What Is Heartburn What Is A Heart Attack
Heartburn is a symptom, and usually feels like a burning sensation in the chest, under the sternum, and in the esophagus that can extend to the neck, throat, and/or face. Heartburn often is caused by a malfunction in the esophageal sphincter muscle , which causes regurgitation of acid from the stomach into the esophagus.
Heartburn is a misnomer because it does not involve the heart. Other names for heartburn include indigestion, dyspepsia, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease , pyrolysis, and even “cardialgia.”
A heart attack often is a sudden and sometimes fatal occurrence of coronary thrombosis that frequently produces chest pain and/or additional pain that may radiate to the neck, jaw, and/or arms. Heart attacks involve the heart and not the esophagus or acid regurgitation.
Because the esophagus and heart are located near each other, many people consider pain in that region as a sign of either heartburn or a heart attack. However, individuals may often not know how to tell heartburn from a heart attack.
Some Heartburn Drugs May Carry Heightened Risk Of Heart Attack
By Kathryn Doyle, Reuters Health
4 Min Read
People who take certain popular heartburn medications, like omeprazole , are at increased risk of heart attack, according to a data mining study by U.S. researchers.
The drugs, called proton-pump inhibitors , lower acidity in the stomach and prevent the burning sensation in the esophagus that indicates acid reflux.
There have been questions about the safety of these drugs for people who have had a coronary event like a heart attack, said lead author Nigam H. Shah of Stanford University in California, but most research has focused on the interaction between these drugs and the blood thinner clopidogrel .
Now, given the underlying biology and the effect of these drugs in reducing nitric oxide in the blood vessel walls, the observed association is not super surprising, Shah told Reuters Health by email.
Although the results are compelling, this study does not prove that PPIs cause heart attacks, however, he said.
More than 20 million people in the U.S. use one of these PPI drugs each year, he and his coauthors write in the journal PLOS ONE.
The researchers used clinical notes recorded at Stanford University since 1994 and a web-based electronic health record system of mostly private practices. They searched more than 16 million clinical records for almost three million U.S. adults to record incidence of PPI use and of cardiovascular risk.
If you have been using PPIs over the counter for a long time, tell your doctor, Shah said.
Some Heartburn Drugs May Boost Risk Of Heart Attack Study Finds
A data-mining study has found an association between the use of proton-pump inhibitors, which account for 100 million prescriptions per year in the United States alone, and the likelihood of incurring a heart attack down the road.
Stanford researchers found an association between a commonly used drug for treating heartburn and the likelihood of incurring a heart attack down the road.Shutterstock
A large data-mining study carried out by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine has linked a popular class of heartburn drugs to an elevated risk of heart attack.
Proton-pump inhibitors, or PPIs, are among the worlds most widely prescribed drugs, with $14 billion in annual sales. They are effective at lowering the acidity of the stomach, in turn preventing heartburn, a burning sensation in the chest that occurs when stomach acid rises up into the esophagus. In any given year, more than 20 million Americans about one in every 14 use PPIs such as omeprazole for heartburn, also known as acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
A paper describing the findings was published June 10 in PLOS ONE.
These drugs may not be as safe as we think, said Nicholas Leeper, MD, the studys senior author and an assistant professor of vascular surgery and of cardiovascular medicine.
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A Special Note To Patients
We are not saying you should not do research on conditions and medications that concern you. Far from it. We of the DDC Orlando, encourage our patients to learn about their conditions. Just be careful what articles and papers you take to heart. Always check with your doctor.
That being said, lets take a quick look at some recent scholarly research which connected Proton-pump Inhibitors with a very big risk: a higher risk of Death.
Second: Habitual Proton Pump Inhibitor Overuse
Lets suppose you are constantly taking Nexium, Prevacid, and/or Prilosec as if they were M& M candies. Especially if you have been doing this for years, you have some kind of a digestive problem. Admit it. Now, lets make sure it is not a serious one or one that will get serious in coming years. We advise you to talk to your primary doctor.
Perhaps he or she will refer you to specialists like the doctors and staff at DDC Orlando. Screening, testing and proper medication are in order. You do not have to live with over-the-counter self-medication. We have amazing options and therapies for many digestive problems. We want you to learn to enjoy food again. So, please engage a gastroenterologist. Take care of your digestive problems now, not later.
New Risks Tied To Ppis
Proton pump inhibitors dramatically diminish the amount of acid made by glands that line the inside of the stomach. They can provide big relief for people who have heartburn, where stomach acid splashes into the esophagus, causing fiery pain.
