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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board

Acid Reflux / GERD Board Index

"My question is those of us that suffer esoph spasms from the GERD (that sharp chest pain that feels like the heart) how do we know when it IS the heart vs GERD??"

That is the 64,000 dollar question, and one we might never be able to answer. Unfortunately, according to all literature out there, a heart attack can have symptoms as subtle as fatigue and faintness or as glaring as crushing chest pain and everything in between. Ironically, nitroglycerine, which is for the heart, also eases the pain, particularly if it's a spasm, because nitro works on smooth muscles! For me - and this might be dangerous - I'm going to wait until I have sweating or nausea with the sharp chest pain...I can't afford (monetarily or mentally) to go into the ER everytime GERD strikes...Lord knows, I'm in enough with recurrent pneumonias (possibly aspirant) - 19 since 9/04; 9 since 4/07. I'm on bipap now to see if a portion of the aspirant can be cut (from waking up gasping due to sleep apnea). The rest is reflux from GERD, something that might never be completely solved...but if a portion is fixed, it might take longer for stuff to build up in the lungs to infect.

Truly, I don't know the's a puzzle. I hate to advice you either way - but as they say, it's better safe than sorry...or "don't die of embarrassment" - or as they say - they'd rather you come in with GERD than a heart attack, and dead because you waited. Then, again, on a practical note. You might want to ask your doc what HE/SHE thinks is the best way to handle this. I've asked mine, and unfortunately, he doesn't really have the answer either - since GERD often mimics so well a heart attack :/ I personally just have to 'pray it by ear' and go with my gut.


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