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Can Heartburn Feel Like Chest Pain

Do Heart Attacks And Heartburn Feel Similar

Heartburn, Acid Reflux (Acidity) or GERD Symptoms

Although heartburn and heart attacks have different causes, they can feel similar. Both can cause chest pain and discomfort in the center of the chest, so it can be hard to distinguish between the two.

If you have a burning pain behind your breastbone that started after a spicy meal and otherwise you feel well, it is likely you have heartburn. Often, heartburn can be easily treated with over-the-counter antacids. If you try this and your symptoms go away, that is a good indicator they were caused by heartburn.

Many people also get heartburn more than once. So if you had heartburn in the past and experience the same symptoms again, it is likely another case of heartburn.

Angina and heart attacks can also cause a burning pain or discomfort in the chest, so it is important to notice other symptoms. For example, if you also feel short of breath or light-headed, it might be something more serious . If you are unsure about your symptoms, or if you have chest pain that feels different from what you had in the past, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you determine if your symptoms are from heartburn or a more serious cause.

It is important to know that heart attacks in women can have different symptoms. Women can have chest pressure and heaviness. But they may also have no chest pain at all. Instead, women may have nausea, fatigue, or lightheadedness that could be mistaken for another illness.

Relief For Chest And Breast Pain

Some measures may be recommended for a healthy start toward comfort, including:

  • Avoiding strenuous activities
  • Applying an ice pack to the area throughout the day
  • Taking over-the-counter pain medications

Nevertheless, effectively treating chest and breast pain will depend on what is causing the discomfort. Speak with your doctor to develop a treatment plan for your specific case.

What Is The Quickest Heartburn Remedy

Over-the-counter antacids, like Tums, Mylanta, or Rolaids, which work by neutralizing stomach acid, are a good option for fast, short-term relief of mild heartburn. However, antacids, along with other over-the-counter medications like H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors , are not meant to be used for long-term support.

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Serious Side Effects Of Heartburn

Even if its not a heart attack, heartburn can be serious. Dangerous side effects and complications can result if you dont seek treatment. Some common side effects include:

  • Awaking from sleep, especially if youve eaten within two hours of going to bed
  • Esophageal cancer: if Barretts esophagus is not treated
  • Esophagus erosion: scarring, ulcers and narrowing of the tube
  • Barretts esophagus: precancerous condition from chronic acid reflux
  • Esophageal strictures and dysphagia: swallowing difficulties due to esophagus damage

Chest Pain Burping Or Trying To Burp: Get Your Heart Checked

Acid Reflux And Chest Pain

Dr. Cummings says, If someone burps, has indigestion or chest pain after eating, especially spicy food, doctors might be more inclined to think its related to the meal .

However, if individuals have those symptoms and/or jaw, chest or shoulder pain when they are exerting themselves, its much more concerningand could be angina.

Angina chest pain results when the heart doesnt get an adequate supply of blood due to blockages in the coronary arteries blockages that reduce the interior diameter of the vessels so that not enough blood can get through.

The reason is because with heart disease, theres a narrowing of one of the coronary arteries.

If individuals are doing minimal activities, there can still be enough blood so they are not affected.

However, as they exert themselves, they put more demand on that minimal flow which can manifest itself as typical angina a squeezing of the chest, radiating to the shoulder, left arm or to the jaw or as atypical with burping, back pain, jaw pain or a toothache.

Women and people with diabetes are more likely to have atypical symptoms.

Burping isnt funny.

Belching is often depicted with humor in TV shows, so whod ever think that burping or a feeling that you have to could possibly mean a future heart attack?

The vast majority of burps and certainly tens of millions of burps occur every day mean nothing.

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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.

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Heartburn Or Heart Attack: How To Tell The Difference

While heartburn can cause a number of health problems, the condition itself is not life threatening. Heart attacks, however, can definitely kill you if theyre severe enough and if you dont get help within an appropriate time frame. The problem is the symptoms of a heart attack can be eerily similar to those of severe heartburnso similar that sometimes even a doctor might have a hard time differentiating the two. Complicating matters is the fact that what may be triggering a heart attack can also trigger heartburn. Luckily, there are a few points to keep in mind that separate the two.