Millions of Americans take them. According to IMS Health, proton pump inhibitors were the ninth most commonly prescribed kinds of drugs in 2015, ahead of thyroid medications.
Top sellers include Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec. They’re available over the counter and by prescription. The maker of Nexium and Prilosec, AstraZeneca, says it stands behind the safety of its products.
But thereâs a downside to getting rid of stomach acid, too. Itâs important for the absorption of some vitamins and minerals and for killing some of the harmful bacteria that we may swallow.
The drugs already carry warnings for several known risks, including C. difficile infections, which can cause chronic diarrhea pneumonia low magnesium levels, which can cause muscle spasms heart palpitations and convulsions and fractures of the hip, wrist, or spine. Fracture risks are generally highest in people who’ve taken high doses of the drugs for more than one year.
In addition to those risks, two recent studies have raised troubling new questions about the long-term use of these drugs.
Can Omeprazole Cause Heart Palpitation Such As Skipped Beats
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Dont Wait For Another Sign: Talk To Your Doctor About Your Heart Disease Symptoms
If youre noticing one or more of these seven symptoms, then the best place to start is by making an appointment with a primary care doctor to have your heart checked out and tested.
Your primary care doctor can diagnose and treat hundreds of conditions. They can help you build your heart wellness by working with you to create a tailored treatment plan. And if specialist help is needed, your doctor can connect you with an expert in cardiology for more testing and treatment.
Theres no doubt that symptoms of heart disease can be concerning, especially if youre not sure whats behind them or what the next steps are. But answers, care and treatment are available to help keep your heart as healthy as it can be so you can live your best life.
You Just Feel Crappy All The Time
Using proton-pump inhibitors, especially long term, can put you at a higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency, a serious bacterial infection called clostridium difficile, bone fractures, and possibly kidney disease, Ravella says. These are very rare side effects, but you want to know the scary stuff too, right? “Because of these safety concerns, I try to keep patients on omeprazole for the least amount of time needed,” she says.
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What Are Heart Palpitations
A heart palpitation is the feeling of the heart racing or pounding. Heart palpitations may feel like the heart is:
- Beating irregularly
- Beating too strongly
- Skipping beats
We see one or two patients per day who are complaining of these or similar symptoms. Patients sometimes tell me they can see their shirts move because their hearts are beating so hard.
Most heart palpitations arent dangerous. But they can be signs of several serious heart conditions. Get help if you feel heart palpitations that dont go away quickly on their own. Well work to find whats causing palpitations and refer you to additional care from a cardiologist if necessary.
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A Landmark Va Study In Proton Pump Inhibitors
Yan Xie, PhD, from the Clinical Epidemiology Center, Research and Education Service, Veterans Affairs Saint Louis Health Care System in Missouri, and colleagues, created data Proton pump inhibitor research from cases in the US Veterans Affairs system. The study followed 6 million people over a 6-year span, until they died, or until 2013. They researched them in three groups:
1. The people taking Proton Pump Inhibitors vs Histamine-2 blockers
2. Proton-pump Inhibitor users vs nonusers,
3. And users of Proton-pump Inhibitors vs people taking neither PPIs nor H2-blockers.
The senior research author Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, an assistant professor of medicine, stated, No matter how we sliced and diced the data from this large data set, we saw the same thing: Theres an increased risk of death among PPI users.
Gerd And Heart Palpitations
GERD can often feel like chest tightness or a burning sensation in the chest. Sometimes the burning sensation stops and then restarts, which can be uncomfortable.
The sudden restarting of GERD can feel similar to a heart palpitation, but GERD is not commonly a cause of palpitations.
A heart palpitation occurs when there is a disturbance in the electrical rhythm of the heart. Palpitations can feel like a fluttering in the chest, similar to a feeling that the heart has skipped a beat and rushes to catch up.
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Further Testing For Heart Palpitations
In most cases, we see patients in the emergency department whose palpitations have either gone away or arent critical by the time they arrive. Like a car problem that clears up when you visit the mechanic, this can be frustrating for patients.
We reassure them that just because we dont see an abnormal heart rhythm now doesnt mean that they didnt have one before. We check for any signs of damage or injury, and we may monitor patients for a few hours at the emergency department to see if they have another episode of palpitions, but there may not be enough time to capture an abnormal heart rhythm that comes and goes.
