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Belching And Heart Attacks

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Gas Heartburn And Heart Attack Can Have Similar Signs: Know The Difference

The gastrocardiac syndrome – heart palpitations caused by the stomach

Story by: Kim Huston on November 28, 2017

You had a wonderful dinner with family and friends. While relaxing after the meal, a bit of gas prompts you to excuse yourself from the room. Then it hits you: a sharp, jabbing pain. The feeling rises up to your chest, and you have a sour taste in your mouth. Is it just gas pain in your chest? Can gas cause chest pain? Is it a heart attack? Do you take an antacid, or do you call 911?

Know the difference between gas, heartburn and heart attack signs.

Heartburn Or Heart Attack

What does heartburn have to do with your heart? Nothing, actually!

Despite its name, heartburn or acid indigestion is related to your esophagus. But because the esophagus and heart are located near each other, either one can cause chest pain which is why many people mistake heart burn for angina and vice versa.

Women And Heart Attacks

Do women experience heart attack symptoms differently than men?

According to the University of Utah, while the symptoms of a heart attack are technically the same in men and women, its possible that women may experience pain differently than men.

This differentiating pain threshold level may cause women to either underreport symptoms or simply ignore them.

This pain threshold difference is not scientifically proven, however, and there are other studies that find women are more sensitive to pain.

Another reason women may have a different reaction to symptoms of a heart attack is that this health issue is sometimes portrayed as a mans issue in popular culture.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , every year in the United States, heart disease kills just as many women as it does men.

So it bears repeating: If youre feeling tightness or pain in your chest, and you cant think of a direct cause, call 911 or local emergency services, or get to a doctor as soon as you can.

The questions below are designed to help you if youre ever in a situation where youre trying to decide whether you or someone else is experiencing a heart attack or just heartburn.

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Urgent Signs You Just Had A Heart Attack

Being able to identify heart blockage symptoms early can save your life. A heart attack incident doesnt have to be as dramatic as we would expect. It could occur in several passing phases without our knowledge. Every year, more than 700,000 Americans experience a first or recurring heart attack. Many of these incidents result in death. As for the survivors, they might suffer from depression, pain, or cardiovascular problems. Lets first find out what causes these heart problems:

Chest Pain: Is It A Heart Attack Or Heartburn

Belching as a rare cause of sudden and short

, GastroenterologistVirtua Gastroenterology

Most people experience minor chest pain now and then. When it happens, you might downplay it or wonder if its something serious.

Since gastroesophageal reflux disease and heart attacks have similar symptoms, its understandable why feeling chest pain might make you pause before calling 911.

But while some symptoms might feel similar, the outcomes are VERY different. Delaying treatment of a heart attack can cost you your life. On the other hand, no one wants to go to the ER if heartburn could be cleared up with an antacid. Heres what you need to know to assess your symptoms.

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When Should You Worry

While most heart palpitations are nothing to worry about, some may provoke or be caused by abnormal heart rhythm issues.

In some cases, early cardiac disease can cause heart palpitations after eating due to decreased blood flow to the heart. When you eat a large meal, your body diverts blood flow from your brain and heart. This helps the process of digestion and in healthy people it’s not dangerous. If you have blockage to the heart, this can seriously lower the oxygen levels to your heart. A commonly known fact is the highest time of year for heart attacks is after Thanksgiving dinner.

If you do not have excessive gas and pressure after a meal and you have heart palpitations, this could indicate a strain on your heart. Also, if you feel pressure in your chest area, this could also be mistaken for gas and actually be your heart feeling strain from a large meal.

Aside from meal times, if you are suffering from heart palpitations more often than just after you eat you really should see a doctor. Most often they can be caused by simple things like anxiety, exhaustion, dehydration, and emotional stress. However, if you have other physical symptoms that cannot be explained, see your doctor for an evaluation. If you have anything like chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, and/or racing heart you should get it checked out immediately.

Heart Attack Warning Signs And Symptoms: Digestive Problems


Nausea or feeling sick on your stomach is a less common but possible symptom of a heart attack. Sometimes belching or burping can accompany nausea, and some patients have described a feeling like indigestion associated with a heart attack. Women are more likely than men to report these less typical symptoms of heart attack, and some patients have described feeling as though they are developing the flu.


Also Check: How Many People Die From Heart Disease Each Year

What Should You Do If You Have Chest Pain And You’re Not Sure What’s Causing It

  • If you have persistent chest pain and youre not sure it’s heartburn, call 911.
  • If you had an episode of unexplained chest pain that went away within a few hours and you didnt seek medical attention, call your doctor.

Both heartburn and a developing heart attack can cause symptoms that subside after a while. The pain doesn’t have to last a long time to be a warning sign.

Heart attack symptoms can also include:

How Rare Is Burping As An Only Symptom Of A Heart Problem

What are the signs & symptoms of a heart attack?

There is no quantitative data. Belching as an isolated symptom of angina without chest pain, have not been reported before, states the Journal, and was not included as a common presenting symptom of angina pectoris in the standard textbooks of medicine and cardiology.

