Difference Between Indigestion and Heartburn

Acid reflux, heartburn and indigestion are for a good many people considered the same condition. If you ask people on the street how often he has heartburn and indigestion they will often reply with “aren’t they the same thing?” The truth is they are very different in nature. Severe indigestion may lead to heartburn but heartburn cannot cause indigestion. The symptoms and root cause of indigestion are similar and many of the treatment options for both indigestion and heartburn are the same.

The major cause of indigestion is of course food. How much you eat and what you eat will trigger an attack of indigestion. Large meals are probably the most common cause of indigestion but even a small meal of spicy or acid food will bring on an attack. Another cause of indigestion can be traced to irregular meals or eating one or two large meals a day. This lack of routine allows acid build up in the stomach with nothing to digest. Eating 4 or 5 smaller meals a day will solve this problem and give you more energy as well. Just be sure to eat them at the same time each day and after about 3 days your body will adjust and expect a meal at that time. Only then will it produce the acid necessary to digest the meal. This will eliminate all the extra stomach acid that was causing you indigestion.

Stress and anxiety associated with meals can also lead to the excess acid production. In this time constraining world with all its pressures it is not all that easy to reduce ones stress. However there are some tricks you can use to help reduce the stress associated with meals. First of all if you are in an office situation do not eat in your office. No matter where you work try to remove yourself from the stressful environment. This can mean a simple walk to another location to get your food. The walk should be made at a leisurely pace and if possible outside in a quiet envrionment. Try not to eat inside a busy restaurant as it can also be a place of stress. Once you get your food do not take it back to the worksite. Find a quiet place to sit down and eat your food in a measured or slow pace. This may be hard at first but a simple technique is to chew each bite of food ten time before swallowing. When you have finished your meal take your time getting back to your office or worksite. You will be surprised at how much this will relieve your indigestion, stress and anxiety. A side benefit to this routine is that you will find that you be able to accomplish your work more efficiently.

Indigestion can also be caused by medications both prescribed and over the counter. Even aspirin can cause stomach distress when taken incorrectly. If you read the label for each medication you will ascertain the best times to take the medicine. Many times you will read “take with food” on the label. Good food eaten properly will buffer the affects of stomach distress associated with medications. If you have any questions you should consult your medical professional.

Indigestion as you can see has many causes. However the good news is that it can be controlled or even eliminated through simple changes in lifestyle. Failure to address the causes of indigestion may lead you to develop a more serious condition like acid reflux, Heartburn or GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease). Do not ignore you symptoms and address them now before it is too late.