Chest pain can be a sign that a person is having actually a heart attack. However, chest pains is also a common symptom of other, less serious conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease.

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Doctors describe pain from love attacks and also other problems that impact the cardiovascular device as cardiac chest pain. Pain that does no come indigenous the cardiovascular mechanism is dubbed noncardiac chest pain.

Gastroesophageal reflux an illness (GERD) can reason heartburn, i m sorry is a common form of noncardiac chest pain.

While heart strikes are a life-threatening clinical emergency, heartburn is not. Therefore, being able to identify the difference between cardiac and noncardiac chest pain is essential.

In this article, we talk about the symptoms of GERD and heart attacks in addition to the differences between cardiac and also noncardiac chest pain. We likewise cover other reasons of both varieties of chest pain.

Is it GERD?

Share ~ above PinterestMany conditions can reason chest pain, including acid reflux.
Acid reflux occurs when acid indigenous the stomach leaks up right into the food pipe, or esophagus. One of the most usual symptoms of acid reflux is heartburn, i beg your pardon is a painful burn sensation in the center of the chest simply behind the breastbone, or sternum.

According come the nationwide Institute the Diabetes and Digestive and also Kidney Diseases, a person who experiences acid reflux more than double a week because that a few weeks may have actually GERD. Close to 20 percent of human being in the joined States have GERD.

Other symptoms of mountain reflux and also GERD deserve to include:

a sour or poor taste in the mouthtooth decaya hoarse voice

People v persistent symptoms of acid reflux or GERD have to see a doctor.

Is it a heart attack?

Heart assaults occur once the blood it is provided to the love muscles becomes fully blocked. If a person does no receive prompt treatment, component of the heart muscle deserve to die.

A common symptom the a heart strike is pains or discomfort that generally occurs in the center or left next of the chest. This pain might come and go, and its severity can range from mild to severe. The can also sometimes feel like heartburn or indigestion.

However, not everyone who has actually a heart strike experiences chest pain. The symptom of a heart strike can vary substantially from human being to person, and they might come on progressively or very suddenly.

Other symptoms of a heart strike might include:

intense push or tightness in the facility of the chesta emotion of heaviness or weakness in one or both armspain, numbness, or a tingling sensation in the arms, neck, jaw, lips, or stomachnausea and also vomitingdizziness or lightheadednessbreaking out in a cold sweat

Anyone who suspects the they or someone else is having actually a heart assault should instantly call 911 or walk to the emergency room.

When trying to distinguish between cardiac and also noncardiac chest pain, a human being needs to consider the complying with three factors:

the location of the painhow the pain feelsthe accompanying symptoms

We talk about each of this in more detail below:

Location the chest pain

Both cardiac and noncardiac chest ache can happen in the center of the chest behind the breastbone.

However, cardiac chest pain deserve to spread throughout the chest and even affect other components of the body, such as the:

armsbackshouldersneck or throatjawteeth

Noncardiac chest pain, such together heartburn, tends to continue to be localized, an interpretation that that does not spread to various other areas. Heartburn typically develops behind or under the breastbone.

How the ache feels

Some that the native that people use to explain cardiac chest ache are:


In contrast, noncardiac chest pain tends to feel prefer an intense stabbing or burn sensation simply beneath the surface ar of the skin.

Coughing, breathing, or moving can affect the strongness of noncardiac chest pain, when the severity of cardiac chest ache usually remains stable, also when resting.

Accompanying symptoms

The symptom accompanying chest pain can be vital indication of even if it is it is cardiac or noncardiac.

The symptom that deserve to occur together with cardiac chest pain may include:

shortness that breathnumbnesspain or discomfort in various other parts the the body, such together the arms, neck, jaw, shoulders, and also back

Symptoms that indicate that the chest pain is from heartburn or GERD have the right to include:

pain or difficulty swallowingbad breathan unpleasant or tart taste in the mouth

Causes that cardiac chest pain have the right to include:


Coronary artery disease (CAD), also called ischemic heart an illness or coronary heart disease, occurs when fatty deposits construct up in the arteries the supply blood come the heart muscle.

Over time, these deposits have the right to restrict blood flow, i m sorry can cause a type of chest pain called angina. CAD can also lead to love attacks and also heart failure.

People often explain angina together a emotion of pressure, squeezing, burning, or tightness behind the breastbone. This pain deserve to spread to other parts the the body, including the arms, jaw, neck, and shoulders.

Angina regularly occurs during physical activity, and also stress can also bring that on. If the pain continues after rest, this deserve to be a authorize of a love attack.

