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Signs And Symptoms Of Heartburn

Learn How It Differs From A Heart Attack

General Medical Information : Common Symptoms of GERD Heartburn

Have you been experiencing significant discomfort or pain in your chest? Has this pain affected your daily routines and overall quality of life? You may be experiencing severe or persistent heartburn, which often occurs two times a week or more.

Its important to manage severe heartburn, as the impact on your health can be serious. When your esophagus or throat is regularly exposed to stomach acid, it can cause pain, throat ulcers, and tissue abnormalities.1 This could affect your ability to swallow, breathe, and even speak. Unmanaged, this damage could increase your risk of developing certain types of cancers.

Since these severe heartburn symptoms are experienced in the same region as symptoms experienced during a heart attack, it’s crucial to understand the difference between the two.2 Heartburn pain tends to be felt in the center of your chest, while heart attack pain may be slightly to the left of your heart. It can radiate through your back, neck, jaw, shoulders, and/or down your arms . Heartburn sufferers often describe their symptoms as a series of sharp chest pains, while victims of a heart attack tend to describe the feeling as a dull heaviness.

If you’re uncertain whether you’re experiencing heartburn or a heart attack, speak to a medical professional right away.2 Additionally, if you find that your heartburn is more frequent , you may want to consult your doctor about trying a proton pump inhibitor like Nexium 24HR.

References

What Can Trigger Heartburn

Heartburn can be triggered by many different things that are a part of your daily life. For many people, heartburn can be caused by certain eating and lifestyle habits. These habits can involve things like eating large portions of food, eating too close to bedtime or even having high stress levels.

Certain foods and drinks can also trigger heartburn for some people. Some foods and drinks that could trigger your heartburn can include:

  • Onions.
  • Caffeinated beverages.
  • Carbonated beverages.

Your lifestyle habits can also play a part in why you might experience heartburn. These everyday factors often contribute to medical conditions that cause heartburn, like GERD or hiatal hernia. Some lifestyle habits that can trigger your heartburn include:

  • Being overweight.
  • Having a high stress level.
  • Wearing tight clothes and belts.

What Is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is when someone has reflux more than twice a week. It’s a more serious condition than GER. Doctors usually treat it with medicine.

GERD can be a problem if it’s not treated because, over time, the reflux of stomach acid damages the tissue lining the esophagus, causing inflammation and pain. In adults, long-lasting, untreated GERD can lead to permanent damage of the esophagus.

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Signs Of Hyperacidity And Heartburn

  • In hyperacidity and heartburn, there is the feeling of discomfort, burning or pain in the upper abdomen a few hours after a meal. Usually, the discomfort is accompanied by frequent release of gas as well as a painful sensation in the chest area. These occur due to the presence of excess acids in the stomach, even after food has been digested.
  • A decrease in the appetite is also fairly common.
  • Heaviness and abdominal bloating are also seen.
  • Other accompanying features are nausea and vomiting. A person may lack the desire to eat. When he drinks water, it commonly results in a sensation of wanting to vomit. A person may also feel nauseous a few minutes after eating.
  • There is sour belching. Usually, the belching has the aftertaste of the food eaten. One may suffer from indigestion or constipation.

Did You Know Heartburn Is Not The Only Symptom Of Gerd

Probiotics for Heartburn

Chronic heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD. Acid regurgitation is another common symptom. But numerous less common symptoms other than heartburn may be associated with GERD. These may include:

  • Belching
  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Waterbrash
  • Dysphagia
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Erosion of the enamel of the teeth
  • Chronic irritation in the throat
  • Hoarseness in the morning
  • A sour taste
  • Bad breath

Chest pain may indicate acid reflux. Nevertheless, this kind of pain or discomfort should prompt urgent medical evaluation. Possible heart conditions must always be excluded first.

Relief of symptoms after a two-week trial therapy with a proton pump inhibitor is an indication that GERD is the cause. This can also be confirmed with pH monitoring, which measures the level of acid refluxing into the esophagus and as high as the larynx.

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Is Indigestion A Sign Of A Heart Attack

Angina is an early warning sign that your arteries are narrowing. Its primary symptom is chest pain so the first time you experience it, you may think youre having a heart attack.

Angina starts on exertion, but fades quickly with rest, says Dr Archbold. If your symptoms started when you were sitting still, dont reduce when you rest or dont stop after youve used your normal angina treatment, call an ambulance.

Indigestion also has very similar symptoms to a heart attack and may be the cause of your chest pain, particularly if youve had a very large or spicy meal in the hour before symptoms start. Even doctors cant always tell the difference without doing an EEG or a blood test, but its better to be safe than sorry, says Dr Archbold.

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:

  • antacids
  • 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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Heartburn Or Heart Attack: Seeking Help

When it comes to chest pain, it is always best to be cautious. If your symptoms are severe or are worrying you for any reason, seek medical attention. It is better to be told by a doctor that you are not having a heart attack than to ignore symptoms and let your condition worsen. This especially applies to women, as they have an increased risk of heart disease.

While heart attacks and heartburn are two very different conditions, many people confuse them due to their similar symptoms. If you are experiencing discomfort in your chest and arent sure of the cause, the best course of action is always to seek medical attention. While heartburn is not serious and can subside without the use of medication, heart attacks can be fatal and cause lasting damage. It is important to seek treatment if you believe there is even the slightest chance that your chest pain is being caused by a heart attack.

What Does Heartburn Look Like

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

Acid reflux is when the acid that is normally in the stomach backs up into the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. A small amount of acid reflux is normal. If the reflux happens frequently, it can give the sensation of heartburn as a result of irritation to the esophageal lining.

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Do Heart Attacks And Heartburn Feel Similar

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.

