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Is Heartburn A Sign Of Heart Issues

Symptoms Of Heart Muscle Disease

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

Many people with heart muscle disease, or cardiomyopathy, have no symptoms or only minor symptoms, and live a normal life. Other people develop symptoms, which progress and worsen as heart function worsens.

Symptoms of cardiomyopathy may occur at any age and may include:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Heart failure symptoms
  • Swelling of the lower extremities
  • Fainting
  • Palpitations

Some people also have arrhythmias. These can lead to sudden death in a small number of people with cardiomyopathy.

Am I Having Heartburn Or A Heart Attack

Youre experiencing chest pain after a big meal. It could be your heartburn acting up. However, its also possible that the chest pain is a sign of an impending heart attack. These two issues often feel very similar, making it hard to determine the difference. As a result, emergency room doctors will typically perform diagnostic tests to rule out a heart attack if youre experiencing chest pain.

Is It Heartburn Or A Heart Attack How To Tell

Is that burning sensation in your chest simply heartburn or the sign of something much worse? Its not always easy to tell.

Unfortunately, the stakes couldnt be higher. Forty percent of women and 30 percent of men with coronary artery disease experience this symptom, UH cardiologist disease specialist Barbara Williams, MD says.

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Nutritions Role In Angina Prevention

The most common cause of angina is coronary artery disease. As plaque in the blood vessels builds up, blood flow is restricted and deprives the heart muscle of oxygen.

Atherosclerosis, on the other hand, means that the walls of the arteries become damaged in some way, shape, or form. Some people believe it could be cigarette smoking or a chronically poor diet, but specifically the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, colloquially known as bad cholesterol because it can build up in the arteries, may indeed be one of the damaging factors in terms of damage to arterial walls.

After this arterial wall is damaged, our immune system comes to the rescue. It sends white blood cells, sometimes known as leukocytes, to correct the problem and help absorb the oxidized LDL.

Specifically, this is under the direction of monocytes and macrophages, two types of white blood cells which actually trigger a cycle of events that involve inflammation and, ultimately, the development of plaque. This level of inflammation is a major disease risk for the development of heart disease.

When it comes to treatment, its important to include food with anti-inflammatory compounds such as nuts and dark berries in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and flaxseed also help reduce inflammation.

Heartburn And Heart Attack Pain Can Be Similar Learn The Difference

Youre relaxing at home after a delicious meal. You notice you dont feel quite right. You have an upset stomach. There is a burning sensation in your chest area.

Is it heartburn from indigestion? Could it be a heart attack?

Chest discomfort is the most common symptom of a heart attack, which can be life-threatening. But it can also be a sign of heartburn, which has nothing to do with the heart and is a common symptom of indigestion.

It can sometimes be difficult to tell one from the other. Learning the difference can help you protect your heart health and know when to seek medical attention.

If youre not sure if its heartburn or a heart attack, and your chest pain is persistent seek medical help right away, says Kiyon Chung, MD, a Scripps cardiologist. You will be checked immediately to rule out a heart attack. If your chest pain turns out to be a heart attack, doctors will work to lessen any heart damage.

If its indigestion, youll want to make sure it doesnt become a chronic problem. You may be able to find quick relief taking an over-the-counter antacid or other medication.

What is indigestion?

Heartburn is a symptom of indigestion or acid reflux. It happens when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, the food pipe that connects the throat to the stomach. This backflow causes a burning feeling or pain in the chest. Another symptom is regurgitation, which is when food rises in the back of the throat.

What is a heart attack?

Symptoms of heart attack

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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:

What Are The Complications Associated With Heartburn

Occasional heartburn isnt typically a cause for concern. However, frequent heartburn may be a symptom of GERD. This condition may require treatment with prescription medication or surgery.

If left untreated, GERD may lead to additional health problems, such as an inflammation of the esophagus, which is called esophagitis, or Barretts esophagus, according to a 2018 review . Barretts esophagus causes changes in the lining of the esophagus that can increase your risk of esophageal cancer.

Long-term heartburn can also affect your quality of life. See your doctor to determine a course of treatment if you find it difficult to carry on your daily life or are severely limited in your activities due to heartburn.