People who are unsure even if it is they are experiencing angina or a heart assault should speak to 911 automatically or walk to the emergency room.


Myocarditis is a rare form of cardiovascular condition that causes inflammation the the heart muscle. This inflammation deserve to lead to chest pain, heart failure, or suddenly death.

According come the national Organization for rare Disorders, myocarditis frequently develops without an i can identify cause. However, doctors regularly diagnose world with myocarditis complying with a viral or bacterial infection.

Myocarditis produces symptoms comparable to those of various other heart conditions, such together chest tightness and also fatigue. Leaning forward can help relieve chest pain result from myocarditis.

Other symptoms of myocarditis include:

irregular heartbeatdizziness or lightheadednessloss that consciousness

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a thickening of the muscle wall surface in the heart.

People can inherit genes from your parents that increase their threat of arising HCM. However, HCM can additionally occur as a an outcome of high blood pressure, diabetes, or thyroid disease.

The symptoms of HCM include:

chest pain that regularly results from exerciseshortness of breathfluttering heartbeat or heart palpitations

Pulmonary hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension describes high blood push in the arteries the supply the lungs.

Common symptoms incorporate shortness the breath and chest pain, which may happen or worsen v physical activity. Over time, symptoms may become more frequent together the an illness progresses.

People through pulmonary hypertension may also experience:

fatigue and weaknessfainting, lightheadedness, or dizzinessirregular heartbeata dry cough that may carry up bloodswelling of the legs or feet that results from fluid buildup

Pneumonia is a chest epidemic that causes the small air sacs within the lung to come to be inflamed and fill through fluid.

A usual symptom of pneumonia is chest pain that typically worsens as soon as a person inhales deep or coughs. The chest pains can range from mild come severe.

Other symptoms of pneumonia have the right to include:

difficulty breathingshortness that breathcoughing the produces green or bloody mucusfatigue

Peptic ulcer

A peptic ulcer is an open up sore in the lining of the stomach or tiny intestine. Bacterial infections and long-term usage of nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs can lead to peptic ulcers.

Peptic ulcers can cause a painful burn sensation that starts in the abdomen and also extends to the chest. This pain can come and go and may get far better when a human being eats or take away an antacid.

Other symptom of peptic ulcers deserve to include:

bloatingbelchingnausea and vomitingunexplained load lossloss that appetitelightheadedness

However, no everyone through peptic ulcers experience symptoms.


Costochondritis is an inflammation the the cartilage roughly the breastbone. This inflammation can cause tenderness and also sharp chest pains that may feel comparable to the ache of a love attack.

The pain indigenous costochondritis normally affects the left side of the chest, however it can sometimes impact both sides. Deep breathing, coughing, and physical activity may make the ache worse.

Possible causes of costochondritis encompass severe coughing, chest injuries, infections, and also overexertion.

Esophageal spasms

Involuntary spasms or contractions the the food pipe can cause intense chest pain. This spasms can come top top suddenly and sometimes critical for several hours.

Other symptom of esophageal spasms may include:

intense pains or tightness in the cheststomach materials coming increase the food pipedifficulty swallowing

It is not constantly clear why esophageal spasms occur, but risk factors include GERD, anxiety, and high blood pressure.

Panic attack

A panic strike refers come a sudden strike of extreme anxiety and also fear. These attacks can last for in between a couple of minutes and also several hours, and a human being may feel as though castle are having a heart attack.

Symptoms of a panic attack can include:

chest painpounding, rapid, or irregular heartbeattrembling or shakingshortness of breatha emotion of choke or suffocatingnauseadizziness or lightheadednessnumbnesssweatingfeelings of doom, lose of control, or unreality

A human being may have actually a panic strike in an answer to a stressful event, yet an strike can additionally occur unexpectedly. Recurrent panic attacks are a symptom of panic disorder.

Heartburn is a symptom of mountain reflux and GERD that reasons a painful burning sensation in the facility of the chest. This sensation deserve to sometimes feel similar to the chest pain that people experience during a heart strike or attacks of angina.

A heart attack is a clinical emergency, so gift able come tell the difference in between heartburn and cardiac chest pain is crucial. If chest pain diffusion to other locations of the body, such as the arms or jaw, or occurs alongside symptoms such together shortness of breath and a emotion of tightness in the chest, it could be a sign of a heart attack. If chest pain lasts for more than a few minutes, contact 911 immediately.

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A human being who suspects that they or someone rather is having a heart assault should automatically call 911 or go directly to the emergency room. The is also advisable to see a doctor about any inexplicable chest pain, even if that goes far on that is own.