Difference between acid reflux and heartburn
acid reflux vs heartburn:
While both acid reflux and heartburn can be equally as irritating, these two terms often used interchangeably, are quite different from each other. Therefore, this article seeks to differentiate these two commonly used terms as well as to provide a brief introduction to them which will in turn help in recognizing the two separately.
What is acid reflux?
Also known as Gastroesophageal reflux, acid reflux is a chronic disease which can occur constantly if not properly managed and controlled, specially after consuming food like tomatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, fried foods, citrus fruits, tea, coffee and also, certain fruit juices. This happens usually as a result of food indigestion issues. Once the food is swallowed, it is carried down the esophagus by way of a wavelike motion in the walls of the esophagus tube which is a long tube about 10 inches long. At the end of this tube there lies a ring of muscles called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) through which the food must travel into the stomach where certain acids are generated which help digest the food molecules. And sometimes, acid reflux occurs as a result of the malfunctioning of this LES valve as well where the stomach acid regurgitates up into the esophagus creating a burning sensation. Other symptoms of acid reflux can be stated as nausea, regurgitation, sore throat, belching, a bitter taste in the mouth, bad breath, and painful or difficult swallowing.
What is heartburn?
Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux which is characterized by a sensation of tightness, pain or discomfort in the middle of the chest. Heartburn usually happens as a result of the malfunctioning of the lower oesophageal sphincter muscle or LES, which causes the stomach acid to surge up into the lower throat region. The burning sensation is created as a result of this stomach acid eating away at the esophagus.
What is the difference between heartburn and acid reflux?
While acid reflux, also known as as Gastroesophageal reflux, is a chronic disease which can occur constantly if not properly managed and controlled, heartburn is one of the irritating symptoms that occur because of this condition. While acid reflux can occur without the heartburn sensation, it is considered normally that heartburn cannot occur without the acid reflux which happens as a result of the poor digestion.
Whereas heartburn is defined as the burning sensation and the tightening of the chest experienced by the individual as a result of the stomach acids eating away at the esophagus, acid reflux occurs as a result of the malfunctioning of the oesophageal sphincter muscle which in turn causes the gastro acids to come up in to the valve. This valve opens up in an upward motion when letting the food in to the stomach whereas and it is when this valve does not close properly that the stomach acids tend to come in to the esophagus, creating the burning sensation.
While heartburn is characterized by the burning feeling and the tightening of the chest there are many other symptoms related to acid reflux. Some of them can be listed down as nausea, regurgitation, sore throat, belching, a bitter taste in the mouth, bad breath, and painful or difficult swallowing.