Acid Reflux And Indigestion: What Is The Difference?
Many construe the conditions of both acid reflux and indigestion to mean the same thing. In reality, there are a number of differences between the two conditions. While it is true that acid reflux symptoms are very similar to those of indigestion, they are a lot more severe and tend to persist for more than a few hours.
Acid reflux can be a serious condition if you do nothing about it. When series, acid reflux is known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). You experience pain in the oesophagus and throat as the acid from the stomach causes damage to the lining. If you do not treat your condition, the acid reflux symptoms can become unbearable as the lining of the oesophagus is slowly eroded away by the stomach acid. In the worst case scenario, you may develop oesophageal cancer or any of the other serious and potentially life-threatening throat conditions. These will be a lot harder to treat than the initial acid reflux symptoms. Hence it is important to seek early medical attention especially if your acid reflux symptoms do not go away.
Acid reflux is not curable. However, you can make changes to your diet and lifestyle for pain relief and to control your symptoms. Only if these solutions fail, should you consider consuming prescription medications.
Indigestion is often thought to be a milder version of acid reflux. But this is not really true. Only some of the symptoms are similar. For example, one of the most common symptoms of indigestion is gassy episodes and often these episodes are felt by sufferers of true acid reflux. Indigestion sufferers may also have an uncomfortable feeling around the chest and shoulder area that you are unable to relieve by burping.
Indigestion is commonly caused by over-eating or eating too quickly. Your stomach is bombarded with food and it produces acid in extreme amounts. Acid reflux however is caused when the sphincter at the top of the stomach is weakened and the stomach acid is allowed to travel up the oesophagus and then into the throat. Because of this dissimilarity, you often experience the major symptoms of the two conditions in different parts of the body; that is the chest for indigestion and the throat/oesophagus for acid reflux.