Indigestion and heartburn are considered by many to be one and the same, when in fact, they are not. The symptoms of heartburn and angina and indigestion can be similar, however, and the conditions often occur simultaneously, which can make the identification somewhat difficult.
Symptoms of Indigestion
Indigestion is often described as a feeling of fullness or discomfort while eating or after a meal. There are similiarities between indigestion and heartburn, in the sense that they both involve a burning sensation. The difference being, is heartburn is behind the breastbone and indigestion is felt more in the upper stomach area. An acidic taste in the mouth is also another factor shared both by heartburn and indigestion. Bloating, abdominal pain and gas are other symptoms of indigestion.
Although heartburn is the leaking of stomach acids into the esophagus, heartburn is often accompanied by indigestion. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and some lifestyle conditions are the known underlying cause for both indigestion and heartburn. If you are a sufferer you should note that smoking, stress, alcohol consumption along with certain types of foods, the amount we eat can all bring on the pain that we feel.
Being pregnant brings with it its’ own problems but unfortunately, for most it can also cause heartburn and indigestion. Hormones and the added pressure on the stomach by the expanding uterus are both believed to be contributing factors to heartburn and indigestion during pregnancy.
Symptoms of Heartburn
While the causes of heartburn vary from person to person, the symptoms of heartburn are fairly consistent for most individuals. So, what does heartburn feel like?The most common identifiable symptom of heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest and sometimes even in the throat. The burning sensation that you may feel should not be compared all confused with the pain. You should seek medical help immediately if the pain moves through your arms and shoulders, as this can be related a heart attack
Heartburn has other symptoms, other than the obvious, these include; acidic or salty taste in the mouth, a sore throat, a hoarse voice, a regurigation feeling and a feeling that food is stuck in the throat or chest. Normally after meals, heartburn symptoms may present themselves. The episodes can last anything from a few moments upto a few hours. If you lie down, you may find that very often the symptoms will worsen. Most heartburn should respond to antacids. Antacid treatment should irradicate the pain associated with heartburn and indigestion. If it does not, then medical help should be sought.
Many heart conditions have been mistaken for heartburn; it is important to therefore seek medical help if the pain appears suddenly and you experience things like dizziness, lightheadedness and cold sweats. Learning to identify the symptoms of heartburn and indigestion is important, particularly if you are at risk for developing heart conditions and of course, knowing the difference between angina heartburn symptoms. Learning to distinguish between the different symptoms of indigestion and heartburn is really important as you need to know when the conditions are more serious. Medical advice should be sought immeditely, if you experience unusual symptoms; sometimes these can be mistaken for indigestions and heartburn.