Although heartburn and heart disease are not related, many of the symptoms of heartburn are similar to those experienced during a heart attack. Severe heartburn that does not respond to over the counter heartburn medicines is cause for concern for many reasons.
Chest pain is one of the major symptoms of a heart attack. While heartburn and heart disease are not related, many people feel burning in the center of their chest during heartburn. Most people have heartburn occasionally. If your heartburn seems worse than usual or if you feel pain in your chest that you would describe as squeezing or crushing, it is always best to err on the side of caution. An unnecessary visit to the emergency room is better than delaying.
Other symptoms of heart attack that are not typically associated with heartburn include shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and sweating. If you have these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. Chronic heartburn that does not respond to over the counter heartburn medicines should be evaluated by your physician. Although there is no link between heartburn and heart disease, chronic heartburn can be a symptom of a more serious condition and heartburn that is untreated can lead to more serious conditions involving the esophagus.
One of the major differences between heartburn and heart disease is that even though it is called heartburn, it has nothing to do with your heart. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid that is normally confined to the stomach by muscles in the esophagus flows back up into the esophagus. You may feel the burning sensation in your stomach, the center of your chest or the back of your throat. Most over the counter heartburn medicines are designed for occasional use and should relieve the burning sensation. Over the counter heartburn medicines neutralize the acid.
Heartburn is commonly accompanied by indigestion or gas and over the counter heartburn medicines are designed to relieve discomfort associated with bloating or gas, as well as indigestion and heartburn. Most prescription heartburn medicines are designed to prevent heartburn and are taken on a daily basis for a month or longer depending on the individual. Over the counter heartburn medicines have few side effects, but whenever you take any product you should read the label carefully, be aware of possible allergic reactions or drug interactions. Prescription heartburn medicines have many side effects, as most drugs do, and should not be used by persons with certain other medical conditions. Your doctor, your pharmacist and the package insert will all help you decide if a prescription heartburn medicine is right for you and if so, which one. There are several.
Even though heartburn and heart disease are unrelated, there are certain heart medications that may increase your risk of heartburn problems. Always remember to advise your doctor about any medications that you are taking.
For more information about heartburn and other common digestive complaints, visit www.digestive-disorders-guide.com.