Heartburn vs. heart attack

A properly working LES protects the esophagus from the acid in your stomach by keeping the pathway between them clenched shut. Other possible problems caused by acid back-up include inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis), throat, voice box, and airways. Most cases of gastroesophageal reflux disease get better with lifestyle modifications, antacids, or prescription drugs.

If you have overindulged or eaten greasy or spicy foods, you may experience a scorching feeling in your chest. This could be heartburn, which is a symptom of acid reflux and is caused by GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Shortness of breath from heart failure usually happens gradually over a long period of time. Sudden shortness of breath, even without chest pain, can mean a heart attack. There are usually other symptoms with a heart attack, such as nausea, sweating, and lightheadedness, but sudden shortness of breath is an emergency, even when there are no other symptoms.

Although, “heartburn can be due to heart problems and should be checked by an ER or local doctor,” she adds. The link between acid reflux and asthma, a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs, is well-established.

Endoscopy procedure is performed on a patient to examine the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum; and look for causes of symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, or intestinal bleeding. Another therapeutic approach is to test for Helicobacter pylori infection of the stomach (with blood, breath or stool tests) and to treat patients with infection to eradicate the infection. It may be necessary to retest patients after treatment to prove that treatment has effectively eradicated the infection, particularly if dyspeptic symptoms persist after treatment. For a patient with typical symptoms of dyspepsia who requires testing to exclude other diseases, a standard screening panel of blood tests would reasonably be included.

Education prepares patients for a potentially prolonged course of diagnosis and trials of treatment. Education also may prevent patients from falling prey to the charlatans who offer unproven and possibly dangerous treatments for indigestion. Many symptoms are tolerable if patients’ anxieties about the seriousness of their symptoms can be relieved. It also helps patients deal with symptoms when they feel that everything that should be done to diagnose and treat, in fact, is being done.

GERD is the back up of stomach acid into the esophagus. Indigestion (dyspepsia) is a functional disease in which the gastrointestinal (GI) organs, primarily the stomach and first part of the small intestine (and occasionally the esophagus), function abnormally. It

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. “I usually recommend PPIs for people who are taking long-term aspirin or clopidogrel if they have ever had a bleeding stomach ulcer or are at high risk of developing one,” says Dr. O’Donoghue. Factors that can boost your odds include an infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria and routine use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox, others).

Your doctor may perform an EKG or stress test. They may also draw blood for tests to rule out heart disease as the underlying cause if you don’t have a prior history of GERD.

talking to your doctor about changing medications to ones that might not aggravate your GERD symptoms (do not stop taking any medication without first consulting your doctor). Merck and Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA (known as MSD outside of the US and Canada) is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. From developing new therapies that treat and prevent disease to helping people in need, we are committed to improving health and well-being around the world.

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