9 Serious Conditions That Mimic Heartburn

Prior to moving in 2011 to Katy, Texas, Dr. Sunew practiced interventional cardiology for ten years in northern Virginia. He held many leadership roles with the Inova Health System, including Medical Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Inova Alexandria Hospital and Chairman of the Inova Cardiology Quality Steering Committee. He was also Regional Leader for northern Virginia in the Virginia Heart Attack Coalition. In addition, Dr. Sunew served as Assistant Professor for the Department of Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine Inova Campus. He was also involved in several clinical research trials and academic publications.

In addition to heartburn, acid reflux can cause pressure or tightness in the chest, with pain that can range from dull to excruciating. In some cases, these symptoms may be impossible to distinguish from those of a heart attack or cardiac chest pain, which is why evaluation by a more info here doctor is so important. When such symptoms are not due to a heart problem, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is the most common contributing factor. GERD can lead to chest pain and pressure through its effect on the esophagus – and in some people, the windpipe and lungs.

GERD-related chest symptoms may manifest as a squeezing or burning pain below the sternum, which may radiate to the back, neck, arms and jaws, mimicking cardiac chest pain. Exactly how GERD causes chest pain isn’t well understood. Exposure to gastric acids may sensitize nerves around the digestive tract, triggering pain signals in response to otherwise normal stimuli. Other possibilities are that exposure to acids trigger chest pain by causing the esophageal muscles to contract, or by causing the esophagus itself to go into spasm, though there is some controversy about the latter as a cause.

Dr. Mehta was born in Winnipeg, Canada. He grew up in Houston and is a graduate of Memorial High School. He attended The University of Texas at Austin where he received a Bachelors of Arts in Biology and was on the Dean’s List. He continued his medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and residency in Internal Medicine at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. He then completed his training in Cardiology at the Medical College of Georgia, where he was trained in specialized invasive procedures and diagnostic imaging. He joined Memorial Katy Cardiology Associates in 1998.

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