Is it acid reflux or heart attack? If you’ve ever experienced the painful chest symptoms of acid reflux, also known as heartburn, you know that sometimes the pains can make you wonder if you’re having a heart attack. Acid reflux disease occurs when stomach acids back up into the esophagus creating burning, spasms, and sometimes radiating pains throughout the entire chest, throat, and extending into the arms. The pains can mimic those of a heart attack so it’s a good idea to know how to differentiate between the two.
To determine whether its acid reflux or heart attack check to see if you are sweaty, having palpitations or shortness of breath while experiencing acid reflux symptoms.
If any of these symptoms occur at the same time you are having acid reflux disease symptoms, seek medical attention. They may indicate the presence of heart-related problems.
Observe at what time acid reflux pains are occurring. If you experience burning pains, belching, bloated feelings, or other acid reflux symptoms during or immediately after eating, most likely these symptoms are related to the acid reflux. Generally chest and throat pains after a large meal are not heart-related, although this is not fool proof and a general guideline only.
Check for the classic symptom of acid reflux disease, which is burning that starts at the upper stomach and under the breastbone, and extends upward to the throat. If the discomfort can rapidly be relieved by ingesting an antacid, this usually rules out heart attack.
Place an elevated acid reflux pillow under your upper torso when sleeping or relaxing, or raise the head of the bed to allow gravity to assist your body in removing excess stomach acids that may seep upward into the esophagus. This should relieve many symptoms of acid reflux disease. However, changes in diet and eating habits are essential. Prolonged periods of acid reflux can eat away the inside of the esophagus.
If chest pains persist for more than a few minutes in spite of these efforts, especially in combination with excessive sweating, palpitations, shortness of breath, squeezing or fullness in the chest, lightheadedness or irregular heart rate, call 911 for emergency treatment.
Pay attention to what your body is saying and never disregard symptoms of acid reflux disease. Although rarely fatal, severe and persistent acid reflux can lead to other more serious conditions. Acid reflux must be addressed naturally for good overall health, and drugs are not the answer.
If you have taken preventive measures for symptoms of acid reflux disease and chest pains persist contact your health care professional.
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