Am I Having Heartburn Or A Heart Attack
Youre experiencing chest pain after a big meal. It could be your heartburn acting up. However, its also possible that the chest pain is a sign of an impending heart attack. These two issues often feel very similar, making it hard to determine the difference. As a result, emergency room doctors will typically perform diagnostic tests to rule out a heart attack if youre experiencing chest pain.
What Does Gerd Stand For In Medical Terms
GERD: Non-Cardiac Chest Pain. Non-cardiac chest pain is the term that is used to describe pain in the chest that is not caused by heart disease or a heart attack. In most people, non-cardiac chest pain is related to a problem with the esophagus, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease.
The reason is simply that acid reflux damages the esophagus, but the damage isnt done in exactly the same way for everyone with GERD. In some people, nerves in the esophagus can be damaged by regurgitated stomach acid. When this occurs, the result can be relatively unusual symptoms such as chest tightness, tingling, and other sensations.
What Happens If You Have Heartburn Everyday
Generally speaking, heartburn is not serious. An occasional bout of heartburn usually means that the foods the person ate produced too much acid in the stomach. If a persons suffers from heartburn often, or every day, it can be a symptom of a more serious condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.
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Treating A Tight Chest
Your doctor will conduct tests to determine the cause of your chest tightness. If the tests for a heart attack come back negative, your symptoms may be caused by anxiety.
You should discuss your symptoms with your doctor to determine when to seek immediate medical attention if you experience chest tightness again. It may be possible to link your chest tightness to other symptoms thatll help you identify anxiety versus a cardiac event.
Heartburn And Sweating Causes Of Both Symptoms And Dangers
Posted by Dr. Chris
Heartburn is a burning chest pain or discomfort that is a characteristic feature of acid reflux when stomach acid rises up into the esophagus . The pain may be similar to that of a heart attack. It is not uncommon for patients with acid reflux or indigestion to present in an emergency room with the belief that they are experiencing a heart attack. However, acid reflux and a heart attack are two very different conditions with a few similar symptoms like a burning chest pain. It is important to understand the difference between these conditions and recognize the other symptoms that are more likely to be an indication of acid reflux or a cardiac event. Sweating is one such symptom. While profuse sweating for no apparent reason commonly occurs with a heart attack there are some instances when it can arise with a burning chest pain that is unrelated to a heart attack.
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Common Symptoms Of Heartburn
If you’ve got a burning feeling in your chest just behind your breastbone that starts after you eat, it might be heartburn. The symptoms could last from a few minutes to several hours.
Heartburn begins when stomach acid splashes up into your esophagus, a tube that connects the back of your throat and stomach. Besides the burning feeling in your chest, you may also get:
- Chest pain, especially after you bend over, lie down, or eat
- Burning at the back of your throat
- Fluid at the back of your throat that tastes hot, sour, acidic, or salty
- Long-term cough, sore throat, or hoarseness
Telling your doctor about these symptoms is usually all they need to make a diagnosis of heartburn. But they may ask you to take special tests to find out how severe the problem is or to keep an eye on your treatment.
Can Acid Reflux Cause Fever And Chills
Sustained esophagus damage from bile regurgitation can lead to esophagitis, which is the inflammation of the esophagus. Esophagitis can also be caused by infections, abuse of oral medication, and allergies.
Reflux esophagitis is a complication of acid reflux, leading to tissue damage and inflammation. Patients with infectious esophagitis may experience fever, chills, muscle aches, and headaches. Dealing with acid reflux trigger often alleviates esophagitis symptoms.
On the other hand, acid reflux alone doesnt cause fever and chills.
If you are not diagnosed with GERD or esophagitis but are experiencing fever and chills with reflux symptoms, get in touch with your doctor immediately to get more information. You could be experiencing a severe bacterial infection and need antibiotics to get well.
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Do You Have Laryngopharyngeal Reflux
Laryngopharyngeal reflux or LPR is a type of esophageal reflux that doesnt involve the tell-tale sign of GERD: heartburn. As a result, patients have a difficult time understanding the nature of their symptoms. In most cases, patients with LPR dont even know they have reflux, which is why the disorder is called silent reflux.
LPR is caused by the same mechanism that triggers GERD. When the lower esophageal sphincter loosens, stomach contents travel back up the esophagus. In this case, stomach acids travel further up the pharynx, reaching the larynx and nasal pathways. As a result, a patient with LPR experiences symptoms like:
- Chronic cough
- Difficult swallowing feeling of persistent lump in the throat
- Post-nasal drip
What Treatments Are Available For Non
The most common and effective treatment for other health problems that cause non-cardiac chest pain is a medicine that blocks the pain signals. Tricyclic antidepressants , used in a low dose, are the most commonly used medicines. A low dose of other types of anti-depression medicine can be used if the patient has side effects from the TCAs.