Bear in mind that this study comes out of the nation of Oman, which has a significantly smaller population than the United States.

We can only imagine how many people in the U.S. or another heavily populated and industrialized nation have suffered from burping as their only symptom of heart disease and were never properly diagnosed and eventually died of a heart attack.

This is why new-onset, unexplained belching needs medical attention: See a cardiologist before you see a gastroenterologist.

A digestive issue such as acid reflux can wait. A heart problem cant.

A Closer Look at the Man Whose Only Symptom of Dangerously Clogged Heart Arteries Was Burping

Patient reported burping episodes after feeling gassy in his stomach for two months.

The gas and belching occurred only during physical activity such as using a staircase and even walking, plus also emotional stress.

Interjection: That second bullet point makes a heart problem highly suspect in the case of burping as an only symptom!

PAY ATTENTION to events preceding worrisome symptoms and document them!

Needless to say, the patient reported no connection between his symptoms and eating, and they did not occur at rest, either.

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What Dissolves Artery Plaque

HDL is like a vacuum cleaner for cholesterol in the body. When it’s at healthy levels in your blood, it removes extra cholesterol and plaque buildup in your arteries and then sends it to your liver. Your liver expels it from your body. Ultimately, this helps reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

A Likely Health Coincidence: Burping And A Fast Heart Rate

If you’re having symptoms of burping and a fast heart rate simultaneously, you can rest assured that one didn’t cause the other. “They are not related,” says Shephal Doshi, MD, director of cardiac electrophysiology and pacing at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.

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He explains the conditions this way: “Anything that causes a release of adrenaline can cause your heart rate to increase. Burping is a gastrointestinal phenomenon related to swallowing excess air.”

Though the potential health implications are different, they may have one thing in common: Check in with your doctor.

Also Check: Women Having Heart Attacks

Consider Medical Conditions That Cause Gas Pains

Besides food and drink, you may have a medical condition that creates gas pains.

  • Heartburn or indigestion can cause stomach acid to leak up into the esophagus and cause sharp chest pains from burping.
  • Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease , can cause air to become trapped in your esophagus. The feeling can cause anxiety, which then leads to a short burst of heart palpitations.
  • Gallbladder disease can cause pains in the chest from excess gas. Youll also experience a loss of appetite, nausea, chills and pale stools with this issue.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease can cause gas build up in the digestive system. In addition to excessive flatulence, Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis can cause abdomen pain, diarrhea or constipation and nausea.

Contact your primary care provider if you believe you are struggling with one or more of these conditions. They will be able to order numerous tests to help diagnose the root of your problems.

Chest Pain Or Discomfort

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

The first sign of trouble is when you feel a sharp or dull pain in your chest. It could also be a feeling of discomfort or pressure in that area. The pain is centralized but may spread to other body parts. Some people will suffer from shortness of breath. Others may have this feeling of pain come and go.

Recommended Reading: How Long Does Heart Rate Stays Elevated After Exercise

Uncommon Signs Of A Cardiac Scare

PintrestWhat a 38-year-old ad guy thought was acidity was in fact a heart attack. Mumbai cardiologists discuss uncommon signs of a cardiac scareSign 1: Constant burping Sign 2: Persistent pain in gums, teeth Sign 3: Poor performance in bed diabetesSign 4: Exhaustion The common signals Shooting pain in chest and left arm: Chest pain after a meal:Excessive sweating and palpitation:Sudden loss of consciousness, dizziness, breathlessness with no chest pain The upside of a heart scare

Medical Conditions That Can Cause Belching

Few of the medical conditions may result in the problem of burping or belching as symptoms. These conditions are:

  • GERD i.e. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease i.e. a disorder, which leads to the flow of acid from ones stomach in the upward direction into the food pipe or esophagus.
  • Gastroparesis disorder, where muscles present in the walls of ones stomach become weak
  • Peptic ulcers that sore in the stomach, esophagus and upper portion of human small intestine.
  • Lactose intolerance, which indicates the inability to digest lactose properly. This is a particular ingredient found usually in dairy products.
  • Sorbitol or fructose malabsorption i.e. the inability of digesting sorbitol and carbohydrates.
  • Helicobacter Pylori or the bacteria causing stomach infections and thereby, responsible for increasing the belching problem.

Read Also: Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs Stages

Why Are You Experiencing Gas And Heart Palpitations

1. Eating Gassy Foods

If you eat foods that produce too much gas then you may feel heart flutters from air pressure in your stomach. Some of the gas inducing foods include soda, foods with fiber , and high sugar foods.

2. Swallowing Too Much Air

If you eat too fast you may swallow too much air. This can cause your stomach to bloat and put pressure on your heart. This can also happen when you chew gum and swallow often.

3. H. Pylori Infection

Helicobacter pylori are bacteria that can invade the lining of the stomach. It may cause acid and gas buildup that may lead to heart palpitations.

4. Pancreas Problems

If the pancreas does not release enough enzymes the digestion process slows down. This can cause excess gas that leads to bloating and heart palpitations.

5. Food Poisoning

If you eat food that contains bacteria or parasites, you may get food poisoning. Not only does this cause vomiting and/or diarrhea, it may also cause gas and heart palpitations.