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You Have Unintentional Weight Loss Or Stomach Symptoms

Your heartburn may be a symptom of more serious gastrointestinal issues, or untreated acid reflux may lead to consequences that require immediate intervention. If youre losing weight quickly without trying, have frequent nausea and/or diarrhea, are vomiting blood, or notice bloody stool, contact an emergency medical care provider. Gastrointestinal symptoms can signal a whole range of illnesses from cancer to food poisoning, so play it safe and see your doctor.

What Does Heartburn Feel Like When Pregnant

Heartburn, Acid Reflux (Acidity) or GERD Symptoms

Suffering heartburn in pregnancy is common, and is the result of a whole host of changes your body is going through. Just one of these is the increase of the hormone progesterone, which causes the lower esophageal sphincter muscle to relax, sending gastric acid up the esophagus and causing the tell-tale burning sensation.3 If you havent had heartburn before, be reassured that it is common.3 To help reduce the risk of heartburn and ease symptoms, eat small meals, avoid fatty or greasy foods, and wait at least three hours after eating before lying down.3 Always talk to your doctor about the right treatment for you before using TUMS.

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You Have A Chronic Cough

Coughing can be caused by anything from a cold to asthma, so it can be difficult to determine whether or not its related to your heartburn. But, if you have a persistent cough that wont go away in addition to heartburn, the two may be making each other worse. Because untreated heartburn can damage the lining of your esophagus, it can often lead to heartburn. Likewise, untreated coughing can damage your esophagus leading to heartburn!

Be Prepared For A Cardiac Emergency

Take the following emergency actions ahead of time if you or a family member has a heart condition or is at risk for a heart attack:

  • Know in advance which hospitals in your area provide 24-hour emergency cardiac care. Tell family and friends where they are
  • Post emergency rescue numbers, as well as the telephone numbers of your doctors, on or next to each of your phones
  • Advise family and friends to call for emergency care if chest pain lasts more than a few minutes

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How Does Covid Cause Heartburn

According to Dr. David Putrino, PhD, Director of Rehabilitation Innovation at Mount Sinai, gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation, nausea, general digestive issues, stomach, pains, cramps, and acid reflux have become more common in long COVID.

Even a symptom like heartburn can be one of most challenging pieces. While its relatable, if every single day youre having it, it can negatively impact your life, says Dr. Putrino.

Unfortunately, its unclear exactly why COVID causes heartburn.

One possibility is that the virus seems to be able to affect nerve cells. It could possibly disrupt the nerves that normally help your esophageal sphincters close and prevent contents from your stomach from going back up into your esophagus, says Dr. Lee. Another possibility is people may be taking antibiotics when they start having COVID-19 symptoms, even though antibiotics do not help against the virus. Antibiotics can then change the normal bacteria in your gut, which can, in turn, lead to more GERD.

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What Does Heartburn Feel Like

Heartburn feels like an uncomfortable or burning pain in the middle of your chest. You may also experience:

  • a burning sensation in your throat
  • pressure or pain behind your breastbone
  • difficulty swallowing
  • worsening pain after lying down or bending over
  • an acidic, sour, or bitter taste in your mouth
  • coughing or hoarseness

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Heartburn And Acidic Throat

As gastric acid from your stomach moves up your esophagus, it may create a burning feeling in your chest and throat. Stomach acid can also leave a nasty taste in your mouth this may be sour, salty, hot or acidic. This acid irritation can lead to a sore throat and a dry cough. It can also cause a painless lump in your throat.

What To Do In A Cardiac Emergency

If you suspect someone youre with is having a heart attack:

  • While waiting for emergency help to arrive, help the victim get into a relaxed sitting position, with the legs up and bent at the knees, to ease strain on the heart
  • Loosen tight clothing around the neck and waist, and be calm and reassuring that medical help is on the way
  • If the victim is conscious, give them an adult aspirin with water

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Nausea Indigestion Heartburn Or Stomach Pain

Some people have these symptoms during a heart attack. They may even vomit, Chambers says.

