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Does Heartburn Have Anything To Do With Your Heart

Elevate Your Upper Body

Heartburn, Acid Reflux, GERD-Mayo Clinic

Lying down can make heartburn worse. When it comes time for bed, adjust your sleeping surface to raise your upper body.

According to the Mayo Clinic, lifting your head with extra pillows isnt usually enough. Instead, the goal is to elevate your body from the waist up.

If you have an adjustable bed, set it at a suitable angle to provide relief. If your bed isnt adjustable, you can change the angle of your sleeping surface by using a wedge pillow.

Do You Feel Pressure In Your Chest And Discomfort In Your Shoulders Arms Neck Jaw Or Back Do You Feel Like You Have Indigestion

Angina signals an underlying heart condition that can lead to a heart attack. Stable angina is triggered by emotional stress, smoking, heavy meals and extreme variances in temperature, all of which cause your heart to work harder.

This type of angina is episodic but controllable. Your doctor can help you understand and manage the condition.

Unstable angina is characterized by sudden chest pain or worsening or persistent chest discomfort that occurs during sleep or reduced physical activity. It is caused by a reduction in blood flow to the heart. This is a serious health issue that requires immediate medical attention.

Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

Heart attacks often but not always happen with classic symptoms:

  • chest pain that is often described as pressure, squeezing, heaviness, tightness, fullness, or ache
  • chest pain that feels like a very heavy weight crushing against the chest
  • pain may come and go, but lasts for more than a few minutes

Not all heart attacks give the same symptoms. Symptoms can be mild or severe, and some people experience no symptoms at all.

The chest pain or discomfort is usually central or central-left, but it might not be. The pain may spread to other areas. It can affect one or both arms, the neck, jaw, or upper or mid-back.

Heart attack often comes with other symptoms:

  • breaking out in a cold sweat
  • being short of breath
  • feeling very tired or lacking in energy
  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded

People who may be less likely to experience symptoms when having a heart attack include older people and those with diabetes. These people may still show other symptoms though, such as breathlessness.

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Not Sure If What Youre Feeling Is A Heart Attack Or Heartburn

I tell my patients that if you belch and the symptoms go away, it probably isnt related to your heart but to your esophagus, Bauman said. But if you have shortness of breath or sweating, then its likely a heart-related issue.

However, everyone is different, and not all symptoms are caused by one or the other, so:

Solving The Mystery In Record Time

Heartburn, Acid Reflux, and GERD  Whats the Difference?

Even if you know the signs of a heart attack and are informed and engaged in your own or a loved ones healthcare, if there is a reason for concern, it is always better to be safe and quickly seek a professional medical evaluation. Even medical professionals can mistake one condition for another without the proper tools needed to make a diagnosis. Our hospitals, emergency rooms, cardiologists and other medical professionals are experts at investigating and uncovering the true cause of your heart attack symptoms. HCA Midwest Health has 11 emergency rooms conveniently located throughout Kansas City with heart care experts ready to solve the mystery quickly.

With the areas largest network of award-winning, accredited chest pain centers, your chance of surviving a heart attack improves by more than 35 percent. No other Kansas City area hospitals open up clogged arteries for heart attack patients faster than we do.

Every second counts when solving a mystery. Dont drive. Call 911.

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How Do Acid Blockers Work To Treat Heartburn

Products like Pepcid AC® are called histamine H2 blockers, or acid blockers. Acid blockers reduce the production of stomach acid. They relieve heartburn, acid indigestion and sour stomach. Always follow the directions on the packaging or talk to your healthcare provider about how to take this medication. Acid blockers you can buy without a prescription include:

  • Pepcid AC®.
  • Tagamet HB®.

Take your acid blocker medicine regularly for as long as directed by your healthcare provider, even if you do not have any pain or if your symptoms get better.

Stronger acid blockers are prescription medications. These can be used to block stomach acid, treat stomach and duodenal ulcers, erosive esophagitis, and GERD. They work by reducing the production of stomach acid. Your healthcare provider will give you a specific prescription for this type of acid blocker.

The United States Food and Drug Administration recently reported elevated levels of a possible carcinogen, NDMA, in the drugs ranitidine and nizatidine . You should speak to your healthcare provider if you are taking one these medications.

When To See A Doctor

Pay attention to when your heart beats faster. If you are in an anxiety-filled or stressful situation or exerting a lot of energy through athletics, it may not be as serious as AFib. However, if your heartbeat changes erratically without warning and you experience chest pain or difficulty breathing, dont hesitate to see a doctor. If you have a medical history that includes arrhythmia or heart disease, its even more important to seek help immediately. Doing so could save your life or at least give you peace of mind that everything is okay.

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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.

A study by researchers at the University of British Columbia showed women are slightly less likely than men to experience chest pain during a heart attack.

