Heartburn vs. GERD: What’s the Difference?

Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), this causes a painful burning sensation, or heartburn, in the lower chest when stomach acid rises back up into your esophagus. And for people who suffer from it, the term “comfort food” takes on a whole new meaning because the act of eating can actually help reduce pain.

The impact of weight gain on GERD occurrence could not be evaluated as the majority (97%) of subjects lost weight at 6 months and had improvement in their reflux symptoms. Although this is a prospective longitudinal study, the treatment was not randomized and lacks a control group.

Understanding a variety of lifestyle and dietary modifications may help when trying to gain weight with GERD. Up until about 5 years ago I had experienced periodic (but not frequent) heartburn and was occasionally aware of acid reflux. I used to treat myself with up to 6 or 8 Tums a day. A stress test revealed no problems but an endoscopic examination revealed erosions of the esophagus.

GERD is diagnosed when you have constant, frequent, chronic heartburn. Heartburn and GERD feels like a painful or burning sensation in your upper abdomen behind the breastbone, sometimes going up into your throat. It may feel as if there is a hot, acidic, or sour tasting fluid at the back of the throat or you may have a sore throat. The stomach has a protective lining that resists damage by the acid. The thick cells that line the stomach secrete large amounts of protective mucus so the acid produced does not irritate the stomach.

I have tried avoiding all the usual triggers and have also had 2 very unsuccessful attempts on PPIs. After trying the first for 3 weeks I stopped as there was no change at all and it ended up making me feel worse. With the second I have been on them for almost a month (2 a day 30mg) and again no change whatsoever.

While removing these foods from the diet may ease discomfort for some, they do not affect all people the same way, so universal elimination of foods is not recommended, according to the March 2013 “American Journal of Gastroenterology.” For the person trying to gain weight with GERD, if such specific foods do not trigger heartburn or other symptoms, the high-calorie foods do not need to be eliminated. Heartburn, also called GERD (gastroesophagael reflux disease), occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, which is the food pipe that connects the throat and stomach. Heartburn symptoms often occur shortly after eating and can last for a few minutes or even hours. People may complain of a burning sensation in the chest or throat, a sour or bitter taste in their mouth or even cough symptoms. Lupus is an autoimmune disease like RA, but it wreaks havoc throughout the body-from kidney damage to GI disruption to rashes.

If you still have symptoms after lifestyle modifications and antacids, your health-care professional probably will prescribe a stronger drug. The usual choice is one of the histamine-2 (H2) blockers, or acid blockers.

Smoking and obesity increase a person’s risk of GERD. It is treatable with medication, but some people may need surgery. In this article, learn more about GERD. I first started experiencing symptoms many years ago. I had constant heartburn, burning stomach aches, burning mouth; I always felt nauseous and I was constantly chewing on antacids, which did not help.

It is not uncommon for people to have a peptic ulcer and no symptoms at all. However, one of the most common symptoms of peptic ulcers is indigestion-like pain.

Like all medications, GERD medications can have side effects and can interact with other drugs, so it’s important to discuss this with your healthcare provider. Be sure to talk about what and how much medication you are taking, the effects on your GERD symptoms and any side effects you are experiencing. The goal of medication therapy is to relieve GERD symptoms, allow the esophagus to heal and prevent GERD complications.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) tends to be a chronic digestive disorder. When stomach contents inch upward into the esophagus, symptoms become annoying and painful for patients. If allowed to continue unabated, symptoms can cause considerable physical damage.

But STILL I have problems. However, this doesn’t mean I’m “cured” of my GERD. I still have to use antacids on the rare occasions that I eat too close to bedtime or have too large of a meal. It’s still there, waiting for me to slip back into bad habits, and it always will be.

Believe it or not, chewing gum may actually reduce your acid reflux symptoms. A number of studies suggest that chewing a piece after meals helps to keep fluids in your stomach, and that the extra saliva from chewing can reduce irritation in an already inflamed throat. All too often, heartburn patients look first to antacids. These drugs do work when you’re already suffering, or when you know you’re about to eat something that aggravates the condition – but they’re not a long-term fix. A better bet is to find your triggers and avoid them or reduce their consumption.

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