View Full Version : Acid Reflux or Heart Attack?

07-13-2009, 05:23 PM
Hi all,

I'm sure this is a question that we've probably all asked ourselves at some point in dealing with our GERD, but I can never be sure if I'm just experiencing acid reflux, or if it's a heart attack. My acid flare-up symptoms are always slightly different, and so I find myself constantly thinking, "this time it really must be a heart attack." I have had EKGs and blood tests done within the past month which have shown nothing out of the ordinary, so at this point I am trying to reach out and gain some reassurance that others out there might be experiencing the same thing with their reflux. My current symptoms are as follows:

-typical lump in throat sensation
-gnawing pain in between shoulder blades (more towards left side)
-tingling down left arm
-pain on left side of chest and underarm
-discomfort/burning in center of chest

When I think of acid reflux, I think of simple heartburn as being the only symptom, but has anyone ever experienced these other symptoms with their acid reflux (pain between shoulder blades, tingling in arms, left-side chest pain)?

Thanks in advance for your input!

GERD & Anxiety

07-14-2009, 10:54 AM
Hi Chrissy, yes, all the things you mention are related to Acid Reflux, the only thing I question is the tingling in your arm. I have had pain so bad in my chest that I thought it was a heart attack. I get it quite often, especially if I have taken ibuprofen. When you get this pain, try to remember what you have eaten, or any meds you have taken. Acid Reflux is a REAL pain, sometime it happens to me when I haven't eaten, so go figure. I used to take Prevacid, but recently I switched to Prilosec, OTC. Just becareful what you eat, and know that the anxiety makes it worse.


07-14-2009, 11:47 AM
There is no need to continue being anxious about this question. Go to the local Emergency Room. Why worry yourself? I went to the ER last week with Chest pains. The ER doctors did their testing and said it was not my heart or lungs. I immediately felt better. Dont hesitate to go, thats what the hospital is for. If you even suspect it is your heart you should go. They will check your heart and after determining that your heart is fine, they will let you know what they think and even refer you to the appropriate specialist. This, in my opinion, is the ONLY logical answer to your concern. Hope this helps. Good Luck! By the way I also have GERD.

07-14-2009, 03:48 PM
I alway think I'm having a heart attack when having an attack of reflux, even when its happened me over and over again I still feel like its a heart attack, Ive been to the emergancy room on more than one occasion, every time the test come back clear, its very depressing. Hang on in there, most people on here can relate and have had your symtoms.

07-15-2009, 06:37 AM
Thank you so much to all who have replied. It makes me feel so much better to know that I am not the only one who has visited the ER multiple times, convinced of a heart attack, when it's only acid reflux!

07-21-2009, 03:26 PM
I am on here to literally calm myself down from thinking I'm having a heart attack :( I have been diagnosed with GERD a few weeks ago. Well today I ate some soup and forgot to take my Pepcid and it was so bad I threw up :( Well almost immideiately after that, I had the worst middle chest pain I had ever had. I instantly went into panic,which doesn't help. It would squeeze. Kinda of like you swollowed soda too fast and an air bubble will be in your esaphagous. Well it would come and go. I was scared because I wondered how this could be happening if I dont have anything in my belly. I took my Pepcid right away!! I had to call my Mom to reassure me. I am almost 28 and have already gone to ER several times and had normal EKG's as well and am was just sent away. I am glad I dont have anything seriously wrong with me, but I just hate this pain!!! Its the 1st time its been this bad. I am "coming down" now that my Pepcid has worked. I was very close to going to ER....again. Good to know Im not alone, too :dizzy: