You Have Sharp Chest Pain
Clearly, chest pain is a telltale sign of heartburnbut it can also be a sign of a heart attack. In fact, many people mistake heartburn for a heart attack. While you definitely shouldnt diagnose yourself, there are a few ways to tell if your chest pain is heart attack or heartburn related.
In heart-related chest pain, for example, the pain will feel more like a tightness or pressure in your chest, and may spread to the back, neck, jaw, or arms. Its also often associated with sweating, dizziness, nausea, difficulty breathing, or an irregular pulse. Heartburn-related chest pain, on the other hand, is typically a sharper pain that may be precipitated by eating a fatty or spicy meal and is affected by change in position .
Still, if youre having chest pain and youre worried, check with your doctor just to rule out a heart attack, says Walter J. Coyle, MD, gastroenterologist with Scripps Clinic Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California.
How Does Heartburn Feel Like
The feeling of heartburn
A burning sensation behind your breastbone in your chest center is how many describe heartburn. Some folks say it is a burning feeling, but for others, it seems like pain, unease, or distress that may start in your abdomen or stretch up to your throat. Irrespective of how you explain it, however, the one crucial point to understand. The burning feeling is a mere symptom pointing to something else that may be wrong in your body. Identifying the root cause of the reason behind your symptoms is the key to finding permanent relief.
Heartburn describes a set of symptoms caused by the reflux of stomach acid up into the esophagus . Its a burning sensation. You may feel it high in the abdomen or just below the base of the breastbone. Heartburn does not come from the heart but the stomach and esophagus.
Heartburn often begins following a meal when there is lots of acidity in the stomach. It may also happen if you are bending over or lying down as gravity pulls acid from the stomach to the esophagus. It can be so irritating that it can wake you from sleep. The burning sensation can last minutes or more and can usually be relieved temporarily by swallowing antacids.
Viral Or Bacterial Infection
Everyone has experienced a sore throat, a painful inflammation of the back part of the throat, at some point in their lives, with the most common cause being a virus. In addition to a burning, itchy, or raw throat, especially when swallowing, someone with a viral infection of the throat may also experience a cough, runny nose, hoarseness, and/or diarrhea .
Antibiotics dont work against viruses, so treating the symptoms with rest, over-the-counter pain meds, saltwater gargles, and throat lozenges or anesthetic throat sprays is the recommended course of action.
Less commonly, the cause of an infection is bacterial, and this is called strep throat. It requires a trip to your doctor for an antibiotic, since if left untreated it can spread and lead to serious complications like rheumatic fever, scarlet fever, and kidney inflammation.
Other signs and symptoms of strep throat often include:
- Swollen and tender lymph nodes in the neck
- White patches on the tonsils
- Body aches
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Heartburn Vs Angina Pectoris
Angina is basically described as chest pain, which appears as the result of lack of blood flowing to your heart and can actually feel a lot like heartburn. However, you are more likely to experience pain from angina after physical activity or exposure to cold weather than after a meal, which is the case with heartburn.
Another difference can be seen in your bodys response to treatment. Signs of heartburn are usually alleviated when taking antacids, whereas angina is commonly treated with nitro-glycerine. If youve never felt any chest pain before, the best idea is to seek medical help as soon as possible when you do.
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Heartburn With Back Pain Relief
In order for you to reduce as much as possible all reflux-related symptoms, things to do are pretty much the same.
In fact, we now understand that upper and/or mid-back pain is just another possible symptom of the underlying disease.
Thats why you must not consider them as a separate symptom, because they are part of the same big series of symptoms you can control by working well on the right aspects.
Watch The Video To Learn How To Get Rid Of Heartburn & Reflux In 48 Hours Or Less!
Important: Keep watching it until the button appears!!!
So, you must work on the three pillars:
- eating habits
- lifestyle habits
- natural remedies, that are scientifically proven to work
To make things complete, we strongly invite you to read and check the last paragraph What To Do Next: youll find a collection of very detailed programs that show you how to combine everything and pick the best and most complete solution for your case.
For what concerns more specifically back pain, we want to suggest a few carefully selected and proven additional programs.
You can integrate them into your current program, even though they are not specifically designed for people who suffer from acid reflux and heartburn with back pain.
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That Sore Throat Could Be Caused By Acid Reflux
More than 60% of Americans experience acid reflux every month. If youve ever felt a burning sensation or felt as if there were a lump in your throat, chances are high that youve had acid reflux.
Its a common condition in which the acid in your stomach escapes and travels into your food tube, or esophagus. The highly acidic fluid irritates the lining of your esophagus and brings with it common symptoms like burning in the throat, hoarseness, and more. A common, but lesser-known, symptom of acid reflux is a sore throat. If you have a sore throat, you might think youre getting sick. But, the irritation that acid reflux causes can give you a sore throat.
Though acid reflux itself isnt life-threatening, it can lead to esophagus damage and discomfort. To learn more about the symptoms of acid reflux and get help finding a treatment plan for you, talk to Yadwinder Kang, MD at First Choice Urgent Care.
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Throwing Up Liquid In Your Mouth
When the volume of gastric content refluxing into the esophagus is high enough, a sensation of liquid coming up the chest can be felt, says Dr. Gyawali. Doctors call this acid regurgitation.” Basically, youll feel like you just threw up a little in your mouth. The liquid may be warm and have a sour, salty, or acidic taste. Some people also feel like they have something stuck in their throat or chest.
