Chest Pain: Its Not Always A Matter Of The Heart
There are plenty of other potential suspects when it comes to chest pain.
Mild or severe discomfort in the middle or left side of the chest that feels like fullness, pressure or squeezing could be a potential sign of a cardiovascular event.Most people experience chest pain at some point, but how do you know if it is a heart attack or simply heartburn or anxiety?
Understanding the differences between cardiovascular events and other causes of chest pain can save you a trip to the emergency room. It is also important because the discomfort could be caused by other urgent conditions, as well as less serious issues that may point to a chronic medical problem.
When it comes to cardiovascular causes of chest pain, UAB Medicinecardiologist Gregory Chapman, M.D., says the usual suspects include coronary artery blockages, high blood pressure, and heart valve or rhythm disorders. But there are plenty of other potential suspects. Chapman included a chapter on chest pain diagnosis in his book A Strong and Steady Pulse: Cardiac Stories, which is scheduled for publication in 2021.
Take symptoms seriously
In the United States, nearly 6 percent of emergency room patients report chest pain. More than half of those cases involve non-cardiac chest pain, or NCCP, that is caused by heartburn, anxiety or other issues. A staggering 80 percent of patients who complain of chest pain during primary care visits are simply experiencing NCCP.
Gregory Chapman, M.D.Mimicking a heart attack
When To Seek Medical Advice
Having mild, infrequent heartburn generally isnt cause for concern. But if youre experiencing heartburn more than twice a week, or if your symptoms are severe or getting worse, its important to speak with your doctor. Frequent heartburn could be a sign of gastro-oesophageal reflux , a condition that requires prescription medication and monitoring.
If you are experiencing chest pain and arent sure if its heartburn or a heart attack, seek immediate medical attention by calling triple zero .
How To Cure Heartburn Four Quick Fixes And Long
How to cure heartburn you ask? Well, theres no easy answer to that question.
If youve been struggling with acid reflux for any length of time, then you know there isnt a quick fix to this disease as a whole. GERD has many symptoms, one of which is heartburn. At the crux of this disease is the lower oesophageal sphincter . Located at the junction of the oesophagus and the stomach, the LES can weaken and no longer function as an effective barrier, allowing the acidic contents of the stomach to back-flow up into the oesophagus. When this happens, heartburn often follows. This weakening of the LES is progressive, so the more often you reflux, the more frequent the episodes become.
Learn more: GERD explained: The role of the LES
Medications can help relieve acid reflux symptoms by making the contents of the stomach less acidic however, they dont stop reflux from happening. Thats why managing GERD requires commitment and diligence: Watching what and how you eat and making lifestyle choices aimed at minimizing reflux can reduce your symptoms AND help stop the progression of the condition.
But sometimes, despite your best efforts to manage your GERD, heartburn strikes and you need relief . So though we cant provide a definite answer to how to cure heartburn? We can offer four quick fixes to help you cool the burn.
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Your Pain Is Worse When You Lie Down
Because heartburn is caused by stomach acid that creeps back into your esophagus, your symptoms can worsen when you lie down or bend over. If youre sitting up straight, gravity helps keep food in the stomach, says Dr. Coyle. If you lose the gravity, youre more prone to reflux.
A qjuick fix? Many people with chronic heartburn often raise the head of their bed, so theyre not laying completely horizontal. Eating meals right before bedtime is also something that should be avoided if you have recurring heartburn.
Heartburn And Back Pain
Some digestive disorders, including heartburn due to acid reflux, can determine back pain.
This is possible because of two reasons:
- the digestive disorder is able to directly cause a referred back pain
- the digestive disorder is somewhat related to another cause, the one thats actually causing the back pain
There are several digestive disorders able to cause referred back pain: peptic ulcer is perhaps the most significant example.
In all cases where there is a digestive disorder, its essential to know what it is and especially if may affect the back directly or not.
Not only digestive disorders can determine heartburn with back pain.
In fact, also occasional indigestion, or transient episodes, can cause a referred back pain.
It has been noted that a person with indigestion is more likely to report mid-back pain.
Please note the importance of the affected body part: mid-back its just one of the most common areas of pain localization for people suffering from acid reflux and subsequent heartburn.
This is the reason why its important to know this thing: even the specific pain point reported can help you better understand the real situation.
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How Does The Doctor Evaluate Heartburn
Your doctor may order several different tests and take the following steps to evaluate persistent heartburn that hasn’t gone away even after you modify factors such as your diet:
- Your doctor may ask for an EKG to help rule out heart-related problems.
- Your doctor will perform an examination to see if you have any abdominal mass or a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach and the LES move above the diaphragm.
- Your doctor will check your blood pressure.
