How Is Gerd Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you questions about your signs and do an exam. Many times, doctors can be fairly certain a person has GERD just by the signs. If your doctor thinks your signs are caused by GERD, medicine may help. If the medicine helps, you and your doctor will know that GERD was the cause of your problems. You may not need to have any special tests.
What To Do If You Have Frequent Heartburn
If you suffer from more-than-occasional heartburn or indigestion, it is important that you seek attention from a health care professional as soon as possible. These may be symptoms of a serious medical condition like a heart attack, ulcer, or gallbladder disease. Furthermore, the symptoms of heartburn may be a sign of damage to the esophagus which can lead to scarring and narrowing of the esophagus or to abnormal cell growth, increasing the risk of cancer.
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Arm Pain: Heartburn Or Something Else
Heart attack survivors often recount their first symptom as a heartburn-like sensation. Many patients explicitly use the word heartburn when recounting their cardiac experience. Patients often realize that their heartburn is in fact not reflux-related but heart-related when:
- There is a pain radiating up the arm, specifically the left arm
- They have no history of acid reflux
- There is a burning sensation in the chest
- They have not eaten anything prior to the pain
- The pain doesnt go away with antacid
If your heartburn symptoms dont go away after taking an antacid, and are accompanied by arm pain and back pain, we suggest going to an emergency facility immediately to get medical help.
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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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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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How To Treat Heartburn
If you frequently experience signs of heartburn, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to get your life back on track.
Try focussing on the following natural remedies:
Being overweight is one of the leading causes of heartburn. Overweight people are bound to experience heartburn more often since more pressure is put on their abdomen, and so stomach acid is more likely to backflow into the oesophagus. If youre overweight, losing a couple of kilograms will help you reduce the symptoms of heartburn.
2. Good posture
Do not slouch while you eat, as sitting upright will take the pressure off your stomach. Additionally, elevate the head of your bed when you go to sleep to prevent stomach acid from coming up your throat during the night.
3. Choosing healthy foods
Some foods can actually help you alleviate the problems that come with heartburn. Try adding alkaline fruits, such as bananas or melons, as well as green vegetables to your diet. Moreover, eat soothing dairy products like yoghurt and dont forget about whole grains that treat as well as prevent acid reflux.
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.
Location Of Chest Pain
Both cardiac and noncardiac chest pain can occur in the center of the chest behind the breastbone.
However, cardiac chest pain can spread across the chest and even affect other parts of the body, such as the:
In contrast, noncardiac chest pain tends to feel like an intense stabbing or burning sensation just beneath the surface of the skin.
Coughing, breathing, or moving can affect the intensity of noncardiac chest pain, while the severity of cardiac chest pain usually remains stable, even when resting.
Heartburn Symptoms Vs Heart Attack
The symptoms of heartburn and heart attack are often confused17,but they are very different conditions. Its important to learn the difference and know when to seek medical help.
Signs Of A Heartburn
Signs of heartburn include a burning pain in your chest that rises toward your throat, burning pain that worsens when you bend over or lie down, or an unpleasant, acidic taste in your mouth and even bad breath3.
Signs Of A Heart Attack
Signs of a heart attack include chest discomfort, pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, the neck, the jaw or the stomach, shortness of breath, cold sweats, nausea or lightheadedness.
Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
If your heartburn seems worse or different than usual, seek medical attention immediately if you experience chest discomfort, have heart disease or diabetes, smoke, are overweight or have high cholesterol. Do not wait. Call 911 immediately for emergency medical help.18
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What Does Heartburn Feel Like A Basic Guide To Heartburn
Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.
Heartburn is the worst. It can happen at the most inopportune times. You went out and had a great dinner , youre lying down in bed, and it just hits you. Burning in your chest and throat, making sleep and comfort impossible. But what does heartburn feel like exactly? Can heartburn really feel the same as a heart attack? Its important to know the difference between heartburn and other conditions. The following is a basic guide to heartburn so you can recognize it and distinguish heartburn from other issues of the stomach and chest. This will help you treat it correctly and get on with your day.
Can Acid Reflux Cause Nerve Pain
Acid reflux symptoms can be typical or atypical in nature. Tingling limbs and nerve pain are considered rare and atypical acid reflux symptoms.
Dr. Mark Babyatsky, a former department chairman at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, explained that inflammation from acid reflux can reach the lungs and trigger pneumonia.
As a result, the diaphragm can become inflamed, affecting the phrenic nerve, which is a nerve connecting the neck, lung, heart, and diaphragm. In this scenario, a patient can feel referred pain in the limbs, specifically the arms and shoulders.
Alternatively, nerve-related issues may be caused by pre-existing neuropathic conditions, leading to acid reflux. An example of this is gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is a form of diabetic peripheral neuropathy characterized by slow digestion. This leads to bloating, heartburn, and vomiting of undigested food.
If youre experiencing acid reflux symptoms with nerve pain, theres a high chance that your nerve pain is not reflux-related, especially if you are experiencing temporary reflux. Get in touch with a medical professional to find a separate diagnosis concerning your nerve pain.
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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
Check If You Have Acid Reflux
The main symptoms of acid reflux are:
- heartburn a burning sensation in the middle of your chest
- an unpleasant sour taste in your mouth, caused by stomach acid
You may also have:
- a cough or hiccups that keep coming back
- a hoarse voice
Your symptoms will probably be worse after eating, when lying down and when bending over.
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What Medicines Help Gerd
One kind of medicine that helps includes cimetidine , ranitidine , famotidine and nizatidine . You take this medicine two times a day.
Proton pump inhibitors also help they include omeprazole and lansoprazole . You take them once a day.
Another medicine that helps is sucralfate . You take it four times a day.
