However, it is important to know the difference between heartburn and GERD. This is mainly because these conditions are treated differently, and in the case of GERD, it can cause severe problems if left untreated.
Do I have heartburn or GERD?
In order to understand the difference between heartburn and GERD, we need to talk about what these conditions are.
What is heartburn?
Heartburn is a burning sensation in a person’s chest, usually right behind the breastbone. It can be very painful, and the pain usually radiates upward towards the throat.
Heartburn is a symptom of a condition called acid reflux. Acid reflux is a condition that causes stomach acids to go up into the esophagus. This stomach acid is the reason why whenever you experience heartburn, you feel a burning sensation in your chest.
Acid reflux can happen due to a variety of reasons, including the following:
- Eating a large amount of food right before sleeping.
- Pregnant women and people who are obese or overweight tend to have acid reflux.
- Chocolate, spicy foods, tomatoes, and acidic foods can also cause acid reflux.
- Drinking alcohol, coffee, and soda are also some causes of acid reflux.
- Certain medicines, such as those used to manage blood pressure, can also trigger acid reflux.
For the most part, heartburn and acid reflux should not be a cause for concern. In fact, millions of people worldwide experience heartburn at least once a month. However, the problem is when heartburn starts to become a regular occurrence.