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Difference Between GERD and Acid Reflux

GERD vs Acid Reflux

GERD and acid reflux are two illnesses that can trigger painful sensations from the stomach up to the esophagus. Though the two words are not really different, one must still consult the doctor if the reflux worsens.

GERD, or also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, is an abnormal condition in which the acid in the stomach ascends up to esophagus. Acid reflux, on the other hand, is not a disease but rather a condition in which acid contents from the stomach ascend as well.

GERD and acid reflux can happen to everyone. People can have acid reflux twice a week. But if it occurred more than that, expect that you are having GERD. Acid reflux occurs because of an abnormality in the esophageal sphincter which is supposed to block the acid contents ascending from the stomach. Since it isn’t able to block the acid, it therefore ascends up to the chest and esophagus leaving a feeling of heartburn.

GERD manifests in the following conditions: heartburn, trouble swallowing, and reflux of acid. Acid reflux manifests as heartburn. These two conditions must be taken seriously because it may cause the erosion of the esophageal lining due to frequent acid reflux. Thus, the acid burns the lining of the esophagus which makes swallowing difficult in the long run.

GERD and acid reflux should also be managed by avoiding spicy foods, soda, foods and drinks with caffeine, such as tea, coffee, and chocolate. You can also drink a lot of water to help dilute stomach contents. You can also chew gum in-between meals to prevent the buildup of acid after eating. You can also prevent reflux when sleeping by elevating your head using more pillows at your back and below your head.

Diagnosis of GERD can be through endoscopy. It is a procedure in which a hollow tube is inserted in the mouth then via the throat up to the stomach to visualize the reflux of acid. Once confirmed, certain medications will be provided by the physician to prevent the reflux of acid. Medications will also be given to neutralize the acidity of the stomach contents.

Summary:

1. GERD is a disease or illness of reflux for more than two times a week and unrelieved by medication while acid reflux is just a condition and not a disease.
2. GERD has manifestations of heartburn, trouble swallowing, and regurgitation while acid reflux only manifests as heartburn and regurgitation.
3. GERD and acid reflux can be diagnosed through endoscopy.


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