We often refer patients who have had heart palpitations to a cardiologist in the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute. For example, we might diagnose an abnormal heart rhythm in the emergency department, but its not something that needs emergency treatment. Or we might not see evidence of an abnormal heart rhythm, but we think the patient could benefit from additional monitoring to rule out possible heart problems.
A normal heartbeat is easy to take for granted. So when we feel heart palpitations, it can be very scary. But with quick medical attention and advanced monitoring, your heart can beat steadily for a long time to come.
To learn more about heart palpitations, please visit .
How To Stop Palpitations
There are a couple of techniques that people can try to stop palpitations when they are occurring. These methods stimulate the vagus nerve, which may help control the heartbeat:
- Valsalva maneuver. Pinch the nose and close the mouth. Try to breathe out of the nose for a couple of seconds to create a feeling of pressure in the head.
- Cold water. Splash cold water on the face for 30 seconds or dunk the head in cold water. This may stimulate a response in the body, slowing down the heart rate.
- Bearing down. Bearing down is the act of clenching the muscles in the stomach and closing the anal sphincter while pushing down as if initiating a bowel movement. This action has the same result as the Valsalva maneuver.
These techniques may work temporarily, but it is vital not to ignore the underlying cause of palpitations. Long-term treatment should be a top priority for people with this symptom.
Your Stomach Is Cramping And You Feel Nauseous
Stomach pain and nausea are another relatively common side effect of omeprazole, Ravella says. This can be frustrating since the whole point of taking the meds is to help you eat with less pain, and if omeprazole is making your stomach hurt, you’re just ruining your meal in a different way.
One possible remedy is to try taking the pill just before your meal instead of first thing in the morning, according to the Mayo Clinic. If the pain is so much that it’s interfering with your ability to eat, then call your doctor right away.
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Are There Similarities Among The Signs And Symptoms Of Heart Attack And Heartburn
A person can have these symptoms with either heartburn or a heart attack. Since the symptoms are so similar, it often makes it difficult for some people to tell if they are having heartburn or a heart attack.
- Chest pain . The pain may linger or subside.
Although heartburn may produce some less severe symptoms, heartburn is rarely life threatening. In contrast, heart attacks are frequently life threatening. If there is any doubt in your mind as to whether you or someone you are with has symptoms indicating heartburn or heart attack, you should call 911 immediately to be transported to an emergency department for medical treatment.
Heart Palpitations Are Not Linked To Eating
In contrast to GERD symptoms, palpitations are not usually linked to eating and can happen at any time of day.
Sometimes the pain from GERD can be interpreted as chest pain. The feeling from GERD can be very similar to the pain that is felt with a heart attack. The pain from a heart attack is not usually triggered by food, though.
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Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked To Risk For Heart Failure Death In Cad
Proton pump inhibitors may increase the risk for heart failure and death, but not acute ischemic events, in patients with coronary artery disease , according to a study published in PLoS One.
Chronic antiplatelet therapy in patients with CAD carries the risk for gastrointestinal complications, such as such GI ulcers and hemorrhage with aspirin and impaired healing of aspirin-induced gastric erosions with clopidogrel. PPIs are commonly used to prevent or treat these GI complications, but PPI use may lead to pneumonia, micronutrient deficiencies, and osteoporosis-related fractures. In addition, limited data suggest PPI use may inhibit the antiplatelet effect of aspirin and clopidogrel and lead to more cardiovascular events in patients with CAD.
The researchers investigated the relationship between PPI use and adverse cardiovascular outcomes in patients with CAD in a prospective cohort study.
A total of 706 patients enrolled had adequate follow-up data and blood samples for analysis. Of these, 431 were treated with PPIs, most commonly omeprazole. Approximately two-thirds of all patients were taking clopidogrel, and more than 90% were taking aspirin.
The primary end point was the combination of the secondary outcomes, which were acute ischemic events and all-cause heart failure or death.
More patients receiving PPIs met the primary outcome than those not receiving PPIs .
Other predictors for the primary outcome included body mass index, atrial fibrillation, and hypertension.
Fight Gerd Without Prilosec And Other Drugs
Avoid eating within three hours of bedtime.
Avoid eating a lot at once.
Avoid fast eating.
Cut back on known acid reflux triggers such as spicy foods, chocolate, raw onions, citrus fruits, orange juice, alcohol and caffeine.
Work on managing anxiety, as this can also trigger acid reflux. Anxiety is also notorious for causing heart palpitations.
Dr. Morins clinical interests are in device therapy for cardiac dysfunction and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias with medical therapy and/or catheter ablation.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
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