When stomach acid seeps from stomach up into the esophagus, it results in acid reflux causing heartburn. The triggers for heartburn varies from person to person. But most of the people experience similar heartburn symptoms.
Symptoms of heartburn include the following:
- Feeling of burning sensation in the chest behind the breastbone which occurs after eating. It lasts from a few minutes to several hours.
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Burning feeling in the throat or experiencing sour, hot, acidic or salty tasting fluid at the back of the throat.
- Chest pain particularly after lying down, eating or bending over. For any unexplained chest pain, consult your doctor immediately. Unless your doctor tells, don’t presume it to be heartburn.
- Experiencing sore throat, chronic cough or chronic hoarseness
- Feeling of food being stuck in the middle of throat or chest.
In order to help your doctor to make a diagnosis of heartburn, reporting these symptoms would be enough. But for determining the severity of your problem, your doctor will have to perform special tests. Also these tests aid to monitor your treatment. If you are experiencing certain unusual symptoms like weight loss or severe acid reflux, then the special tests are a must.
Is it Heart attack or Heartburn?
One of the most common reasons that make a person go to the emergency room is the chest pain. While most of these people may be suffering from a heart attack, but some may be experiencing severe heartburn. It is often difficult to distinguish the pain due to a heart attack and the one during a severe heartburn. Hence sophisticated medical testing is a must in order to determine whether or not you are having a heart attack. Making matters even more worse, both the problems have many of the same symptoms and also occur in people of similar type i.e. overweight and old age people.
Typical heartburn symptoms include the following:
- Heartburn is rarely accompanied by a cold sweat.
- Symptoms of heartburn show quick response to antacids.
- Pain generally does not spread to the neck, shoulders or arms.
- You will experience a sharp burning feeling below the ribs or the breastbone.
- Pain often comes after meals, when exercising, when lying down or when feeling anxious.
Typical heart attack symptoms include the following:
- You will experience a feeling of belt tightening around your chest
- A feeling of tightness, fullness or dull pressure or pain in the center of the chest.
- Dizzy feeling
- Sudden pressure or chest pain that worsens.
- Pain radiates to neck, jaw, shoulders or arms
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweat accompanies pain
- Pain shows response to nitroglycerin
- Light headedness
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any pain that lasts for more than a few minutes or any kind of signs of heart attack. Also consult a doctor immediately even if you have any confusion about your symptoms being due to either heart attack or heart burn.