Difference between Heartburn and Indigestion

Do you know the difference between heartburn and indigestion? Do you think the terms indigestion and heartburn refer to the same digestive problems?

Heartburn and indigestion are used as synonyms sometimes. But they are two different things.

Heartburn is a symptom of indigestion, that is, one of the symptoms.

Indigestion can cause heartburn but heartburn can not be the cause of indigestion.

There are many symptoms of indigestion and heartburn is only one of them.

Heartburn is the burning sensation in the chest whereas indigestion is a feeling of fullness, slow digestion, or lack of digestion.

Indigestion causes pain in the stomach area.

Indigestion happens when food is not digestion properly, after you have eaten.

Heartburn can happen on empty stomach too.

Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up in the oeosophagus (food pipe) and causes a burning sensation in the chest, closer to the heart. That is why it is called heartburn.

Other symptoms of Indigestion

Some of the symptoms of indigestion are similar to heartburn and the treatment for both indigestion and heartburn is same in some cases.

As mentioned above, heartburn is one of the symptoms of indigestion.

The other symptoms of indigestion are:

Causes of  heartburn and indigestion

Indigestion is mainly caused by food. What you eat and how much you eat may contribute as a cause for indigestion.

Overeating may cause indigestion but even a small amount of wrong kind of food, spicy, fatty or acidic food may cause heartburn.

Lack of routine in food habits can cause indigestion.

Stress can cause indigestion as well as heartburn.

Indigestion may also be caused by medications. Taking the medicine at the wrong time can result in stomach problems (indigestion).

For example, taking the medicine before the meal instead of after the meal, as prescribed by the doctor.

Heartburn can occur because of indigestion but indigestion can not occur because of heartburn.



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