When non-cardiac chest pain is caused by a muscle problem, simple treatments, such as a heating pad, stretching exercises, or over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen, can relieve the pain.
Non-cardiac chest pain can be due to stress, anxiety, or depression. A psychologist can help patients with these problems work through them so they do not cause chest pain. Talk therapy that teaches the patient how to change or eliminate thought patterns that cause stress can reduce the frequency of chest pain episodes.
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When Should I See A Doctor
Due to the serious nature of a heart attack, its always best to play it safe and seek medical attention if youre experiencing persistent or unexplained chest pain. Always call 911 and request emergency medical assistance if youre experiencing chest pain that lasts more than a few minutes or that returns intermittently. Prompt treatment can potentially save your life.
Why Does My Chest Hurt When I Have Gerd
This symptom develops due to regurgitation of stomach contents after meals, which causes inflammation of the esophagus. Some people experience different sensations in the chest, such as a feeling of tightness, in addition to or instead of pain. Chest tightness is a relatively common symptom, but chest tightness and GERD dont always occur together.
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Is It Gas Pain Or A Heart Problem
Its perfectly normal to pass gas between 10 and 20 times a day. At the same time, its understandable to be worried if you feel chest pain after eating a meal. After all, if its gas, arent you supposed to feel it in your gut, not near your heart?
While you may be simply feeling the sensation of gas pain in your chest, this pain could also indicate a serious heart issue. Learn how to determine if you or a loved one needs to seek medical attention.
Please note, if you are still unsure if you are experiencing gas pain or a heart problem after reading this article, play it safe and go to the nearest emergency room to receive care.
What Are The Symptoms Of Heartburn And Gerd
Symptoms of heartburn and GERD are a burning feeling in the chest, throat, or mouth, nausea, and more. Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms include fatigue, pale skin, weakness, sleepiness, numbness, weakness, and more. The median nerve, which runs through the arm and hand, can cause swelling pain and numbness if injured.
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Can Acid Reflux Cause Chest Pain
Chest pain is one of the most common symptoms of acid reflux. Chest pain related to reflux is also called noncardiac chest pain . Chest pain occurs during reflux episodes because the heart and the esophagus share a nerve network. Acid reflux, specifically GERD, causes up to 66% of reported NCCPs.
Evaluating Your Chest Pain
Since chest pain from acid reflux and more serious conditions such as heart attack are hard to distinguish, its important to know how to evaluate your chest pain. Chest pain from acid reflux often affects the sternum or the area below it called the epigastrium. Pain from acid reflux is often characterized as a sharp pain, which gets worse with coughing.
Meanwhile, chest pain from non-acid reflux sources could be described as a deep, searing pain. Heart-related chest pain often radiates to other parts of the body including the back, neck, shoulders, and arms.
The symptoms that accompany chest pain are also key in evaluating the nature of the pain. Gastro-related chest pain is often accompanied by burping or flatulence, trouble swallowing, bile regurgitation, and a burning sensation in the throat or stomach.
Cardiac-related chest pain is often accompanied by numbness in the left arm or shoulder, shortness of breath, dizziness, and high body temperatures.
Are There Similarities Among The Signs And Symptoms Of Heart Attack And Heartburn
A person can have these symptoms with either heartburn or a heart attack. Since the symptoms are so similar, it often makes it difficult for some people to tell if they are having heartburn or a heart attack.
- Chest pain . The pain may linger or subside.
Although heartburn may produce some less severe symptoms, heartburn is rarely life threatening. In contrast, heart attacks are frequently life threatening. If there is any doubt in your mind as to whether you or someone you are with has symptoms indicating heartburn or heart attack, you should call 911 immediately to be transported to an emergency department for medical treatment.
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How To Avoid Reflux
There are some things you can do to keep the heartburn away.
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
What Is Chest Pressure
Chest pressure is the sensation of a squeezing, tightening, crushing or pressing in the chest area, with or without pain. It is sometimes described as a feeling of a band tightening around your chest or of something heavy sitting on your chest. A pressure sensation can come from a condition occurring in any part of your chest, including your chest wall muscles, esophagus, heart, lungs, nerves, ribcage, or tendons. If you have pain with the pressure, it may radiate between your chest and your neck, abdomen or back.
Chest pressure can be a symptom of disorders such as or gastroesophageal reflux disease . Chest pressure accompanied by that changes with breathing or that radiates to your back may be pleuritic pain or muscle inflammation. Other causes of chest pressure include anxiety and more serious conditions such as anaphylaxis or heart conditions ranging from rapid heart rate , to and irregular heart rhythm .