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.

Heartburn Causes And Risk Factors

What causes heartburn? – Rusha Modi

Heartburn symptoms can start up because of a problem with a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter . It’s located where the esophagus meets the stomach — below the rib cage and slightly left of center.

Normally, with the help of gravity, the LES keeps stomach acid right where it should be — in your stomach. When it’s working right, the LES opens to allow food into your stomach or to let you belch, then closes again. But if the LES opens too often or doesn’t close tightly enough, stomach acid can seep into the esophagus and cause a burning sensation.

If your LES doesn’t tighten as it should, there are often two things that contribute to the problem. One is overeating, which puts too much food in your stomach. Another is too much pressure on your stomach, often due to obesity, pregnancy, or constipation.

Certain foods can relax your LES or increase stomach acid, including:

Meals high in fats and oils often lead to heartburn, as do certain medications. Stress and lack of sleep can raise how much acid your stomach makes and can cause heartburn.

If you’re pregnant, the hormone progesterone can relax your LES and lead to heartburn. Smoking also relaxes the LES and increases stomach acid.

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Heartburn: Nothing To Do With The Heart

Occasional heartburn is among the commonest of symptoms. Ask any group of adults if they have had heartburn in the last year, and a third will put up their hands.

There are a number of things you can do to avoid simple heartburn that occurs now and then.

It is important to distinguish simple heartburn from long-standing heartburn that keeps recurring. This could be a sign of an underlying condition such as gastroesophageal reflux disease .

If the heartburn is frequent, or persistent its important to see a doctor so that you receive an accurate diagnosis and the right treatment.

Try Baking Soda Or Apple Cider Vinegar

Some items in your kitchen can help to get rid of heartburn. Baking soda, for example, helps neutralize the acidity in your stomach and can temporarily alleviate acid reflux .2 Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in eight fluid ounces of water and sip slowly for temporary relief .2 Another remedy that some people swear by for reducing acid reflux is a teaspoon to a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed into a glass of water. However, there is no clinical evidence that this works.3

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How Is Heartburn Treated

In most cases, heartburn can be treated at home with over-the-counter medications and changes to lifestyle habits that cause the feeling. Occasional heartburn is common and is typically not serious. However, if you have frequent and severe heartburn, reach out to your healthcare provider. This could be a sign of a chronic condition like GERD. GERD can lead to other serious conditions like esophagitis, Barretts esophagus and even cancer. Sometimes, your doctor may want to do an endoscopy to check for underlying medication conditions. An endoscopy is the examination of your digestive tract with a lighted flexible instrument.

Over-the-counter medications for heartburn typically include antacids and acid blockers.

Is There Any Home Remedy For Heartburn

Acid stomach? Heartburn? When symptoms could mean something else ...

If you have ever wondered is heartburn dangerous? then you may have also wondered if there are any home remedies for it. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to decrease your risk for heartburn:

  • Dont eat too close to bedtime. Allow at least a few hours to pass between your last meal and bedtime.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Sit up straight when you are eating and try to improve your posture in general
  • Limit or quit smoking

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Tests And Surgery For Heartburn And Acid Reflux

If medicines do not help or your symptoms are severe, a GP may refer you to a specialist for:

  • tests to find out whatâs causing your symptoms, such as a gastroscopy
  • an operation on your stomach to stop acid reflux called a laparoscopic fundoplication

Page last reviewed: 09 September 2020 Next review due: 09 September 2023

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When Should I Call My Doctor About My Heartburn

Even though heartburn is common, it can sometimes lead to more serious health problems. Severe, chronic heartburn has been linked to inflammation and narrowing of the esophagus, respiratory problems, chronic cough, GERD, and Barretts esophagus, which may lead to esophageal cancer.

You should contact your doctor if:

  • Your heartburn wont go away.
  • Your heartburn symptoms become more severe or frequent.
  • Its hard or hurts to swallow.
  • Your heartburn causes you to vomit.
  • You have had substantial, unexpected weight loss.
  • You take over-the-counter antacids for more than two weeks and you still have heartburn symptoms.
  • You have heartburn symptoms even after taking prescription medicines.
  • You have serious hoarseness or wheezing.
  • Your discomfort interferes with your lifestyle or daily activities.

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Further Testing For Heart Palpitations

In most cases, we see patients in the emergency department whose palpitations have either gone away or arent critical by the time they arrive. Like a car problem that clears up when you visit the mechanic, this can be frustrating for patients.

We reassure them that just because we dont see an abnormal heart rhythm now doesnt mean that they didnt have one before. We check for any signs of damage or injury, and we may monitor patients for a few hours at the emergency department to see if they have another episode of palpitions, but there may not be enough time to capture an abnormal heart rhythm that comes and goes.

