What Is the Difference Between Heartburn and Indigestion?

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Most people who have heartburn report that they also have indigestion, and vice versa. The fact is that most people think that heartburn and indigestion are the same thing. However, although they might be very similar, heartburn and indigestion are actually two completely different things.

What is the difference between heartburn and indigestion? We'll be answering that question in this article.

Before we begin, if you are having problems with either heartburn or indigestion, be sure to check out the Heartburn No More website. They will provide you with some great tips on how to get rid of heartburn completely and quickly.

Indigestion, Heartburn and GERD

Indigestion is basically an unpleasant feeling of pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen and chest area. It can have different symptoms, one of which is heartburn.

When stomach acid starts rising up into the esophagus, which is a sort of tube that connects your mouth and your stomach, you will begin to feel a burning sensation. However, when you feel the taste of it in the back of your mouth, that is usually a condition called acid indigestion.

If the heartburn occurs more than twice a week, there is a high probability that you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This disease, if not treated, can lead to serious health problems, and can even cause cancer in the long term.

Common Causes of Heartburn and Indigestion

Now that we know the difference between heartburn and indigestion, let’s see what the most common causes of these conditions are.

First, one of the most common causes is eating too much or eating too quickly. When this happens, your stomach will get too much food in a short amount of time, and it won’t be able to digest all of the food properly, leading to heartburn.

Also, if you consume too much caffeine or eat too much fatty and spicy food, you might be at a higher risk of developing these conditions. Drinking too much alcohol is similar to drinking too much coffee, and will damage the inner side of the stomach over time.

Another thing that you might not know is that smoking can also trigger these conditions, as can stress.

Certain health conditions can also be a trigger. However, it might not be the health conditions themselves that trigger heartburn and digestion, but rather the medicine that you have to take for those conditions. For example, if you take too much aspirin or antibiotics, you will be at a higher risk of developing heartburn and indigestion.

Some of the less common causes include a type of bacteria called helicobacter pylori and a condition called hiatal hernia, where part of the stomach slides upward through the diaphragm.


There are various systems that you might experience if you have indigestion. The most common is heartburn. As already mentioned, heartburn is an unpleasant burning sensation that starts in the chest area. This is the main reason why it is called ‘heartburn’, although it has nothing to do with the heart.

Another symptom of indigestion is the pain that occurs in the upper abdomen or the chest area. Another symptom is experiencing fullness very shortly after you start eating and feeling full for longer than usual.

Additionally, loss of appetite, nausea, bloating and even frequent burping can all be symptoms of indigestion. If you notice any of these symptoms to be present for more than 7-10 days, you should consider visiting your doctor.

Some symptoms in particular mean that you should visit the doctor. Indigestion can be a sign of more serious health conditions, such as an ulcer or even cancer.

If you experience heartburn more than twice a week, you should definitely visit the doctor. If you notice a sudden, unplanned weight loss, this might be another sign of a more serious health condition.

Another important thing to note is that if you are over 45 and have never suffered from indigestion problems before, you should also visit your doctor if they suddenly occur.

What Is the Difference Between Heartburn and Indigestion

How to Treat Indigestion and Heartburn

Making slight changes and adjustments in your daily routine can decrease ingestion and heartburn symptoms, or even stop these conditions altogether.

At first, you should have smaller and more frequent meals, and avoid eating late at night and before going to bed. You should also limit the intake of foods that can trigger heartburn.

For example, limit your potato, lemon, garlic and onion intake, and think about limiting coffee and alcohol intake as well.

Additionally, you should exercise regularly. If not every day, then try to exercise at least 2-3 times a week. However, you should avoid exercising right after a meal, since it will prevent proper digestion. You should wait for an hour or two after eating before exercising, since that is the time needed for adequate digestion.

Another great tip is to elevate your head a little bit while you sleep. When you lie down flat, it causes a pressing of the stomach content against the lower esophageal sphincter. Just by adding an extra pillow, you can elevate your head for a few inches and prevent that from happening.

Finally, you should note that smoking also has a pretty adverse impact on indigestion and heartburn. At first, nicotine will relax the esophageal sphincter, which will then allow stomach acid to rise up. Furthermore, smoking also stimulates the production of acids, so not only will the acid be able to rise up into the esophagus, but there will be more acid too.


So, what is the difference between heartburn and indigestion? Long story short, heartburn is basically a symptom of indigestion. If you have problems with these symptoms, you should definitely try to change your daily routine. If that doesn’t help, you should visit your doctor.

Finally, if you want a quick and natural release from these symptoms, be sure to check out the Heartburn No More website for some extremely useful tips.

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