Very confused about indigestion, acid reflux, GERD... worried

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Hello everyone, I was wondering if anyone could explain the difference between indigestion and acid reflux for me. Is there a difference, or are they the same? What is the difference between acid and gas/wind?

I have been suffering from chronic, almost constant indigestion for a few years now. I used to take Omeprazole, and then Lanzoprazole, but I didn't feel they were helping me (I even suspected they were making it worse!). I was then put on Domperidone and it was suggested I have an endoscopy, which I did just over a year ago. Everything came back normal, and a nurse said it's just something that happens and I have to put up with it. If I had GERD, would it have been found? Would they have spotted something abnormal causing it? I think I was diagnosed with IBS after the endoscopy (I have other symptoms associated with IBS like constipation, incomplete evacuation, stools affected by anxiety, food intolerances etc.), and that was that. I still take domperidone but still suffer from indigestion and gas. I've been reading about GERD and I'm very confused about it. When I asked my doctor he said he's more worried about that in people who are bulimic, for instance. So does that mean GERD/acid reflux is a feeling of liquid bile and acid in your throat, burning, feeling like it needs to be vomited up? My dad suffers from this, he says he can feel the acid in his throat, and most of the times throws up. But I don't get this; no liquid, no burning in throat. What I get is bubbling in stomach, noises, burping (a lot - I burp constantly, very small and ladylike!) and the feeling that something is rising up. Sometimes I feel nauseous, sometimes I also have flatulence. Sometimes my diaphragm feels heavy. Right now my stomach is making noise and bubbling, I feel slightly sick, and feel like something's rising up from my stomach or diaphragm with no escape but through tiny lady-burps! No feeling of acid/bile in throat, no sore throat, although I get noises in my throat sometimes. Basically I just feel like I need to do an awful lot of burping and farting, lol. It's amazing how incredibily ill it can make me feel, though.

If anyone can help me understand the differences between indigestion, acid reflux, and GERD, if any, plus acid and wind, I'd really appreciate it! I'm just not sure if I may have GERD or not.

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    i have the same symptoms like you i feel burps and i visited lot of doctors which say that i have may be gerds give medicine though my burps is not to much now but  i have some time i feel like gurgling air in my throat-----but my big problem is also my upset stomach don,t know what to do with it
  • Posted


    Indigestion is a blanket term that can cover all sort of digestion issues usually resulting from exces acid in the stomach causing burning sensation or excess gas production resulting in bloating or burping.

    Acdi reflux is also not a single condition, it is composed of gastro-oesophageal reflux where stomach contents is carried into the oesophagus and excess acid which can attack the mucous membranes lining it - which is often experienced as heartburn. Reflux is due to a malfunctioning lower oesophageal sphincter (frequently due to a hiatus hernia) .

    GERD (GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease) is a term used when reflux is fairly persistent.

    With frequent reflux of acid, the damage to the oesophagus, inflammation is seen as oesophagitis scarring. With the addition of bile, this acid attack can start to "digest" the mucosa which triggers replacement of the normal cells with Barrett's cells that have the ability to mutate to cancer.

    Another frequent cause of problems, however, is H-Pylori bacteria which is easily tested for and cured by a few weeks course of two (sometimes three) antibiotics. Have you been tested for this?

  • Posted

    Gerd can not be diagnosed using endoscopy. In a short if you have acid reflux for more than two weeks you have Gerd. Gerd and indigestion comes together so you can not separate them. Indigestion comes due to Gerd.
  • Posted

    if you had a hiatus hernia at the entrance to your stomach, then you get acid reflux, which is acid and burps coming back into your mouth. If you had  ibs you would be constipation and diarrhoea alternatively I think anyway. Maybe more so diarrhoea.

    I don't know what GERD is sorry.

  • Posted

    Hi there, I feel very similar to you i think. Years of tummy probs and been told its ibs. Colofac, colpermin over the years, helped slightly maybe. Omeprazole, esomeprazole, zantac, lansprazole, all the usual stuff and no real help. Maybe help for while then get worse attack again.  SOOOOOO fedup of this Very gassy, feels like loads wind under ribs and also recently pressure/pain going into ribs up one side. No real food triggers. Not had endoscopy as gp not feel would help, 

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