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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 patient’s 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 Else Should I Know

Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce or even stop uncomfortable GERD symptoms. Untreated GERD can cause permanent damage to the esophagus.

You’ll probably find that one of the simplest ways to make living with GERD easier is to avoid the things that trigger your symptoms. Some people will have to limit certain foods others may have to give them up entirely. It all depends on your symptoms.

It can be hard to give up sodas or favorite foods at first. But after a while, lots of people discover that they feel so much better that they don’t miss the problem foods as much as they thought they would.

What Is Gastroesophageal Reflux

Most Common Heartburn Causes &  Symptoms

Gastroesophageal reflux , also called reflux, is when food and acid from the stomach go back up into the esophagus. This causes an uncomfortable feeling in the chest, often called heartburn.

With GER, reflux happens after nearly every meal and causes noticeable discomfort. After eating, people with GER feel a burning sensation in the chest, neck, and throat.

While it’s more common in adults, kids, teens, and even babies can have gastroesophageal reflux.

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Is It Simple Heartburn Or Is It Gerd

Nearly everyone has heartburn now and then. But heartburn is also the most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease , so talk to your doctor if:

  • Your heartburn happens 2 or more times a week
  • Your heartburn gets worse
  • Your heartburn happens at night and wakes you from sleep
  • Youve had heartburn now and then, but for several years
  • You have difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Your discomfort or pain interferes with your daily activities

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.

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Symptoms And Characteristics Of Gerd

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a very common disorder. Gastroesophageal refers to the stomach and the esophagus. Reflux refers to the back-flow of acidic or non-acidic stomach contents into the esophagus. There is no known single cause of GERD. It occurs when the esophageal defenses are overwhelmed by stomach contents that reflux into the esophagus.

A band of muscles at the junction of the stomach and esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter normally acts, in conjunction with the diaphragm, as a barrier to prevent reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus. If that barrier is relaxed at inappropriate times or is otherwise compromised, reflux occurs.

GERD is characterized by symptoms and/or tissue damage that results from repeated or prolonged exposure of the lining of the esophagus to contents from the stomach. If tissue damage is present, the individual is said to have esophagitis or erosive GERD. The presence of symptoms with no evident tissue damage is referred to as non-erosive GERD.

GERD symptoms are often persistent, such as chronic heartburn and regurgitation of acid. But sometimes there are no apparent symptoms, and the presence of GERD is revealed when complications become evident.

Symptoms of GERD vary from person to person. The majority of people with GERD have mild symptoms, with no visible evidence of tissue damage and little risk of developing complications.

The Symptoms Of These Two Health Problems May Overlap And Sometimes So Do The Treatments

Medical Symptoms : Symptoms of Heartburn

During your regular after-dinner walk around the neighborhood, you feel a painful sensation in the center of your chest. Could it be your heartburn flaring up again, or something more serious?

Heartburn is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease , often called acid reflux. Acid from the stomach bubbles up into the esophagus, causing a painful burning just behind the breastbone. Not surprisingly, its often mistaken for a heart attack. In fact, of the over eight million emergency room visits for chest pain each year, severe heartburn accounts for over half the cases in which actual heart problems are ruled out.

Chest pain caused by insufficient blood flow to the heart or a heart attack is often described as a feeling of tightness, constriction, or pressure, rather than a burning sensation . But its not always easy to tell the difference. Chest discomfort brought on by exercise is more likely to be a heart-related problem, says Dr. Michelle ODonoghue, cardiovascular specialist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Womens Hospital. But you can also have angina thats not related to physical activity, she notes. If you have any symptoms youre not sure about, see a doctor. And call 911 if you feel chest tightness, have trouble breathing, break into a sweat, turn pale, or become very weak.

GERD and heart disease are both common, and many people take medications to prevent or treat both conditions.

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Spasm Of The Esophagus

The esophagus is the muscular tube that passes behind the heart, and carries food, liquid, and saliva from the mouth to the stomach. In a condition called diffuse esophageal spasm , the tube contracts uncontrollably, causing trouble swallowing and chest pain.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: dry cough, deep chest pain, behind the breast bone, heartburn, trouble swallowing, burning chest pain

Symptoms that never occur with spasm of the esophagus: shortness of breath

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Chest Tightness Or Pain

Some people with heartburn experience chest pains or chest tightness, not simply a burning sensation in the chest. The first step is to make sure its not from cardiac issues, Dr. Gyawali cautions. Cardiac disease can be deadly, while esophageal reflux symptoms are mostly an annoyance. If you have heart issues and heartburn, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two.

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Heartburn: Common Signs And Symptoms Of Early Pregnancy

Heartburn common signs and symptoms of early pregnancy Common heartburn symptoms

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When Should I Call My Doctor About My Heartburn

Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and GERD: Symptoms, Causes and ...

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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Heartburn Vs Heart Attack Symptoms

Chest pain is one of the most common reasons to go to the emergency room. While many of these people are having angina or a heart attack, some folks may have severe heartburn.

Often, the pain from angina, a heart attack, or a severe heartburn episode are so hard to tell apart that doctors need sophisticated tests to figure out what’s going on.

To complicate things even more, angina/heart disease and heartburn share risk factors of being older or overweight.

Signs more typical of heartburn include:

  • You have a sharp, burning feeling just below your breastbone or ribs.The chest pain can be accompanied by an acidic taste in your mouth, regurgitation of food, or a burning in your throat.
  • Pain generally doesn’t spread to your shoulders, neck, or arms, but it can.
  • Pain usually comes after meals, particularly after foods or drinks that trigger reflux in you.
  • Pain also comes when you lie down or exercise on a full stomach.
  • Symptoms usually get better quickly after taking an antacid.
  • You rarely get a cold sweat or shortness of breath along with your other symptoms.

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