Both heart attacks and heartburn can come with sharp chest pain as well as squeezing pains in the chest. In the case of a heart attack, the chest pain is a warning sign. It starts off bad and will worsen as the heart attack occurs.

Heart attacks usually come with a few differences. Shortness of breath, dizziness, and cold sweats are all more associated with heart attacks than heartburn. Heart attacks will also respond to nitroglycerin pills, while nitroglycerin will not help heartburn at all.

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What Does Heartburn Feel Like

Heartburn typically feels like a burning in the center of your chest, behind your breastbone. When you have heartburn, you may also feel symptoms like:

  • A burning feeling in your chest that can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours.
  • Pain in your chest when you bend over or lay down.
  • A burning feeling in your throat.
  • A hot, sour, acidic or salty taste in the back of your throat.
  • Difficulty swallowing.

Acid Reflux And Headaches

How can I tell the difference between heartburn and a heart attack?

While there are no studies showing that gastrointestinal disorders can lead to headaches, there are publications that illustrate how gastric problems, in particular acid reflux, can coincide with headaches.

A study involving 43,782 patients studies the possible prevalence of headaches in patients with gastrointestinal problems. Compared to diarrhea and constipation, patients with acid reflux symptoms report higher prevalence of headaches.

Another study involving 1,832 migraine patients were tested for heartburn and GERD symptoms. Of the group, 22% reported GERD diagnosis, 11.6% reported heartburn, and another 15.8% reported previously undiagnosed reflux symptoms.

These studies show that patients with acid reflux problems also tend to experience headaches, although there are no clear reasons why. Although unclear, doctors confirm that treating gastrointestinal problems also alleviates headache symptoms, which is how acid reflux-related headaches are treated.

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How To Distinguish Heartburn From Angina

Heartburn, angina and other conditions that lead to chest pain such as muscle strains or inflammation can be difficult to distinguish from each other. To get a definitive diagnosis, it is always recommended that you see a doctor. There are some signs, patterns and symptoms that can help you determine whether the chest pain you are experiencing is a result of heartburn or angina though. Read on below for more information about the distinguishing factors for these two conditions.

Similar SymptomsDue to their similar symptoms, heartburn and angina are somewhat difficult to differentiate. The primary symptoms of angina and heartburn include chest pain located in the center of the chest. Pain in the chest can be a sign of other conditions such as panic attacks, stomach ulcers, muscle strains and even heart attacks. However, two common conditions that lead to recurring chest pain are heartburn and angina. Although these two conditions have similar primary symptoms their causes and triggers are very different.

Ranexa Popular Angina Medication

If angina or heartburn symptoms are severe or if you are experiencing symptoms similar to a heart attack, contact a doctor. Chest pain that does not go away after taking medication or chest pain that is accompanied with sweating, fainting or vomiting are signs that you could be suffering a heart attack. Get medical attention immediately if these symptoms occur.

How Is Heartburn Diagnosed

In most cases, your doctor will be able to diagnose heartburn by asking questions about your symptoms and what triggers those symptoms.

If you have heartburn more than 2 times a week, it could be a symptom of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease or other gastrointestinal diseases. These are usually diagnosed by endoscopy, which uses a tube with a camera passed through the mouth into the stomach.

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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.

When In Doubt Check It Out

Heartburn Chest Pain Vomiting ~ Share Info Health

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.

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About Chest And Breast Pain

While many believe chest pain to be indicative of heart problems, it can actually originate from any organ or tissue in the chest – such as the lungs, esophagus, ribs, and muscles – and radiate to the breasts, provoking discomfort in the both.

On the other hand, breast pain is much more common than chest pain and affects almost half of all women at some point during their lives.1 Severity can vary from a mild ache to an intense sharp or throbbing pain.

Symptoms of both chest and breast pain can be:

  • A feeling of pressure, fullness, or tightness in the chest
  • Pain that moves to the back, neck, jaw, shoulders, and arms
  • A pain that increases with deep breathing or coughing
  • A feeling of tenderness or soreness when the chest or breast is pushed or touched
  • Pain felt in the upper, outer area of breasts, possibly extending to the armpits and arms

The severity and duration of the symptoms depends greatly upon the underlying cause.