What Is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is what happens when liquids and food in your stomach go the wrong way, or back up into your throat. When this happens, the foods and liquids can irritate your throat.
Your esophagus isn’t made to handle the acid in your stomach. This acid may also irritate your throat.
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What Happens After A Heart Attack
When a heart attack does occur, the part of the heart that has gone without a blood supply is injured. The extent of damage depends on the size of the area that was nourished by the blocked artery and the length of time between injury and treatment.
The heart muscle heals from a heart attack by forming scar tissue, usually over the course of several weeks. Even though a part of the heart may have been injured, the rest of the muscle keeps on working. However, the damaged heart may be weaker and unable to pump as efficiently as before. Proper treatment and a change in lifestyle after a heart attack can limit or prevent further harm.
How Does Heartburn Make You Feel
Heartburn is characterized by a burning sensation in the center of your chest, just beneath your breastbone. You may also experience the following symptoms if you have heartburn:
A burning sensation in the chest that might continue from a few minutes to several hours.When you bend over or lie down, you feel pain in your chest.You have a burning sensation in your throat.In the back of your throat, theres a spicy, sour, acidic, or salty taste.Swallowing problems.
Understanding how your esophagus and stomach work will help you understand why heartburn occurs. Food goes down a lengthy tube that joins your mouth and stomach when you eat. The esophagus is the name for this tube. The esophageal sphincter is a valve located at the bottom of the esophagus. This valve opens to allow food to pass through and then closes to keep the contents of your stomach down. A extremely strong acidic mixture exists inside your stomach, which begins the process of breaking down your food . This concoction is supposed to be held in your stomach. Your esophagus, on the other hand, is unable to contain this mixture without injury.
When the valve between your stomach and esophagus malfunctions, some of the acidic mixture from your stomach can back up into your esophagus. This is referred to as reflux. When you have reflux, you will frequently get heartburn, which is a burning sensation. There are a number of medical problems that can induce acid reflux and heartburn, including:
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How Acid Reflux And Gerd May Damage The Throat
In addition to potentially damaging the lower esophagus, frequent heartburn or GERD may also damage the upper throat. This can occur if the stomach acid comes all the way up into the back of the throat or nasal airway. This condition is often referred to as laryngopharyngeal reflux .
LPR is also sometimes called silent reflux, because it doesnt always present symptoms that people readily recognize. Its important for individuals with GERD to be checked for LPR to avoid any potential throat or voice damage. Symptoms of LPR may include the following:
- feeling of a lump in the throat
- chronic cough or cough that wakes you from your sleep
- choking episodes
- Eat smaller meals more frequently and take your time chewing.
- Avoid overeating.
- Increase physical activity if overweight.
- Increase fiber in your diet.
- Increase fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- Stay upright for at least one hour after meals.
- Avoid eating 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
- Avoid trigger foods like high-fat and high-sugar items, alcohol, caffeine, and chocolate.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
A Pharmacist Can Help With Indigestion
A pharmacist can recommend medicines to ease the burning feeling or pain that can come with indigestion.
Medicines that help reduce acid in your stomach include:
- proton pump inhibitors
Some indigestion medicines are best to take after eating as their effects last longer. Check the information leaflet that comes with the medicines for more information.
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Where Do You Feel Heartburn
Heartburn usually starts as a burning sensation in your upper abdomen that travels to the chest. It can also be accompanied by either pressure or pain behind your breastbone, which certain people suffering from more severe symptoms even confuse with a heart attack. Moreover, the pain of heartburn can also radiate to your neck and shoulders.
Some other frequently experienced symptoms include:
- a feeling of not being able to swallow food completely: you might get the feeling of food getting stuck in your chest or throat, or even like your throat is closing and youre choking
- frequent burping: feeling the need to burp a few times after a meal is completely normal and acceptable , but excessive burping may be a sign of heartburn
- bloating: if your belly seems bloated, especially after a regular well-balanced meal, the reason might be heartburn
- discomfort after a meal: if your discomfort grows after eating or you feel abnormally full for no particular reason, acid reflux could be the cause.
In case you experience such symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible to double-check youre actually experiencing heartburn and not some more serious condition.
More uncommon signs of heartburn include coughing, lasting hiccups, cold sweats, shortness of breath or dizziness.
Heartburn Or Heart Attack When To Worry
If you have chest pain and are not sure if its severe heartburn symptoms or a heart attack, call 911 right away. Its better to get emergency treatment and find out that you have a minor health problem than to ignore something that could be deadly.
Remember, paramedics will provide the fastest, safest transportation to the hospital. Do not drive yourself or ask someone else to drive you.
To learn more about heart attack causes, symptoms, and treatment options, visit the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute or call 1-855-UPMC-HVI .
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on July 18, 2016
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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.
- 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.
What Causes Heartburn
To know why heartburn happens, it can help to understand how your esophagus and stomach work. When you eat, the food passes down a long tube that connects your mouth and stomach. This tube is called the esophagus. At the bottom of the esophagus is a valve, called the esophageal sphincter. This valve opens to let food through and then closes to keep your stomach contents down. Inside your stomach is a very strong acidic mixture that starts the process of breaking down your food . Your stomach is designed to hold this mixture. However, your esophagus isnt able to hold this mixture without getting hurt.
Sometimes, the valve that separates your stomach and esophagus doesnt close properly, and some of the acidic mixture from your stomach goes back up the esophagus. This is called reflux. When you have reflux, youll often feel the burning sensation thats heartburn. There are a few medical conditions that can cause reflux and make you feel heartburn, including:
- Hiatal hernia .
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease .
- Certain medications, especially anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin.
Heartburn can also be caused by your eating habits including the foods you eat, how large your meals are and how close to bedtime you eat and certain lifestyle habits.
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