What Is Heartburn Acid Reflux And Gastro
As part of normal digestion, the stomach produces acid to help break down the food we eat. It is usually contained within the stomach but, sometimes, the valve between the stomach and the oesophagus doesnt work as it should, allowing acid to escape and irritate the sensitive lining of the food pipe. This is called acid reflux and the associated burning sensation in the chest is commonly referred to as heartburn.
Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is a condition in which a person experiences uncommonly frequent bouts of acid reflux. Many people experience acid reflux and heartburn occasionally, but when its frequent and severe it may be diagnosed as GERD.
Sometimes, the pain produced by GERD can be mistaken for heart-related chest pains so its important to understand your symptoms and to consult a doctor if you are unsure about the root of any pain you are experiencing.
Whilst the pain of heartburn or GERD and heart conditions occur behind the breastbone, there are different symptoms that can help you to tell them apart.
- Heartburn that occurs frequently after eating
- Unpleasant, sour taste in your mouth caused by acid reflux
- Difficulty swallowing
- Regurgitation of food or sour liquid
- Sensation of a lump in your throat
Other symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Shortness of breath
What Kind Of Doctor Treats Non
The first time a person has non-cardiac chest pain, he or she usually goes to the emergency room, thinking he or she is having a heart attack. The first thing the emergency room doctor will do is make sure the pain is not a heart attack or due to heart disease.
If it truly is non-cardiac chest pain, the emergency room doctor usually refers the patient to a gastroenterologist, a doctor who specializes in digestive system disorders, for more testing and treatment.
Some people who have had several episodes of non-cardiac chest pain go to their primary care physician or a heart doctor instead of the emergency room. The doctor will follow the same steps to make sure the pain is not heart-related, then refer the person to a gastroenterologist.
Heartburn Or Heart Attack How To Tell The Difference
Chest pain can be scary. And its not always easy to tell the difference between heartburn and a heart attack especially since heartburn-like symptoms can be from a heart attack. Columbus Batiste, MD, an interventional cardiologist and chief of cardiology at Kaiser Permanentes Riverside and Moreno Valley Medical Centers in Southern California, breaks down the symptoms and details the importance of knowing if youre at risk for heart disease.
What is heartburn?
Heartburn is discomfort or pain that occurs when food and stomach acid back up into the esophagus the tube that leads from the throat to the stomach.
Common indicators of heartburn include:
- A burning sensation in the chest or stomach
- Foul breath and a sour, acidic, or metallic taste in the mouth
- Increased gas or belching
- Coughing, especially when lying down
- Symptoms start after eating or lying down
You should be able to relieve your symptoms by taking an antacid, like Tums or Rolaids, or by drinking a glass of water with a spoonful of baking soda stirred in it. If heartburn is keeping you from sleeping, propping yourself up in bed can help.
Contact your doctor for advice if an antacid doesnt temporarily ease your symptoms, this is the first time youve had heartburn, or your symptoms have changed.
Heart attack signs can vary greatly
- Back discomfort
Silent heart attacks are common
Another cause of chest pain
Risk factors for heart disease
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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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Symptoms Of Acid Reflux Chest Pain
GERD or acid reflux is such a common problem, but sometimes its symptoms are easy to mistake for something else. Here are some of them:
When the pain lasts longer and more intense, many people mistake heartburn for a heart attack. Some of the acids in the stomach leak into the esophagus when lying down, causing the heartburn. Pain that fires up right after a big fatty meal with alcohol means the stomach is full and whats inside must go up. Acid leaks from the stomach into the back of the throat, dumping a nasty taste in the mouth. Cracking voice or voice sounds hoarser than usual. A sore throat might actually be a result of problems in the digestive system. Sometimes extreme coughing and wheezing from heartburn could trigger asthma. For unexplained nausea, think of reflux as the culprit, especially right after a meal. Sudden excessive mouthwatering may mean that the body could be trying to wash out a nuisance in the esophagus. Difficulty in swallowing is experienced when continuous reflux causes inflammation in the esophagus making the esophagus narrower.
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Acid Reflux Chest Pain Treatments
1. For people who have recurring acid reflux, there are medications are known as a proton-pump inhibitor, which will decrease their acid production and lessen the possible harm caused by acid reflux.
They are generally safe and effective, but they may not be good for everyone with reflux disease because they can cause different side-effects.
2. For people who suffer from acid reflux only once in a while, medications to reduce the acidity of the stomach contents can be obtained from the pharmacy without a prescription.
These antacids come in liquid or tablet form and they are effective for short-term relief.
3. To avoid triggering acid reflux, the following changes to lifestyle or behavior can prevent or improve symptoms:
Avoid food and drinks that trigger heartburn for you. Eat smaller meals. Remain sitting or standing for two to three hours after a meal. Maintain a healthy weight. Avoid putting extra pressure on your chest. Quit smoking.
Persistent problems with untreated acid reflux can lead to serious complications, including an increased risk of cancer.
Many people often experience a piercing or sensitive pain in the chest that feels similar to a heart attack or other heart-related problems.
It may be a cardiac heart pain if the pain is constant and unchanging, and it can be an acid reflux chest pain if it changes with every movement. See the doctor immediately to evaluate any abdominal pain for proper identification and management.
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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Location Of Chest Pain
Cardiac chest pain and NCCP can both appear behind your breastbone, making it hard to distinguish between the two types of pain.
