Acid Reflux and Indigestion - When You Can't Tell One from the Other

Published: 06th January 2009
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Acid Reflux and indigestion is often mistaken as one and the same. Both disorder stem from too much acid production but differ in several ways. The main difference lies in the manner by which acid was prompted to cause disorder. Indigestion and its acid irregularity may lead to acid reflux but the latter will not develop any further into indigestion.

Acid reflux and digestion can be further differentiated by simply defining the inherent characteristics of the two disorders. Acid reflux or also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is the result of eating too much and not providing the stomach enough gravitational pull to hold the food down. Hence, the acid in the stomach regurgitates upward and gets trapped in the esophagus.

Indigestion on the other hand is a result of eating too many and too fast. The rapidity by which the stomach is filled with food promotes the production of too much acid which can cause the heartburn or chest pain.

The chest pain is a result of being unable to pass air through the mouth or what we commonly know as belching. Once we are able to pass air by belching, the chest pain discomfort of indigestion becomes relieved. If not, we can then resort to taking in antacids.

Symptomatic Differences Between Acid Reflux and Indigestion

In acid reflux, the trapped acid in the esophagus causes the burning sensation in the mid-chest, at the back of the breast bone and in the middle of the abdomen. One may even experience dry cough, difficulty swallowing and symptoms of asthma. Smoking, having hernia, being overweight and other intestinal problems may cause acid reflux or heartburn.

Furthermore, acid reflux if it often occurs and improperly treated may lead to cancer of the esophagus. The cancer disorder is life threatening hence, the need for proper medication should be addressed.

On the other hand, indigestion or medically known as dyspepsia which is mainly caused by over-eating at a rapid pace causes the digestive system to work double-time. Hence, too much acid is produced but remains in the stomach as it tries hard to dissolve all the food stored. .

Discomforts will come in the form of chest pains, gassy episodes and shoulder pains due to the trapped gasses which you couldn't manage to release by simply burping. These conditions in indigestion can lead to acid reflux heartburn.

Acid Reflux and Indigestion - Differences in Treatment

Acid reflux as a form of a disorder is medically declared as incurable. Intakes of antacid merely provide temporary relief but the persistence of your poor diet and improper lifestyle promotes recurrence. If bouts of heartburn or chest pains persist despite the intake of antacids, chances are the sufferer is on the verge of a heart attack. Immediate medical attention is therefore a must.

If acid reflux becomes a constant occurrence during and after every meal, the esophagus is highly threatened of being eroded by the constant presence of acid in its lining. The treatment therefore now requires a more intent and complex form of medication with the possibility of surgery as a last resort.

Indigestion on the other hand can be cured by simple antacids. If no immediate relief is achieved, the doctor may prescribe an antacid that has stronger dosage or composition. However, if both of these remedies do not provide relief from chest pains, your indigestion or dyspepsia may have already developed into an acid reflux disorder.

In which case, proper medical attention is now called for as the chest pains may also indicate more than just an acid reflux disorder. Persistence in chest pains despite intakes of antacid may indicate the onset of a heart attack.

The efficiency of the treatments in both acid reflux and indigestion can only be achieved if the foremost requirement of changing your diet and your lifestyle takes place.

Alvin Hopkinson is a leading health researcher in the area of natural remedies and acid reflux treatment. Discover how you can have instant heartburn relief using proven and effective home remedies, all without using harmful medications or drugs. Visit his site now at

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