Indigestion Vs Heartburn


The acid in the stomach is a normal part of the digestive process. In fact, it is beneficial. Acid kills bacteria in food to prevent you from becoming unwell and also helps to breakdown your food to allow your body to make use of it. However, indigestion and heartburn can occur if there is too much acid, or if it is allowed to come back up into the esophagus. 

Indigestion: Excess acid in the stomach causes pain in the abdomen. It may be associated with bloating, wind, nausea or burping. Symptoms usually occur shortly after eating

Heartburn: Excess acid is allowed to come back up from the stomach, into the esophagus, irritating it. This causes pain in the chest usually after eating a diet. Heartburn is also called Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) and may be associated with a bitter or sour acid taste in the throat and difficulty swallowing. It is common for people experiencing heartburn to think they having a heart attack.

Causes Of Heartburn?

Indigestion And Heartburn Can Be Caused By Many Factors Including:

  • Over eating
  • Spicy food
  • Stomach ulcers or infection
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Stress
  • Being overweight
  • Pregnancy (speak to your Doctor or Zoom Chemist Pharmacist to advise what is suitable for you)
  • Some medicine (speak to your Doctor or Zoom Chemist Pharmacist if this is a concern)

Symptoms can be improved by cutting back on the things that trigger your symptoms. For heartburn, propping yourself up on a couple of pillows whilst you sleep may help to prevent symptoms at night and also through medication.

What Treatments are Available?

Antacids such as Rennie® and Bisodol® are effective remedies that way to relieve and neutralize excess acid in the stomach and should improve symptoms. Antacids neutralize excess acid in the stomach to remove that burning sensation. Antacids cannot be taken with certain types of medicines- consult your Zoom Chemist pharmacist if you are unsure.

Alginates form a protective layer over the stomach and prevent stomach acid from coming back up into the esophagus and irritating it. Gaviscon® products contain alginate and an antacid, thereby neutralizing the excess stomach acid and prevent it from backing up. Liquid products are more effective in the treatment of heartburn and should be taken after meals and at bedtime.

H2 antagonists such as Zantac® are effective in treating indigestion and work by reducing the amount of acid that is produced in the stomach. If you would like any more information about Indigestion & Heartburn, please contact our Zoom Chemist Pharmacist, or alternatively please start a new topic on our forum.

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