- Your doctor will take a careful medical history to see if medications are causing the problem.
- Your doctor may ask for a gastric emptying study to see how fast food goes out of your stomach or a test to show how well the esophagus and the LES work.
- Your doctor may refer you for an upper endoscopy. In this test, a flexible tube with a tiny camera helps the doctor assess the esophagus and look for damage or abnormalities.
What Drugs To Take For Heartburn
Have a Tums and Rolaids supply near you at all times! Additionally to aiding get rid of your burning sensations, they will offer you a healthy calcium dose while easing the uncomfortable feelings as well.
Maalox and Mylanta are generally offered the green light as well. For all these particular options, make certain you`ll verify with the doctor for the proper dosage.
Avoid other heartburn drugs while pregnant unless they are taken with the doctor`s approval. Still, if the heartburn feelings persist, your healthcare provider might advise you to try OTC heartburn drugs which should have the production under control, such as H2 blockers and PPIs.
They are usually seen as safe to take while expecting a baby when it comes to women who experience serious signs and who do not react to antacids as well as other changes that involve their lifestyle. Again, you will need to get your doctor`s approval first.
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Heartburn Heart Attack And Gender
Not everyone experiences heart attacks the same way. The common signs of heart attack include chest pain, pressure, tightness, squeezing or burning, and it could be in the middle or to either side of the chest, says Patterson. It may or may not spread to the neck, jaw, back or arm.
Other possible symptoms of heart attack include:
- Shortness of breath
- Exercise intolerance
- Other symptoms similar to heartburn and abdominal pain
In particular, gender may have an impact on potential heart attack symptoms. Women tend to not have the typical heart attack symptoms. It can present as something that feels like heartburn, states Sauer.
It is more common for women to present with the atypical symptoms, agrees Patterson. An example would be fatigue without chest pain or shortness of breath without chest pain.
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Six Signs Your Heartburn Could Be Something More Serious
That burning, uncomfortable sensation in your chest? Itâs probably heartburn. Heartburn is a very common ailment that affects many people for many reasons. It occurs when digestive acid escapes the stomach and irritates the delicate lining of the esophagus.
Usually, itâs the result of eating certain foods, or simply overeating, and can be treated with over-the-counter antacids. But sometimes, heartburn is a symptom of bigger problems, that require other solutions. Hereâs when to call a doctor:
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What Does Heartburn Look Like
Acid reflux is when the acid that is normally in the stomach backs up into the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. A small amount of acid reflux is normal. If the reflux happens frequently, it can give the sensation of heartburn as a result of irritation to the esophageal lining.
Heartburn Vs Heart Attack Symptoms
To complicate things even more, angina/heart disease and heartburn share risk factors of being older or overweight.
Signs more typical of heartburn include:
- You have a sharp, burning feeling just below your breastbone or ribs.The chest pain can be accompanied by an acidic taste in your mouth, regurgitation of food, or a burning in your throat.
- Pain generally doesnt spread to your shoulders, neck, or arms, but it can.
- Pain usually comes after meals, particularly after foods or drinks that trigger reflux in you.
- Pain also comes when you lie down or exercise on a full stomach.
- Symptoms usually get better quickly after taking an antacid.
- You rarely get a cold sweat or shortness of breath along with your other symptoms.
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When In Doubt Check It Out
If youre not sure if its heartburn or your heart, seek medical attention right away. Its very easy to confuse the two issues so let a doctor rule out the most severe possibility. This is an especially important message for women.
Women are more likely to call help for someone else but not themselves, Bauman said. In fact, 81 percent of women said they would call 911 for someone else showing signs of a heart attack but only 65 percent would call for themselves, according to a special report in Circulation.
She added: I always tell people if youre concerned and not sure if its your heart, its better to err on the side of checking it out and having someone tell you its not a heart attack.
What Can I Do To Prevent Indigestion
There are many things you can do to try to prevent indigestion.
Making changes in your diet and eating habits can help. These include:
- Eating several small, low-fat meals each day instead of 3 large meals
- Eating slowly and giving yourself enough time for meals
- Limiting spicy, fatty, greasy, or high-fiber foods
- Chewing your food well
- Limiting or not having any coffee, soda, or alcohol
Avoid medicines that hurt your stomach. These include aspirin and over-the-counter pain and fever medicines . If you do take them, do so after you eat.
Other lifestyle changes that may keep indigestion from happening include:
- Quitting smoking
- Finding ways to lower your emotional and physical stress, such as meditation or yoga
- Exercising before a meal or waiting at least 1 hour after eating
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Acid Reflux And Coronavirus: Is Heartburn A Symptom Of Covid
Many people are confused with what symptoms are caused by COVID-19. One symptom that is beginning to be questioned more prominently is heartburn. So, what exactly is heartburn? Heartburn is a common problem due to acid reflux. This occurs when content in the stomach finds its way up the esophagus, which causes slight burning in the chest and causing pain. This pain can worsen when lying down.
