What does heartburn feel like?
Heartburn, also known as gastric reflux, is the burning sensation you can feel in the back of your throat and chest area, caused when acid from your stomach refluxes, or comes up, into your food pipe (also known as the oesophagus).
Heartburn can feel like:
- A burning sensation behind the breastbone (the sternum)
- A bitter or sour taste in the back of your throat
What is the difference between heartburn and reflux?
Heartburn is the symptom you feel when reflux happens. The word reflux technically means to flow back, so in the case of heartburn it’s referring to the stomach acid flowing back up into the oesophagus.
What does indigestion feel like?
Indigestion, or dyspepsia (sometimes called functional dyspepsia) is a pain or uncomfortable feeling in the upper middle part of your abdomen. The exact cause of indigestion is not known, but it could develop in response to an infection, stress or changed function of the cells in your digestive system.
Indigestion can feel like:
- Feeling too full after eating or unable to finish a meal because you feel full
- Pain or burning in the upper region of your stomach
- Nausea or heartburn
Indigestion and heartburn triggers
Triggers for both heartburn and indigestion tend to cross over. They may differ from person to person and can include:
- Eating big meals and overfilling your stomach
- Eating fatty foods, spicy foods, chocolate, mint or tomato products
- Drinking caffeinated drinks, alcohol, very hot drinks or citrus juices
- Pregnancy - hormonal changes and/or the pressure put on the stomach and digestive tract by a growing baby
- Being overweight
- Certain medications
How to relieve heartburn and indigestion
Both heartburn and indigestion treatment options neutralise stomach acid, reduce the production of stomach acid, or form a physical barrier to help prevent stomach acid from moving into the oesophagus.
Medications for heartburn and indigestion include
- Antacids that work by neutralising the acid produced by your stomach
- Alginates that form a ‘raft’ to block acid from travelling back into the oesophagus
- H2-antagonists and proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) that work to stop the production of acid in your stomach
Other ways you can help relieve or prevent heartburn and indigestion include:
- Avoiding or limiting food and drinks that can trigger symptoms
- Eating smaller meals
- Waiting 2 to 3 hours after eating or drinking before lying down
Gaviscon Dual Action to the rescue
- The antacid – the antacid in Gaviscon Dual Action neutralises excess stomach acid to relieve the pain and discomfort of indigestion.
- The raft – the alginate in Gaviscon Dual Action forms a thick layer (think of it like a soothing ‘raft’) on top of your stomach contents. The ‘raft’ then acts as a physical barrier that helps keep your stomach contents where they belong – in your stomach – and not in your oesophagus where they can cause discomfort and burning pain.
Gaviscon Dual Action Liquid starts to soothe from 4 minutes!*
However, if you are ever concerned about your symptoms, always seek medical advice. Likewise see a healthcare professional if your symptoms become frequent or get worse.
*Strugala V, et al. J Int Med Res 2010. [Sponsored by RB]
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.
Article published January 1, 2021