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So, what exactly is heartburn and indigestion?

Heartburn and indigestion are typically used interchangeably, but they’re two different conditions with similar, often overlapping symptoms.

Indigestion covers a range of digestive issues but is often a term used in place of Dyspepsia which is pain or discomfort in the abdominal area.

Heartburn symptoms can be a burning feeling in your chest and oesophagus. Keep in mind that it’s also possible to experience both indigestion and heartburn at the same time.

How do I know if it's heartburn or my heart?

You’ve just eaten a large meal and feel a burning sensation in your upper chest. It must be heartburn, right? Probably, but there is a chance it is something more serious.

Pain in your chest can be stressful, so it’s good to understand how heartburn and heart pain typically differ.

  • Heartburn often occurs after eating, you’ll feel a burning sensation, but this can be relieved by medication that reduces acid levels in the stomach. Learn more about common causes, symptoms, and treatments.
  • Typically, heart conditions cause symptoms of breathlessness, sudden chest pain or pressing down on the middle of the chest, often brought on by exertion.
    Heart attacks may not happen that way, the signs and symptoms of heart attacks vary from person to person.

If you have persistent chest pain and you aren’t sure it’s heartburn, call 999 or emergency medical help.

The symptoms to look out for

Here are common symptoms of heartburn and indigestion you should look out for.

Symptoms get worse when you're stressed, lasting anything from a few minutes to hours. Speak to your GP if your symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks.

Causes of Heartburn

What you eat, when you eat, how you eat, and even medication can trigger heartburn and indigestion.

How to help get rid of heartburn

Now you know the symptoms and causes of frequent heartburn, here’s how you can help prevent heartburn.

Drink aware - Drink more water and less caffeinated beverages, sugary drinks and alcohol.
Early supper - Stop eating 3-4 hours before you try to get to sleep.
Loose weight - If you're overweight, it can help you feel better.
Less fat - Reduce rich, spicy and fatty foods in your diet.
Stop smoking - Aside from easing heartburn, this has many other health benefits.

Simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, such as cutting down on triggers from alcohol and spicy foods to chocolate can help to relieve symptoms.

Help ease heartburn and indigestion fast

Avoiding triggers helps in the long run, but you can relieve your heartburn and indigestion pain with over-the-counter medications for heartburn and indigestion, like Gaviscon.

How Gaviscon can help

Sometimes, our heartburn and indigestion symptoms are triggered, this is where Gaviscon can help you with two key ingredients:

Alginate - Builds a barrier on top of your stomach contents.
Antacid - Neutralising stomach acids, relieving heartburn and indigestion.

When to take Gaviscon

Take Gaviscon after meals and at bedtime, if you’re suffering from pain and discomfort from heartburn and indigestion. If your doctor has prescribed Gaviscon, take it when they tell you to.

• If your symptoms only happen occasionally, take it as you need it.

• Frequent sufferer? Take it after breakfast, lunch, dinner and before bed - whether you have symptoms or not.

• For oral administration, after being thoroughly chewed.

• Chew 2-4 tablets after meals and at bedtime as needed (up to 4x a day), or as directed by a doctor. For best results follow by a half glass of water or other liquid.

If you’ve been taking Gaviscon for more than 7 days and you’re still feeling uncomfortable or in pain, talk to your doctor.