Header Graphic


  Can Heartburn Cause Chest Pain?

Wondering where that chest pain came from... after all, you only ate a big meal? Most people would say that you have heartburn, but it could also be a sign of a heart attack. It's funny that the word heartburn gets thrown around so losely nowadays, but I think it has to do a ton with the epidemic of reflux which the world is experiencing.

Heartburn in itself is a symptom of acid reflux. It often occurs after bending over, laying down, or after eating a large meal combined with a loose LES. The stomach produces the acid in order to break down and digest the food but somewhere in the process this food travels back up instead of down causing a lot of pain and discomfort in the chest area.

heartburnThe LES or lower esophageal sphincter acts as a valve and it is suppose to allow the food to travel down and keep everything from coming up. There are many factors that can trigger its being loosened such as the consumption of sugar, caffeine, acidic foods and throwing up. There is a large population out there which uses vomiting in order to stay skinny but the effects of that can be very harmful.

As the stomach acid travels back into the throat, the pain that you feel is what is called heartburn. This can cause chest pain but is not the only reason that you might be experiencing the pain.

What Else Can Cause Chest Pain?

There are other digestive problems such as a muscle spasm happening within the esophagus which can give the same amount of pain. A pain coming from a gallbladder attack may also easily spread upwards to the chest. That pain can come along with nausea, and a travel to your arms, neck and shoulders.

It Could Also Be The Heart!

Many times I have read that most often if it hurts it is not a heart attack. For some reason, many people have had these without even knowing it and it is often called the silent killer. Not always the case though.

Warning signs:

  • Tightness or pressure in the chest when working out or under extreme emotional stress 
  • Pain or numbness spreading through the upper body, especially focusing on the left arm 
  • Shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, nausea along with chest discomfort 
  • Hard, focused pain in the chest area that last more than a few minutes. 

If you currently take medication to curb your heartburn than you already know what the regular heartburn pain feels like. Most often the regular symptoms will come due to stress, overeating, during the night or when exercising. If anything about them seems different or out of the ordinary and contains the before mentioned warning signs... contact a doctor. There are many factors at play here, and sometimes it is hard to evaluate what is really happening. Many people that have chosen to perform self diagnosis are not around anymore for that exact reason. Don't be that person and get the correct diagnosis and treatments performed.

It could save your life!