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Good question, JenS. I have often wondered this myself, esp. about indigestion. What exactly does that feel like?
 
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I'll take a stab at it since my nickname is NDGSTN [indigestion] - ha ha.Indigestion [dyspepsia] is a condition of the stomach/duodenum. It is a vague, imprecise term to describe any discomfort related to eating. You may feel a sense of discomfort or distension in the abdomen or a sharp, dull, gnawing pain in the chest. You may complain of heartburn, nausea or taste of acid fluid in the mouth. May need to belch or pass gas frequently. May have one or more of these symptoms. Foods such as cabbage, beans, onions, cucumbers, drinking wine, carbonated drinks, eating too fast, eating rich or big meals [overeating] may lead to indigestion. People who are anxious, nervous, depressed, pregnant, heavy smokers, constipated may experience indigestion more than others. Anyone can experience this in their lifetime.Acid Reflux and Heartburn [reflux esophagitis] are the same thing and relate to conditions of the esophagus. Acid fluid from the stomach wells up into the lower esophagus. Usually the symptom is painful burning sensation in chest. When bending forward/lying down the stomach acid can flow easily into the esophagus so heartburn or reflux can be particularly troublesome at night. Also a sudden regurgitation of acid fluid into the throat and belching are symptoms of heartburn/reflux. People who wear tight clothes/belts, drink alcohol, overeat, smoke [which encourages production of stomach acid] can experience hearburn/reflux.Nausea is a symptom. Another word for nausea is queasiness. It's cause is unknown. It may or may not go hand in hand with vomiting [eg in the case of pregnancy, heart attack, motion sickness,etc].
 

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One distinction. Many people confuse heartburn with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and they're not the same. Heartburn can be a symptom of GERD but they aren't synonymous. With GERD acid can back up into the esophageus without you feeling any burning. Instead, you can get esophageal spasms, hoarseness, sore throat that you don't equate with your stomach, and difficulty swallowing. Remember, with GERD it's important to manage it because of pre-cancerous conditions such as Barrett's esophageous. Gayle
 
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