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Cardiac Pain That Isnt A Heart Attack
Cardiac pain, or angina, refers to discomfort in the chest because of something going on with the heart. The first thing a cardiologist will try to determine in a patient with cardiac pain is whether the pain is caused by clogged arteries.
Several conditions of the heart can cause cardiac pain but arent related to clogged arteries, including:
- Pericarditis: inflammation of the two thin layers of tissue that surround the heart
- Dissection: when the aorta splits and causes severe chest and back pain
- Myocarditis: inflammation of the heart muscle
- Cardiomyopathy: diseases of the heart muscle
Heartburn Vs Heart Attack
Sometimes, heartburn can come with very alarming signs that might make you think youre experiencing a heart attack. However, there are a few indicators thatll help you distinguish between the two and teach you what heartburn really feels like:
- time: heartburn usually appears after a meal, whereas a heart attack is generally not related to the food you eat
- taste: that sour acid taste in your mouth is caused by heartburn, and is not a symptom of a heart attack
- location: heartburn usually starts in the top part of the stomach and travels to the centre of your chest, while a heart attack is felt in the left part of your chest and can radiate to your back, neck, jaw, shoulders or down your arms
- type of pain: heartburn pain is often described as a series of sharp chest pains, whereas a heart attack commonly feels like a kind of heaviness coming over your body
- treatment: heartburn is normally relieved by antacids, which do not help with the symptoms of a heart attack.
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Preparing For Your Appointment
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic
You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:
- What are your main symptoms? Report any symptoms, such as abdominal pain, a change in bowel habits, or vomiting.
- How long have you had heartburn?
- Have you had this problem before? If so, do you know what caused the problem at that time? How was it treated? How did you respond to that treatment?
- Have you had any signs of bleeding from your digestive system?
- Have you had any difficulty swallowing when you eat or drink?
- How much tobacco do you use? How much alcohol do you drink? How much caffeine do you drink?
- Has your weight increased or decreased more than 5 lb recently?
- Have there been any changes in your diet? Are you eating certain foods more often?
- Have there been changes in your daily schedule, such as when you eat and when you go to bed?
- Are you taking any nonprescription or prescription medicines? Bring a list of all the medicines you are taking to your appointment.
- What home treatment measures have you tried? Did they help? Be sure to include lifestyle changes you have made.
- What nonprescription medicines have you taken or used to treat your heartburn? Did they help?
- Do you have any ?
It will be easier to make lifestyle changes if your family understands the reasons for the changes. Take a friend or family member to the appointment with you, and discuss diet and sleeping habits with your doctor.
Heartburn Is Painful But Manageable
Heartburn can be painful. Painful enough that its symptoms can be confused with the symptoms of a heart attack. But luckily, it can be dealt with as there are a number of medical treatments and natural remedies that can help turn the burning feeling in your chest. But that only happens if you seek treatment. And if it turns out not to be heartburn, the doctor might be able to help you stop a more serious health issue before it takes hold and causes more problems than you want to deal with.
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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:
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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Is Heartburn Normal
The acids in your stomach are quite normal. These acids help to digest your food. While your stomach has a protective lining that helps shield against these acids, the esophagus does not and is very sensitive to stomach acid.
Occasional heartburn is pretty common and happens about once a week for up to 20% of Americans.It can also be a sign of another medical issue or cause problems if you have acid reflux regularly or for a long time. If you have heartburn frequently, talk to your family doctor about it and whether Tagamet® tablets, other medications or lifestyle changes can help.
What Is Heartburn
Heartburn is an uncomfortable burning feeling in your chest that can move up your neck and throat. This can be a symptom of many different conditions, including acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease and even pregnancy.
When you are experiencing heartburn, you may also have a bitter or sour taste in the back of your throat. Heartburn can last from a few minutes to several hours. It often feels worse after you eat or when you lay down too quickly after eating.
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Can I Take Over
Nonprescription heartburn relievers, such as Tums® or Maalox®, can help you feel better. But talk to your healthcare provider before taking antacids. They may contain high sodium levels, which can cause you to retain water. Some also have aluminum in them, which isnt safe to consume during pregnancy. Your provider can recommend an antacid thats safe during pregnancy.
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.
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Telling The Difference Between A Heartburn & A Heart Attack
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Many people experience a feeling of burning in their lower esophagusclose to the entrance of their stomachbefore it moves up into the chest. That can be cause for concern, especially since heartburn is also a potential symptom of a heart attack.
If the pain is not relieved shortly after taking antacids, or is accompanied by these symptoms, seek emergency medical care:
- Squeezing/tightening in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Arm pain
Even if it is not a heart attack, it could be angina or another issue that needs to be addressed quickly.
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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 Exactly Is Heartburn Anyway
Heartburnor gastroesophageal reflux or acid refluxis a painful burning feeling in your chest or your throat, according to the US National Library of Medicine .
Basically, heartburn happens when your esophagus relaxes too much and stomach acid comes back up into your esophagus, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . It can be managed by making changes to your diet, like cutting back on coffee and alcohol, or through medications.
Having heartburn every once in a while, like after a spicy meal or taking a nap too soon after eating, is normal but if it occurs more than twice a week for more than a few weeks, it’s time to see a doctorin that case, you could have gastroesophageal reflux disease , a chronic, sometimes damaging form of heartburn.
But GERD isn’t the only issue that is related to heartburn. Many other conditionssome even life-threateningcan mimic the feeling of heartburn. Here, nine other conditions that heartburn could be masquerading asand when to see your doctor about it.
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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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