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There is a pronounced difference between acid reflux and heartburn. Acid reflux refers to the movement of acid upward from the stomach whereas heartburn refers to the burning feeling on the esophagus, chest, or throat due to the flow of acid from the stomach.

At the entrance of the stomach, there is a ring of muscles called the lower esophageal sphincter. These muscles are important in that, they prevent acid from moving upward from the stomach. They close as soon as the food gets into the stomach. Acid reflux symptoms occur when the ring of muscles, which are known as the lower esophageal sphincters do not close all the way or open too often, therefore, causing acid to flow from the stomach to the esophagus. This is because the main function the lower esophageal sphincter has been altered. To prevent the acid reflux symptoms one should avoid eating large meals at a time, which may cause this ring of muscles from closing or chewing gum all the time, which makes the lower esophageal sphincter to open too often because one swallows saliva a lot. Some of the other causes of this disorder include eating before going to bed and bending at the waist right after eating. Excessive indulgence of alcohol and caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee may also cause this problem. Being pregnant, overweight, or obese may also cause the disorder.

Can This Cure Acid Reflux and Heartburn!

The hiatal hernia, a stomach abnormality may also cause the acid reflux symptoms. When the lower esophageal sphincter does not close or opens too often, various symptoms may be felt. They include burning sensation in the chest. Other symptoms include regurgitation-acid backing up from your stomach to your throat or mouth and bloating. One is considered to have the acid reflux disease if the symptoms occur more than twice a week.

The heartburn is a burning sensation that may move from your abdomen, chest, and sometimes up to your throat. Despite the name, it has nothing to do with the heart. However, severe heartburn may have symptoms similar to those of a heart attack. Occasional heartburn may not be dangerous. However, when severe, it may develop to GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease. Similar to the acid reflux, heartburn is caused when the sphincter muscles do not close or open too frequently. Therefore, most of the symptoms of heartburn are similar to those of the acid reflux disease. To avoid the heartburn and the acid flux symptoms, avoid the foods that relax the sphincter muscles. These foods include tomatoes, citrus fruits, garlic, onion, and chocolate. Alcohol intake and smoking make the lower esophagus sphincter to relax and increases the secretion of acid in the stomach. It is important to avoid them. You can reduce the chances of acid reflux and heartburn by eating low fat high-protein foods and stop eating just before you get too full.
For treatment one may consider surgery or over the counter drugs. It is however, important to see a medical doctor before starting to use any of the drugs.

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