Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD) Vs. Heart Attack

Heartburn is a burning pain in your chest, just behind your breastbone. Antacids: First-line treatments for acid reflux are usually antacids. These medicines act quickly to reduce the effect of stomach acid, which can relieve symptoms. Examples of these medicines are Tums and Rolaids. Seek immediate help if you experience severe chest pain or pressure, especially when combined with other signs and symptoms such as pain in the arm or jaw or difficulty breathing. Chest pain may be a symptom of a heart attack. If your throat tends to ache only after meals, you may have heartburn. Unlike with a cold or the flu, however, this type of sore throat can also be chronic. If you don’t develop other symptoms, such as sniffling or sneezing, consider acid reflux.

If you’re having chest pain, check with your doctor to make sure you’re not having a heart attack, says Walter J. Coyle, MD, gastroenterologist with Scripps Clinic Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif. The most common symptom of heart attack for both men and women is chest pain or discomfort. But women are more likely than men to experience some of the other symptoms, such as jaw or back pain, shortness of breath, and nausea or vomiting. Heart problems are more common among people who have high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol. Smoking and being overweight are other risk factors.

If you have persistent chest pain and you aren’t sure it’s heartburn, call 911 or emergency medical help. Frequent acid reflux may indicate gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic, more severe form of acid reflux that can lead to serious health complications if it goes untreated. Talk to your child’s pediatrician if you think your child is experiencing GERD. Untreated symptoms can cause permanent esophagus damage. From babies to teenagers, children of all ages can experience GERD. About one-fourth of all children and teenagers experience symptoms of GERD.

The acid can also cause a change in the cells in the esophagus over time. This is called Barrett’s esophagus About 10 to 15 percent of people with GERD will develop this condition. Barrett’s esophagus increases your risk for a type of esophageal cancer known as adenocarcinoma. Experts believe check out your url that most cases of this type of esophageal cancer start from cells within Barrett’s tissue. pH monitoring can check for acid in your esophagus. The doctor inserts a device into your esophagus and leaves it in place for 1 to 2 days to measure the amount of acid in your esophagus.

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