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!

Chrissy
23/F
GERD & Anxiety
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replied July 15th, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
The chest pain and discomfort, is less common symptom of GERD, and indeed can mimic chest pain due to angina or heart attack.
Knowing if you have any risk factors that might predispose you to a heart attack (hypertension, diabetes, high blood cholesterol levels, smoking cigarettes, being overweight, heart diseases) is the first important factor to keep in mind, that might help you know whether you are having a heart attack or just an attack of acid reflux.
Profuse sweating, feeling dizzy or fainting, are another symptoms more common for a episode of heart attack.
The pain due to heart attack is more like tightness, pressure, squeezing pain in the chest, throat, neck or either arm.

Best wishes!
Marija
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replied August 7th, 2009
I was recently diagnosed with a heart attack and I was convinced I was having a Gerd Attack because of vomiting, pain in the chest, pain in the back, and down my right arm. After several tests, I was told I had a mild heart attack because of blood tests that were done. Take note that the first EKG showed suspicious activity and the next EKG showed improvement. The other issues at hand were: low potassium, magnesium, etc. Diabetes and back problems. So I guess my advise is not to take chances and have yourself checked.
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Users who thank thomlin for this post: glutengirl  BlueGirl1 

replied May 9th, 2010
im in exactly same situation as Chrissy, few weeks ago my doc diagnosed me with GERD and anxiety (i guess GERD causes anxiety for most of people). i thought i was getting heart attack too, so i went to ER and they ran EKG and about 4 different blood tests and told me my heart is healthy. but sometimes, i still get this... heart sore thing. should i be worried? or is heart being just sore just like other muscle??
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replied May 10th, 2010
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I, too, have gone this route in life...Every test was taken...I even had to do the treadmill test before the hospital would release me...I put this as a Panic Attack going to the height of "panic"....You are so sure that this is the real thing that you can literally scare yourself to death....My best advice is learn to calm down...Tell your mind that you are OK...That this is you doing this to yourself...Sometimes if this gets too big the physician will give you a mild anti-depressant to help you out...With me it was stress...A combination of grief and stress that tore me apart....I had to let go and accept all the things I could not change...Kind of the way that life is...I wish you well......

Caroline
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replied May 22nd, 2010
I have the same symptoms as you and am going through the process of doing different tests. Did you find an answer?
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replied May 23rd, 2010
I have the same symptoms, but everything checks out normal. I don't get it? I know it's not in my head!! I just recently went to the Indiana Heart Physicians in Indianapolis thinking they might be able to help. I've heard really good things about the Community Health Network hospitals...especially their heart center. I think the best thing to remember is that your health is in really in your OWN hands. Don't give up until you get legit answers!! Smile
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replied May 25th, 2010
I had a treadmill test yesterday with a heart ultrasound. The cardiologist said my heart is okay. Phew - that's good news. I was worried because although I've started getting reflux the last few months, nothing about reflux mentions left arm pain. Except this forum. I also have a tender chest so it could becostochondritis - chest wall inflammation. Anyway, now I know it's not my heart, I'm intending to look after my health a bit better, manage my stress better and try to reduce the factors that can lead to reflux and heart problems. Thank you everyone for your comments on this forum. These symptoms have been new to me and scary and it's nice to know I'm not alone.
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replied May 25th, 2010
Bluegirl, you're def. not alone. Health problems can sometimes make you feel like you're going crazy when there are no immediate answers. Don't give up!
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replied March 27th, 2019
Thank you for asking at Ehealth forum!

I read your question and I understand your concern.
You are suffering from GERD but there is element of anxiety as well.I would suggest you psychiatric assesment.
I hope it helps. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider for further guidance as our answers are just for education and counselling purposes and cannot be an alternative to actual visit to a doctor.
Take care
Khan
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