The Signs of Severe Heartburn
Learn how it differs from a heart attack.
Have you been experiencing significant discomfort or pain in your chest? Has this pain affected your daily routines and overall quality of life? You may be experiencing severe or persistent heartburn, which often occurs two times a week or more.
It’s important to manage severe heartburn, as the impact on your health can be serious. When your esophagus or throat is regularly exposed to stomach acid, it can cause pain, throat ulcers, and tissue abnormalities.1 This could affect your ability to swallow, breathe, and even speak. Unmanaged, this damage could increase your risk of developing certain types of cancers.
Since these severe heartburn symptoms are experienced in the same region as symptoms experienced during a heart attack, it's crucial to understand the difference between the two.2 Heartburn pain tends to be felt in the center of your chest, while heart attack pain may be slightly to the left of your heart. It can radiate through your back, neck, jaw, shoulders, and/or down your arms (especially the left arm). Heartburn sufferers often describe their symptoms as a series of sharp chest pains, while victims of a heart attack tend to describe the feeling as a dull heaviness.
If you're uncertain whether you're experiencing heartburn or a heart attack, speak to a medical professional right away.2 Additionally, if you find that your heartburn is more frequent (two or more times per week), you may want to consult your doctor about trying a proton pump inhibitor like Nexium 24HR.
- "Is Heartburn a Sign of Something More Serious?" Rocky Mountain Health Plans. N.p., n.d. Web. <https://www.rmhp.org/blog/2012/july/is-heartburn-a-sign-of-something-more-serious>.
- MacGill, Markus. "Heart Attack or Heartburn? Differences Between Types of Chest Pain." Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, n.d. Web. <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/312964.php>