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Difference Between Heartburn and GERD

Heartburn vs GERD

At times you may have experienced a distinctive burning sensation in your chest shortly after you have feasted on a very bountiful meal. Or perhaps after you belch after a sumptuous delight you feel the food you have eaten rise up to your chest, and then you would feel the burning discomfort. The discomfort that it brings might be really painful that at times you may also mistakenly think that you are on your way to having a heart attack. But in a very short while, you may have noticed that the pain is already receding and you would rather think that it was just a case of heartburn or perhaps GERD. In turn, you just let it pass and neglect it. So what really is heartburn or GERD? Is there a difference? Well, definitely there are a few differences in these two conditions, and perhaps you should know them so as not to be confused when you experience them yourself.

Heartburn is the burning sensation that people feel most commonly after eating a large quantity. Heartburn occurs on the upper part of the digestive system which particularly happens between the upper parts of the abdomen to the lower part of the chest. Also, in many occasions, the heartburn can go up into the throat. The indication of heartburn would be a burning sensation in the areas aforementioned.

This discomfort is caused when the flow of acids from the stomach goes back to the esophagus. Since the esophagus does not have a protective mucus membrane that protects it from acidic contents, unlike the stomach, there is definite pain or discomfort when acids or enzymes from the stomach flow back into the esophagus. As the acids and enzymes from the stomach go back into the esophagus, the outer layer of the esophagus becomes irritated and, in turn, may swell. That is where pain is recognized, and this is where GERD comes into play. Most people would think that heartburn is still the same as GERD when, in fact, heartburn is just a symptom of GERD.

GERD is short for the medical term Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. GERD is the actual disease that involves the flow back of acidic contents and enzymes from the stomach. Also, most frequently, the flow back would include incompletely digested food which also has a high acid and enzyme content. As aforementioned, heartburn is just a symptom of GERD, and GERD still involves the burning sensation from the upper abdomen up into the chest. To make it clearer, heartburn is the burning sensation in the chest while GERD is the actual phenomena wherein the acid flows back up to the esophageal area. Furthermore, we could consider GERD as a trunk of the tree and the heartburn as one of the roots. GERD may not only involve having the symptoms of heartburn, but it may also be that a person could experience symptoms, such as, reflux esophagitis or, perhaps, hiatal hernia. But regardless of whether you have heartburn or GERD, you should contact a doctor immediately to get rid of the discomfort brought about by these conditions.

SUMMARY:

1.Heartburn is a symptom while GERD is a disease.

2.Heartburn is the pain while GERD is the flowback of acid to the affected areas.

3.Heartburn does not have any symptoms while GERD has several other symptoms.


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