We often refer patients who have had heart palpitations to a cardiologist in the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute. For example, we might diagnose an abnormal heart rhythm in the emergency department, but its not something that needs emergency treatment. Or we might not see evidence of an abnormal heart rhythm, but we think the patient could benefit from additional monitoring to rule out possible heart problems.

A normal heartbeat is easy to take for granted. So when we feel heart palpitations, it can be very scary. But with quick medical attention and advanced monitoring, your heart can beat steadily for a long time to come.

To learn more about heart palpitations, please visit .

Other Causes Of Chest Pain

Do You Have Acid Reflux or GERD?

Heart attack and heartburn arent the only causes of chest pain, but theyre two of the most likely ones. Other potential symptoms include:

  • Anxiety attack. Severe bouts of anxiety can cause panicked feelings that may make you feel as if your heart is racing. Other symptoms include shortness of breath and intense fear.
  • Esophageal muscle spasm. Some people have an esophagus that tightens or spasms. If this occurs, a person can have pain and discomfort,

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Recurring Shortness Of Breath With Or Without Exertion

Shortness of breath, which is also called dyspnea, is a heart disease symptom that can be easily overlooked.

For one, shortness of breath can occur without other symptoms like chest pain, particularly in women. In addition, shortness of breath can feel different for everyone and happens under different circumstances, so you may find it hard to describe. For example, shortness of breath can take the form of:

  • A cough that doesnt go away
  • Constantly feeling winded during regular activities
  • Not being able to catch your breath whether youre at rest or doing an activity
  • Tightness in your chest
  • Breathlessness when you lay down that improves when you sit up

From an easily managed condition to more serious cardiovascular issues like heart disease or arrhythmia, addressing breathing issues earlier may give you more treatment options, quicker relief and help prevent future problems.

Consider Medical Conditions That Cause Gas Pains

Besides food and drink, you may have a medical condition that creates gas pains.

  • Heartburn or indigestion can cause stomach acid to leak up into the esophagus and cause sharp chest pains from burping.
  • Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease , can cause air to become trapped in your esophagus. The feeling can cause anxiety, which then leads to a short burst of heart palpitations.
  • Gallbladder disease can cause pains in the chest from excess gas. Youll also experience a loss of appetite, nausea, chills and pale stools with this issue.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease can cause gas build up in the digestive system. In addition to excessive flatulence, Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis can cause abdomen pain, diarrhea or constipation and nausea.

Contact your primary care provider if you believe you are struggling with one or more of these conditions. They will be able to order numerous tests to help diagnose the root of your problems.

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When To Seek Care For Heartburn

Dont ignore heartburn. Stomach acid can damage your esophagus and increase your risk of cancer. Sometimes natural remedies and over-the-counter medications are not enough to reduce your symptoms of heartburn, and prescription medications may be necessary.

  • An Everyday Online visit is a convenient option for diagnosis and treatment of heartburn, as well as to help determine if your heartburn symptoms point to acid reflux or GERD .
  • Schedule a virtual visit with a general practice doctor if lifestyle changes and medicines are not helping, if you have heartburn three to four times per week, or if you have other symptoms such as food getting stuck in your throat, vomiting or unintentional weight loss.

If you have more severe symptoms, such as chest pain, dark-colored vomit, black stools, persistent vomiting, or feel like you are choking, seek care in the Emergency Room right away.

When Should I Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Why Is My Heartburn Getting Worse?

You should seekemergency medical attention if your heart palpitations are accompanied by:

  • chest pain
  • fainting
  • shortness of breath.

Palpitations are unpleasant sensations of excessively strong, rapid and/or irregular heartbeats. In many people who experience palpitations, no heart disease or abnormal heart rhythms can be found and the cause of the palpitations is unknown.

In others, palpitations may be caused by arrhythmias of different types or by other heart conditions such as leaking valves. Sometimes the underlying cause is unrelated to the heart anaemia or an overactive thyroid gland, for instance, can cause palpitations. Palpitations can occur in everyone at some time during exercise, stress, pain or fright, but a normal heartbeat should return quickly.

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An Alternative Heartburn Treatment Option

Now that you know more about why you might be getting heartburn even when you havent eaten and seen some of the treatment options, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the information.

There are indeed many different causes of heartburn.

Its also true that there are many different ways that people try to treat their heartburn symptoms.

Figuring out which cause and method fit with your heartburn can make it seem like you will never find a solution, but thats not necessarily true.

Another option that you have besides the typical solutions of no acids and try medicine would be to take the holistic approach laid out in the Heartburn No More program.

This program teaches you a clear and systematic way to address your chronic heartburn, whether it is food-based or not, and reduce the effect it has on you for good.

If you want to try something different than the usual approaches, try this program that covers a wide array of beneficial information that will help you feel better than you have in ages.

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