Acid Reflux vs Heartburn vs Gerd: What's the Difference?


Posted On Sep 26 2016 by

It occurs when stomach acid travels up the food pipe to the mouth. Acid reflux causes stomach acid to travel up the food pipe into the mouth.

After you swallow food, it makes its way down the esophagus and into the stomach, where a ring of muscle, called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), closes to keep the food in. But sometimes the LES is weak or doesn’t properly close, allowing stomach acid to backup, which irritates the lining of the esophagus. That’s acid reflux, or heartburn. When acid reflux leads to persistent heartburn, occurring maybe twice a week for 3 weeks or more, this is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat (acid reflux). If it keeps happening, it’s called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux (GER), is the backward flow of stomach acid into the tube that connects your throat to your stomach (esophagus). During an episode of acid reflux, you might feel a burning sensation in your chest (heartburn).

Acid reflux is the reverse passage of gastric contents into the oesophagus (‘food pipe’) which can cause heartburn. However, the reason many people mistake acid reflux for indigestion is the fact that the former is a symptom of the latter rather than a separate condition. Indigestion has a lot more symptoms than just acid reflux.

Endoscopy will also identify several of the complications of GERD, specifically, ulcers, strictures, and Barrett’s esophagus. Biopsies also may be obtained.

How you can ease heartburn and acid reflux yourself

This situation may necessitate endoscopic removal of the stuck food. Then, to prevent food from sticking, the narrowing must be stretched (widened). Moreover, to prevent a recurrence of the stricture, reflux also must be prevented. It appears that the diaphragm that surrounds the LES is important in preventing reflux.

The relationship between heartburn and acid reflux is that of a symptom and its cause. Heartburn may occur with 17 to 45 percent of pregnancies. Fortunately, over-the-counter heartburn and acid reflux treatments tend to be safe to use during pregnancy. Proton pump inhibitors, a group of longer-term prescription medications that can reduce stomach acid. Options include Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec.

Don’t worry-you’ll still be able to digest a meal. “These drugs don’t completely eliminate acid, so your stomach will still be producing sufficient levels to process food,” says Dr. Falk. Taken every day (as opposed to as-needed, which is the case with OTC treatments), they’re useful for those with full-blown GERD. Normally, a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter acts as a one-way valve between the lower esophagus and the upper stomach. It relaxes to let food slide down but then seals to stop stomach acid or partly digested food from traveling in the wrong direction.

difference between acid reflux silent reflux

affect different individuals or even in the same individual at different times. A small number of patients with GERD produce abnormally large amounts of acid, but this is uncommon and not a contributing factor in the vast majority of patients. It has also been found that liquid refluxes to a higher level in the esophagus in patients with GERD than normal individuals.

difference between acid reflux silent reflux

Importantly, a barium swallow that is ‘non-diagnostic for reflux’ does not exclude LPR, given its inherently low diagnostic yield. Throat discomfort and ‘mucus that cannot be cleared away’ are commonly reported and may be erroneously attributed to postnasal drip.

The key features of laryngeal irritation include ventricular obliteration, vocal fold edema, subglottic edema (pseudosulcus) as well as thickening, redness, and edema mainly localized in the posterior larynx involving posterior pharyngeal wall, arytenoids, and interarytenoid area [6,36,52]. If you do have indigestion (and therefore acid reflux!), then Rennie quickly gets to work to relieve the discomfort. Indigestion is often caused by excess stomach acid coming into contact with the sensitive, protective lining of the digestive system. The condition sees your throat and oesophagus become flooded from the acid produced by the stomach, causing a burning feeling. There are in fact a number of differences between the two as indigestion is not, as many believe, just a milder form of acid reflux.

It is important to look at whether people have trouble breathing out or in. If breathing out is the hard part, then this speaks for asthma.

Ulcers of the esophagus heal with the formation of scars (fibrosis). Over time, the scar tissue shrinks and narrows the lumen (inner cavity) of the esophagus. This scarred narrowing is called a stricture. Swallowed food may get stuck in the esophagus once the narrowing becomes severe enough (usually when it restricts the esophageal lumen to a diameter of one centimeter).

Last Updated on: September 25th, 2019 at 11:13 am, by


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