Heartburn vs. heart attack

What’s the best thing to do if you have chest pain and you’re not sure what’s causing it?

Moderate to more severe heartburn disease may require histamine receptor antagonists (H2 blockers like Pepcid or Zantac), protein pump inhibitors (PPIs) that reduce stomach acid production, for example, esomeprazole (Nexium) or omeprazole (Prilosec), or even surgery (fundoplication). Heartburn pain usually responds quickly to antacids and/or belching, whereas heart attack pain usually does not respond to oral antacids. This comparison of differences between heartburn and heart attack are not 100% specific, and only serve to help you differentiate the two conditions to some extent.

The vast majority of the remaining patients have visceral or esophageal hypersensitivity. The best test for detecting this condition is a balloon distention test. A small balloon is inserted into the esophagus and distended. At a particular level of balloon distention, the patient will feel a sensation. If the balloon is distended further, the patient will feel discomfort.

If you appear stable she will then ask you many questions (take a careful history looking for any risk factors) and do a physical exam. Atypical chest pain associated with panic disorder is unique in some ways, but you always want to err on the side of caution.

Symptoms of Pericarditis:

This helps food and acid pass through the stomach instead of backing up into the esophagus. Heartburn and GERD may make you feel like it’s difficult to swallow or you may feel a tightness in the throat, as if food is stuck in your throat or esophagus. GERD and heartburn cause the same symptoms, though GERD may have additional symptoms.

Don’t drive yourself to the emergency room if you think you’re having a heart attack. Call an ambulance or, if an ambulance can’t come immediately, have someone drive you to the emergency room. Chest pain that isn’t relieved with medicine, happens with less activity, or happens at rest when it used to come when you did activity.

Because the esophagus and heart are located near each other, many people consider pain in that region as a sign of either heartburn or a heart attack. However, individuals may often not know how to tell heartburn from a heart attack. Heartburn (acid reflux) is a symptom, and usually feels like a burning sensation in the chest, under the sternum, and in the esophagus that can extend to the neck, throat, and/or face. Heartburn often is caused by a malfunction in the esophageal sphincter muscle (a muscular valve located between the stomach and the esophagus), which causes regurgitation (reverse flow) of acid from the stomach into the esophagus. Warning signs of a heart attack often is pain in the chest that spreads to the shoulders, neck, or arms.

Don’t wait. Many of the causes of pain discussed above are treatable with urgent medical treatment. Symptoms of heart disease in women are often atypical and vague, which is felt to be responsible for the higher death rate for women who have a heart attack. Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage around the breastbone. This inflammation can cause tenderness and sharp chest pain that may feel similar to the pain of a heart attack.

  • Esophagus muscle problems include uncoordinated muscle contractions (esophageal spasm), high-pressure contractions or squeezing of the esophagus (nutcracker esophagus), and missing contractions caused by nerve loss (achalasia).
  • Your health-care professional may be able to diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease just by the symptoms you report.
  • Call an ambulance or, if an ambulance can’t come immediately, have someone drive you to the emergency room.

It is almost impossible to tell the difference between the symptoms of heartburn and heart attack for many people, especially if they experience symptoms of either for the first time. However, some people who have suffered from repeated episodes of heartburn, or have survived a heart attack, often can tell the difference between the two conditions simply by theirs symptoms, some of which are listed. SR I try to use a mechanism-based approach for diagnosing and managing esophageal chest pain. If the mechanism is identified as reflux disease, patients are treated aggressively with proton pump inhibitors, which are very effective.

Reduce your stress levels. Stress makes reflux worse.

Heartburn and Indigestion During Pregnancy

Chest pain can be serious. It may be caused by temporary poor blood flow to the heart (angina), or by a sudden blockage in the coronary arteries resulting in a heart attack. Symptoms are usually experienced after eating and are most often triggered by fried, fatty foods, tomato products, citrus fruits and juices, chocolate and anything containing caffeine.

The name says it all. These drugs block the biochemical process that creates acid in the stomach. Less acid in the stomach means less acid available for back-up into the esophagus. Some examples are cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), and famotidine (Pepcid).

can indigestion cause chest and shoulder pain

After a while, it seemed to hurt all the way through my body to my chest with that same soreness and knot feeling. My symptoms were not related to exertion. When I went to the hospital, I had to have emergency open heart surgery for a triple bypass. Like most women I know, I thought very little about heart disease, even though it is our #1 killer each year.

There are also certain diagnostics and physical findings that may point to one condition or the other. November 20-26 is GERD Awareness Week, and Tennova Healthcare is taking the opportunity to educate the community on the overlapping symptoms of acid reflux, GERD and angina, and steps you should take to address chest discomfort. Heart Disease SlideshowHeart disease prevention includes controlling risk factors like diet, exercise, and stress. Heart disease symptoms in women may differ from men. Use a heart disease risk calculator to determine your heart attack risk.

can indigestion cause chest and shoulder pain

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