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How do I know if my chest pain (angina pectoris) is coming from my heart, or is only heartburn?


Heartburn is caused by problems within the stomach, itself, creating excessive stomach acid. Most likely, if the pain is due to heartburn, it will respond to medications to treat stomach upset, namely antacids or other medications known as H2 blockers. Over-the-counter examples of H2 blockers are Pepcid, Tagamet, etc. Sharp chest pain which lasts less than one minute is usually not angina, but frequent episodes should be explored by either a cardiologist (heart) or gastro- enterologist (stomach) physician. Angina pectoris is a symptom of heart trouble and, as with the pain of an actual heart attack, it is unique to the individual. It may be experienced as pain, pressure, or discomfort in the middle of the chest. It may also present as tightness or burning. Angina has also been likened to a vise around the chest or a heavy weight and, again, as with an actual heart attack, the discomfort may be felt in the neck, with radiation to the arm, jaw, lower teeth, back or abdomen. If you have been diagnosed as having angina, you should take measures to reduce the risk of progressive heart disease, thereby reducing the likelihood of a heart attack with extensive heart damage. If you smoke, quit. If you are overweight, trim down. Control your high blood pressure or diabetes, and eat a healthy diet. Maintain a realistic exercise program, and follow up with any medical recommendations your physician has given you.


 

 
Galichia Medical Group, P.A.
2600 N Woodlawn
Wichita, KS 67220
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