6. Fructose Malabsorption

With this, your body cannot properly digest fructose and carbohydrates. It causes a gas buildup in your intestines that can lead to pressure on the upper abdomen and cause heart palpitations.

7. Slowed Digestion

If food moves slowly through your digestive tract then gas may get trapped in the stomach area. People with anorexia, stomach muscle issues, and gastroparesis usually suffer from this.

8. Gluten Intolerance

Heartburn Or Heart Attack How To Tell The Difference

Causes & management for heart palpitations with indigestion & gas problems – Dr. Malathi Ramesh

Chest pain can be scary. And its not always easy to tell the difference between heartburn and a heart attack especially since heartburn-like symptoms can be from a heart attack. Columbus Batiste, MD, an interventional cardiologist and chief of cardiology at Kaiser Permanentes Riverside and Moreno Valley Medical Centers in Southern California, breaks down the symptoms and details the importance of knowing if youre at risk for heart disease.

What is heartburn?

Heartburn is discomfort or pain that occurs when food and stomach acid back up into the esophagus the tube that leads from the throat to the stomach.

Common indicators of heartburn include:

  • A burning sensation in the chest or stomach
  • Foul breath and a sour, acidic, or metallic taste in the mouth
  • Increased gas or belching
  • Coughing, especially when lying down
  • Symptoms start after eating or lying down

You should be able to relieve your symptoms by taking an antacid, like Tums or Rolaids, or by drinking a glass of water with a spoonful of baking soda stirred in it. If heartburn is keeping you from sleeping, propping yourself up in bed can help.

Contact your doctor for advice if an antacid doesnt temporarily ease your symptoms, this is the first time youve had heartburn, or your symptoms have changed.

Heart attack signs can vary greatly

  • Back discomfort
  • Lightheadedness

Silent heart attacks are common

Another cause of chest pain

Risk factors for heart disease

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Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

Heart attacks often but not always happen with classic symptoms:

  • chest pain that is often described as pressure, squeezing, heaviness, tightness, fullness, or ache
  • chest pain that feels like a very heavy weight crushing against the chest
  • pain may come and go, but lasts for more than a few minutes

Not all heart attacks give the same symptoms. Symptoms can be mild or severe, and some people experience no symptoms at all.

The chest pain or discomfort is usually central or central-left, but it might not be. The pain may spread to other areas. It can affect one or both arms, the neck, jaw, or upper or mid-back.

Heart attack often comes with other symptoms:

  • breaking out in a cold sweat
  • being short of breath
  • feeling very tired or lacking in energy
  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded

People who may be less likely to experience symptoms when having a heart attack include older people and those with diabetes. These people may still show other symptoms though, such as breathlessness.

How Can You Tell If You Have Heart Problems At Home

To measure your pulse on your own:

  • Get a watch with a second hand.
  • Place your index and middle finger of your hand on the inner wrist of the other arm, just below the base of the thumb. …
  • Count the number of taps you feel in 10 seconds.
  • Multiply that number by 6 to find out your heart rate for 1 minute.
  • Recommended Reading: Why Does Left Arm Go Numb During Heart Attack

    When To See A Doctor

    “Generally, if someone is not feeling well and has excessive fatigue or decreased exercise capacity with an elevated heart rate, they should consider scheduling an appointment with their doctor,” Dr. Doshi says.

    You may also want to see your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above in addition to burping and a fast heart rate. Be sure to contact your doctor with any additional questions.

    Causes Of Heart Blockage Symptoms

    Early Symptoms of a Heart Attack You Should Know â Page 3 â Healthy Habits

    Heart attacks dont happen out of the blue. There must be a cause for this outcome. Here are some possible reasons why heart attacks occur:

    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Family genetics and history of heart attacks
    • High cholesterol
    • Having type II diabetes
    • Poor nutrition and physical inactivity

    These risk factors lead to heart blockage symptoms that are easy to spot if you know what to look for. Read on to learn more.

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    Do Heart Attacks And Heartburn Feel Similar

    Although heartburn and heart attacks have different causes, they can feel similar. Both can cause chest pain and discomfort in the center of the chest, so it can be hard to distinguish between the two.

    If you have a burning pain behind your breastbone that started after a spicy meal and otherwise you feel well, it is likely you have heartburn. Often, heartburn can be easily treated with over-the-counter antacids. If you try this and your symptoms go away, that is a good indicator they were caused by heartburn.

    Many people also get heartburn more than once. So if you had heartburn in the past and experience the same symptoms again, it is likely another case of heartburn.

    Angina and heart attacks can also cause a burning pain or discomfort in the chest, so it is important to notice other symptoms. For example, if you also feel short of breath or light-headed, it might be something more serious . If you are unsure about your symptoms, or if you have chest pain that feels different from what you had in the past, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you determine if your symptoms are from heartburn or a more serious cause.

    It is important to know that heart attacks in women can have different symptoms. Women can have chest pressure and heaviness. But they may also have no chest pain at all. Instead, women may have nausea, fatigue, or lightheadedness that could be mistaken for another illness.

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