Is Heartburn A Symptom Of A Heart Attack
Heartburn is often a symptom of GERD, but it can also be a symptom of a heart attack. In fact, heart attacks can cause other symptoms that usually happen with GERD, such as nausea, burping, and vomiting. In this case, the symptoms usually do not occur by themselves and will come with other symptoms that point to a more serious cause.
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Heartburn Back Pain Nausea
Nausea and back pain can be present together in many cases.
However, on most occasions, this has nothing to do with acid reflux and/or heartburn.
In fact, there are some conditions, like gallbladder issues that are the real cause of this pain.
In the majority of cases, people without reflux and/or heartburn report nausea and lower back pain.
This is important because in general terms people who suffer from nausea and heartburn report mid-back or even upper-back pain.
You cant take this as an absolute rule, even though this happens in most cases.
Watch The Video To Learn How To Get Rid Of Heartburn & Reflux In 48 Hours Or Less!
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What Are Heart Attack Signs
Typical heart attack symptoms include:
- Pressure, tightness, pain or a squeezing/aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back
- Nausea or abdominal pain
- Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness
For both men and women, the most common symptom of a heart attack is chest discomfort.
Women usually experience some of the additional signs, such as jaw or back pain, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should take steps to get checked out right away.
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Pregnancy Sign: Lower Pelvic Cramping
Pelvic cramping as an early pregnancy sign? Yep, it can be, according to Nordahl. That might seem counterintuitive, as cramps are super-typical symptoms of Aunt Flow. You were probably hoping that being pregnant meant you could kiss cramps goodbye, but sadly thats not the case. Light cramps can be caused by early pregnancy hormonal shifts and implantation of the fertilized egg on your uterine lining.
Causes Of Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Lots of people get heartburn from time to time. There’s often no obvious reason why.
Sometimes it’s caused or made worse by:
- certain food and drink such as coffee, tomatoes, alcohol, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods
- being overweight
- some medicines, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers
- a hiatus hernia when part of your stomach moves up into your chest
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What Does Heartburn Feel Like Heartburn Vs Heart Attack
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Is that chest pain you feel from heartburn, or is it a heart attack? These two conditions can cause similar symptoms, but theyre very different, especially when it comes to treatment. While heartburn will probably happen to everyone at some point, a heart attack is a medical emergency that can be life-threatening.
Learn about the symptoms of each condition and find out what to do if you think you or someone else is having a heart attack.
Pregnancy Sign: Sore Breasts
Before you start cursing your bra for suddenly feeling more like a contraption from the hardware store than the lacy lingerie that took a serious chunk out of your paycheque, consider that your newly sore boobs could be a sign that youre pregnant. Breast tenderness is another common early pregnancy sign, according to Nordahl. For many women, what can make this symptom particularly confusing is that breast soreness is also a very common sign of your period. But early on in your pregnancy, your breasts may hurt because theyre expanding in preparation for producing milk.
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Heartburn With Back Pain: A Couple Of Symptoms To Consider
People who suffer from heartburn and acid reflux can report back pain after eating.
In addition, back pain can also be present in conjunction with other typical symptoms of acid reflux.
This means that you can experience pain in a part of the body that is not the real source of that pain.
In order for you to better understand how things work, you can refer to a very interesting study about the possibility to induce referred pain by the simple pressure of other areas of the body.
In short, you can press a specific body part and youll feel pain in another one.
Something very similar also happens in people who suffer from reflux and heartburn, when they feel pain in their back .
Something very similar happens when a heart attack occurs.
We know that heart attacks and acid reflux have nothing in common, however, both conditions can present a referred pain in the back.
Severe Heartburn With Back Pain
Severe heartburn is a more serious condition that occurs when reflux and related symptoms are more frequent.
We can consider severe heartburn with back pain as a more concerning condition, even though the presence of back pain is not typical.
When acid reflux goes untreated for a long time, all its related symptoms become more persistent and begin to show up more frequently.
Things are very similar to what happens for GERD and back pain: in fact, more symptoms make the affected person more vulnerable to stress, anxiety, and he/she can make bad decisions in the matter of eating habits and lifestyle.
Treating acid reflux and related symptoms in the most seamless way, by eating the right foods, adopting the proper lifestyle, and then include in your diet some natural remedies that are proven to work is essential to avoid those cascades of events that can lead to the appearance of other symptoms.
In the paragraph below you can find some valuable advice.
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