Difference Between Heartburn And Chest Pain

It is never comfortable to feel some pain on your chest and it is most likely something that you should not be feeling at all. Experts recommend that you call 911 as soon as you see that the pain in your chest isnt caused by any type of easy physical explanation .

There are literally hundreds of possible causes for chest pain, so if you do feel some chest pain you dont need to be alarmed. You should call 911 because it might be something serious, but there are experts at the other end of the line that will understand if you are going through something serious or not.

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Acid Reflux In A Nutshell

Most people will experience the uncomfortable feeling of esophageal burning at least once in their life. In some cases, the wave of digestive juices can literally take your breath away. This very unpleasant, yet quite common problem is called acid reflux.

Many still think that heartburn is caused by too much stomach acid. However, much like the flat earth theory, this is a misconception. Heartburn happens when the acidic digestive juices of your stomach re-enter the esophagus .

If this happens several times per week, it might be a sign of GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease , a condition in which the esophagus becomes inflamed from stomach acid damage. Symptoms of GERD include:

  • regurgitation

Not All Of Them Are Obvious

What’s That Pain in My Chest (Heartburn #2/GERD #2)

Feel like you just cant keep that nasty stuff in your belly from bubbling up into your throat? What youre experiencing might not be run-of-the-mill heartburn. It could be a case of gastroesophageal reflux diseaseGERD, for shorta condition that causes the acid and food in your stomach to rise into your esophagus, and sometimes even enter your mouth or lungs. GERD is far from rare: In fact, it occurs in 20 percent of the U.S. population, according to the medical journal Gastroenterology. But there are also several factors that make some people an easier target for the disease.

Everyone has a small, normal amount of gastroesophageal reflux, but an abnormal amount of acid reflux occurs when the one-way valve between the esophagus and the stomach, called the lower esophageal sphincter, becomes too loose, says Ketan Shah, M.D., gastroenterologist at Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California. This can occur for multiple reasons that cause intra-abdominal pressure to be abnormally elevated, including being overweight or obese, frequent overeating, lying down too soon after eating, chronic straining or coughing, or chronic heavy lifting. These are typically the people who are more susceptible to GERD.

Heartburn won’t go away

Bitter taste

Trouble swallowing

Heart Attack Feeling



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What Causes Heartburn

Normally, a ring of muscle at the lower end of the oesophagus relaxes to let food in and tightens to prevent stomach acid from escaping.

However, if the muscle relaxes when it shouldnt, or is weak, stomach acid can rise up into the oesophagus where it can cause pain and irritation. Heartburn can also occur when the stomach is producing a lot of acid, such as when you are stressed.

Signs Of An Emergency

The feeling of an uncomfortable burning sensation in your chest is common. It is usually not a sign of a medical emergency, but if you experience the following additional symptoms you may want to seek medical attention:

  • Squeezing or pressure sensation, especially pain that gets worse or radiates to the left side of the body
  • Pain that travels to your jaw, neck, shoulders, arms, or back
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Racing heartbeat

If you experience any of these symptoms, or if your symptoms are persistent and a cause of concern, seek immediate medical attention.

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Possible Causes Of Burping And Chest Pain

Chest pain and burping can have a number of causes, from digestive issues to cardiac conditions. It is important to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment. Here are some of the common causes of chest pain with burping and other symptoms you may be feeling:

1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is also known as IBS. Researchers arent completely sure what causes it and it affects the large part of the colon. It can cause both burping along with chest pain along with:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Gas and belching
  • Mucus in bowel movements

Your doctor will most likely run some lab testing to check for celiac disease, lactose intolerance, and/or parasites. Your doctor may also do a scope into your digestive system to look for signs of inflammation in the bowel.

2. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

This condition occurs when the sphincter muscle from the abdomen to the esophagus is loosened and acids can slip up into the esophagus and throat. This can cause excessive belching and what feels like chest pain under the sternum. Other symptoms include:

  • Heartburn and indigestion
  • Bitter taste in mouth
  • Pressure in the upper abdomen and chest after eating

Your doctor can place a gauged tube into your esophagus that will measure the amount of stomach acid going up and down over a 24-hour period of time. Most of the time, GERD can be diagnosed just based on your symptoms and history.

3. Hiatal Hernia


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