American Society for paediatric medicine, Hepatology and Nutrition.

The symptoms, diagnosing, and treatments for children with GERD are similar to those for adults. Check with a baby doctor to learn more.

When to see a doctor

If acid reflux occurs on a regular basis, use an antacid, and try different brands if the first is ineffective. besides, try making life style changes, so much as eliminating certain foods or drinks from the diet.

If the acid reflux still recurs after making these changes, it may be time to call the doctor.

Although chest pain is often a symptom of acid reflux or GERD, do not hesitate to visit the doctor or the emergency room if it seems more serious.

Sometimes GERD symptoms warrant pressing attention.

A person experiencing any of the following should seek immediate medical care:

  • regular, forceful vomiting
  • persistent upper body pain
  • difficulty breathing
  • difficulty swallowing


The relationship between pyrosis and acid reflux is that of a symptom and its cause.

Heartburn is a painful, common problem that can affect a person's quality of life. To eliminate it, a person inevitably to treat the underlying cause, which is acid reflux.

Manage symptoms of acid reflux by avoiding the galore potential triggers. If acid reflux goes unbridled or untreated, it may develop into GERD.

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