Women are more likely to report this type of symptom than men are.

Of course, you can have an upset stomach for many reasons that have nothing to do with your heart. It could just be something you ate, after all. But you need to be aware that it can also happen during a heart attack.

So if you feel this way and youâre at risk for heart problems, let a doctor find out whatâs going on, especially if you also have any of the other symptoms on this list.

When Should I Call My Doctor About My Heartburn

Acid reflux disease (GERD) symptoms and treatments – Heartburn remedies

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.

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When Heartburn Might Be Serious

If the symptoms of indigestion last more than five minutes or are intermittent and especially if the indigestion is associated with nausea or vomiting or heavy sweating Dr. Williams advises to go straight to the ER.

Unfortunately for women, many never experience warning symptoms before their first heart attack, she says. Their first symptom indigestion is their heart attack. On average women wait 2½ hours before seeking medical help. A lot of muscle can die in that time.

Women and men also should understand their risks for developing coronary artery disease: age, high blood pressure, and elevated blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Although smoking increases the risk of heart disease for both genders, women who light up are more likely to suffer a heart attack than men who smoke, Dr. Williams says.

How Is Heartburn Treated

If you have uncomplicated heartburn from acid reflux, your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter or prescription medicines. These include common antacids such as Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, or Tums. Your doctor may also prescribe more powerful medications called proton pump inhibitors, such as Aciphex, Nexium, Prilosec, and Protonix. These medicines are considered very effective and help heal the esophageal lining. Other drugs like Tagamet and Pepcid reduce acid production, while still others like Reglan help empty the stomach.

Lifestyle modification, such as cutting down on foods that trigger your heartburn, can help. So can avoiding heavy meals, not eating a big meal within two hours of bedtime, and not lying down soon after a meal. Stress reduction may help reduce heartburn incidents. If you smoke, you should quit, as it can be a heartburn trigger.

If you get exercise-induced heartburn, “try to exercise on a relatively empty stomach,” Katz says. Take medication for heartburn before your workout.

If none of those steps help enough, surgery can help. Surgery can be done to strengthen the LES muscle or to repair the hiatal hernia.

Show Sources

Phil Katz, MD, president-elect of the American College of Gastroenterology,clinical professor of medicine, Jefferson Medical College, and chair ofgastroenterology at Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia.

Glenn Eisen, MD, MPH, professor of medicine and director of endoscopy,Oregon Health and Science University, Portland.

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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.

Other Causes Of Chest Pain

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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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.

Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Heart Disease

Heart disease often develops over time. You may have early signs or symptoms long before you have serious heart problems. Or, you may not realize you are developing heart disease. The warning signs of heart disease may not be obvious. Also, not every person has the same symptoms.

Certain symptoms, such as chest pain, ankle swelling, and shortness of breath may be signals that something is wrong. Learning the warning signs can help you get treatment and help prevent a heart attack or stroke.

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If You Believe You Are Having A Heart Attack Call 9

Not all of these warning signs occur in every attack. If you experience heart attack symptoms, or recognize these symptoms in another, call 9-1-1 immediately. Remember seconds count, so dont delay. Heart attacks can mimic simple health conditions such as indigestion, panic attack, respiratory infection or sports injury.

Simple Causes Of Chest Pain

Acid Reflux & Heartburn : Symptoms of GERD & Chest Pain
  • Burping, belching, heartburn, nausea and a sour taste in the mouth usually accompany indigestion
  • Heart palpitations usually accompany a panic attack, shortness of breath and anxiety
  • Chest-wall or muscle pain from exercise or injury can be made worse when the sore area is pressed with a finger
  • Breathing pain of respiratory infections can be made worse by coughing and deep breathing
  • Its important to know that any of these symptoms also can be present with a heart attack. Do not assume that you are just having indigestion or a panic attack. Get medical help right away.

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Heartburn Or Heart Attack

What does heartburn have to do with your heart? Nothing, actually!

Despite its name, heartburn or acid indigestion is related to your esophagus. But because the esophagus and heart are located near each other, either one can cause chest pain which is why many people mistake heart burn for angina and vice versa.