Chest pain involving the heart is more likely than reflux-related pain to spread to other parts of your body. These places include your:
- arms, especially the upper part of your left arm
Chest pain stemming from GERD may affect your upper body in some cases, but its most often centered either behind your sternum or just underneath it in an area known as the epigastrium.
NCCP is usually accompanied by a burning behind your breastbone and may not be felt as much in the left arm.
In turn, these spasms can cause pain in your throat and the upper area of your chest as well.
You may be able to tell what type of chest pain it is by assessing the type of pain youre feeling.
Common ways that people describe pain associated with heart disease include:
- heavy like an elephant sitting on the chest
NCCP, on the other hand, may feel sharp and tender.
People with GERD may have temporary, severe chest pain when taking a deep breath or coughing. This difference is key.
The intensity level of cardiac pain stays the same when you breathe deeply.
Muscle strains and GERD-related chest pain tend to feel better when you move your body.
Heartburn And Back Pain Pregnancy
Pregnant women are at higher risk of both, heartburn and back pain.
Also in this case, however, we can say that the lower part of the back is more affected.
Another important affected part is the pelvic area.
Many pregnant women report the simultaneous presence of heartburn, lower back pain, and pelvic pain.
All these conditions have their specific cause, meaning that there is no direct correlation between heartburn and back pain during pregnancy.
However, they enhance the discomfort, and proper treatment for all is mandatory.
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Look Beyond Chest Pain Symptoms
When you have a heart attack, its because one of the coronary arteries that provide blood to the heart is blocked. The blockage obstructs the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart.
When you think of a heart attack, you may picture a person clutching their chest and collapsing from sudden, severe pain. But the symptoms of a heart attack often are much more subtle. This is especially true for women, Dr. Abdallah says.
Instead, they often suffer from subtle symptoms such as:
- Pain in the arms, neck or jaw.
- Sweating or cold sweat.
- Feelings of fullness, indigestion or choking .
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, extreme weakness or anxiety.
People with diabetes who are having a heart attack often have atypical or minimal symptoms, Dr. Abdallah says. If you have diabetes, you should seek medical attention for even slight chest or stomach pain or discomfort.
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
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When To See Your Doctor
If youre worried about the pain in the right side of your chest, and its lasted more than a few days, then its time to see your doctor. Although the aches and discomfort may be caused by something mild, like acid reflux, theres also a chance that theyre resulting from something more serious, like pulmonary hypertension.
Once you know whats going on, you and your doctor can develop a plan to treat your chest pain and its underlying cause. If your chest pain persists after treatment, you should see your doctor and discuss additional treatment options.
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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Heartburn With Back Pain: 23 Proven Facts For Your Safety
People who suffer from heartburn and acid reflux experience a variety of symptoms.
Among these, there are some more common, but also others that occur less frequently.
Heartburn with back pain is exactly one of these, and we want to deepen more about that.
This because in many cases it can be confused with other diseases or conditions, with possible delays for correct treatment.
First of all, lets define what back pain really means: in most cases, its muscle strain or arthritis in your spine.
However, back pain can be determined by many other situations, such as the following:
- heart attack
- some infections
Those listed above are just a few conditions able to determine back pain.
We could also mention that back pain can be felt unexpectedly, for example after or during the execution of very simple and common gestures, such as sitting or even taking a step forward.
Theres another case: back pain can also appear after eating.
This is the case that interests us the most.
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How Is Heartburn Diagnosed
Often all that a health-care professional requires is a thorough history and physical to make the preliminary diagnosis of heartburn. To evaluate if there is any damage and how severe your heartburn is, the doctor my suggest some of the following tests:
- Endoscopy: A flexible scope is passed down the esophagus to examine the esophagus as well as the stomach. Biopsies can be taken if indicated. This lets the doctor see if there is any obvious damage, and also eliminate other reasons for the patients symptoms .
- Upper GI series : After drinking a liquid that coats the inside of the digestive tract, X-rays are taken. These X-rays will show the outline of the digestive system.
- Ambulatory pH testing: This test measures the acidity in the esophagus via a small tube that goes through the nose into the stomach.
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What Is The Treatment For Heartburn
The health care professional will recommend treating heartburn in a stepwise fashion. For mild or occasional symptoms, simple lifestyle modifications may be enough. The next step is nonprescription antacids such as Maalox, Mylanta, Tums, or Rolaids. Other treatments include acid blockers and even surgery. In most cases, one or more of these treatments provide relief from heartburn and prevent it from turning into a more serious disease.
I take nonprescription antacids for heartburn, but they donât seem to help.
Nonprescription antacids are only part of the treatment for heartburn. They can work very well, but these antacids alone usually canât stop heartburn. A health care professional will probably recommend that the patient make lifestyle changes in addition to other treatments.
What kind of lifestyle changes and remedies can I make to reduce heartburn?
Try any or all of the following:
Will these changes stop the heartburn?
They may. If they donât, adding a nonprescription antacid can be helpful.
How do antacids work?
What if lifestyle changes and antacids donât work?
If a person still has symptoms after lifestyle modifications and antacids, a health care professional probably will prescribe a stronger drug. The usual choice is one of the histamine-2 blockers, or acid blockers. These drugs block the biochemical process that creates acid in the stomach.
What are acid blockers?