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Is heartburn the same as acid reflux?

The terminology can be very confusing. Acid reflux means that the acid that normally resides in the stomach is moving upward into the esophagus. Heartburn is one of a number of symptoms that can occur when acid reflux is present.

Heartburn is simply the common term for acid reflux. It is the symptom described when acid is regurgitated into the esophagus from the stomach. It is commonly felt as a burning in the chest behind the sternum (breastbone) or just below the sternum. Frequent heartburn or acid reflux can be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, and should be treated by medical personnel.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.