Depending upon the cause, chest pressure can be accompanied by other symptoms, including fast heart rate, sweating, , or difficulty breathing. Unexplained pressure in the chest should always be investigated by a health care practitioner.
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Can Acid Reflux Cause Gas
On average, healthy individuals pass gas 13 to 21 times a day. This gas is expelled through the mouth or anus . Gas accumulates in the digestive tract through eating or bacterial fermentation.
As digestive bacteria break down food, little pockets of air are created in the process. Because the bacteria in each human body is different, some people may be more tolerant of digesting certain food compared to other people.
How Are Acid Reflux and Gas Related
Excessive gas and acid reflux may exist simultaneously. A patient experiencing excessive flatulence may also experience bloating from acid reflux. While acid reflux does not directly cause gas, doctors believe that the two may be interlinked.
This is because certain conditions that trigger acid reflux can also trigger gassiness. Individuals who eat spicy and citrusy foods may increase their acidity levels while also triggering gassiness. Alleviating gassiness could coincidentally improve acid reflux symptoms because the circumstances that create these conditions tend to be similar.
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When Does Ger Become Gerd
If you have heartburn that occurs two times a week or more, and you experience other related symptoms, you may be diagnosed with GERD.
Its important to note any changes that occur in your digestive habits. Are you starting to experience heartburn when you didnt before? Do you find that youre more sensitive to certain foods than you used to be? These may be natural effects of aging. However, if symptoms persist, its important to make an appointment with your doctor to avoid other potentially dangerous health conditions.
Almost anyone can experience GER after consuming a large meal or when lying down too quickly after eating. However, risk factors for GERD are typically more specific. They may include:
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How Do Doctors Diagnose A Heart Attack And Heartburn
Most people with heartburn are diagnosed by their symptoms that they describe to their primary care doctor. However, definitive diagnosis of heartburn may be made by endoscopy and pH probe data, which is frequently done by gastroenterologists. However, it is common practice for doctors to rule out heart attack or any other pending cardiac problem to make sure the individual is not suffering from a potentially life-threatening problem.
The two main tests to diagnose heart attack are an EKG and a test to determine the level of certain enzymes in the blood . Additional tests for a heart attack can be done by echocardiogram, chest X-rays, coronary catheterization , and exercisestress tests.
The treatment for heartburn is varies with the severity of the disease that causes heartburn. Some people can treat heartburn with diet modifications, for example, avoiding acid causing foods such as chocolate, caffeine, spicy foods, carbonated drinks and citrus.
People with mild heartburn may only need only antacids over-the-counter occasionally, for example, Tums or Rolaids to relieve heartburn symptoms.
Moderate to more severe heartburn disease may require histamine receptor antagonists , protein pump inhibitors that reduce stomach acid production, for example, esomeprazole or omeprazole , or even surgery .
Heart Attack Treatment
Eating As The Only Cause
Dr. Mai adds, Another fact to be aware of is that so-called nutcracker esophagus or diffuse esophageal spasm can cause intense chest pain, usually associated with acid reflux after meals and not typically during exercise.
Dr. Maiis well-versed in the endoscopic treatment of GERD. LifeBridge Health provides the Baltimore community and beyond with a wide array of choices in health care services.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
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Is It Possible To Prevent A Heart Attack Or Heartburn
There is a good possibility that both heartburn or a heart attack can be reduced or prevented. A balanced diet along with exercise is key to preventing for both heartburn and or heart attack. In addition to treating the underlying cause of heartburn, there are life style changes and natural home remedies that may help prevent it.
- Eat small, more frequent meals.
- Do not eat about three hours before bedtime.
- Elevate the head of your bed by about 6 inches.
- Do not eat or drink foods that are acidic or trigger acid development in the stomach.
- Stop smoking and/or drinking alcohol.
- Try to take your heartburn medication at the same time each day.
The chances of reducing or stopping recurrent or initial heart attacks may be prevented by lifestyle changes, for example:
- If you are obese, lose weight.
- Keep your cholesterol levels within the normal ranges.
Heartburn Bloating And Belching
Bloating, belching and heartburn after eating can be caused by consuming particularly fatty or oily foods. When it comes to drinks, carbonated or alcoholic beverages can lead to excess gas and bloating. Equally, wearing tight or restrictive clothing around your waistline may exacerbate the problem further, so it may be a good idea to wear loose clothing while eating.5 You should not try to relieve gas by belching, as this can make heartburn worse as it causes more acid to rise in your throat.6 Find out more about the causes of heartburn so you can identify your personal triggers.
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