Chest pain deserve to be a authorize that a human being is having a love attack. However, chest ache is additionally a typical symptom that other, less serious conditions, such together gastroesophageal reflux disease.

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Doctors refer to pain from love attacks and other problems that affect the cardiovascular mechanism as cardiac chest pain. Pain that does not come from the cardiovascular mechanism is dubbed noncardiac chest pain.

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

While heart strikes are a life-threatening medical emergency, heartburn is not. Therefore, gift able to identify the difference in between cardiac and noncardiac chest ache is essential.

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

Is it GERD?

Share top top PinterestMany conditions can cause chest pain, including acid reflux.
Acid reflux occurs as soon as acid indigenous the stomach leaks up into the food pipe, or esophagus. One of the most typical symptoms of acid reflux is heartburn, i beg your pardon is a painful burn sensation in the facility of the chest simply behind the breastbone, or sternum.

According come the nationwide Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a human who experiences mountain reflux much more than twice a week because that a couple of weeks may have actually GERD. Close come 20 percent of human being in the united States have GERD.

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

a tart or negative taste in the mouthtooth decaya hoarse voice

People v persistent symptom of acid reflux or GERD should see a doctor.

Is the a heart attack?

Heart assaults occur once the blood it is provided to the love muscles becomes totally blocked. If a human being does no receive instant treatment, part of the love muscle have the right to die.

A common symptom of a heart assault is ache or discomfort that typically occurs in the facility or left side of the chest. This pain might come and go, and also its severity can selection from mild to severe. The can additionally sometimes feel favor heartburn or indigestion.

However, no everyone who has actually a heart strike experiences chest pain. The symptoms of a heart assault can vary substantially from human to person, and they may come on progressively or really suddenly.

Other symptoms of a heart attack might include:

intense push or tightness in the center of the chesta emotion of heaviness or weak in one or both armspain, numbness, or a study abroad sensation in the arms, neck, jaw, lips, or stomachnausea and vomitingdizziness or lightheadednessbreaking the end in a cold sweat

Anyone who suspects that they or someone else is having actually a heart strike should automatically call 911 or go to the emergency room.

When trying to distinguish between cardiac and noncardiac chest pain, a human being needs to think about the adhering to three factors:

the location of the painhow the pain feelsthe accompanying symptoms

We comment on each of this in more detail below:

Location that chest pain

Both cardiac and also noncardiac chest pains can take place in the facility of the chest behind the breastbone.

However, cardiac chest pain deserve to spread throughout the chest and also even influence other parts of the body, such as the:

armsbackshouldersneck or throatjawteeth

Noncardiac chest pain, such as heartburn, often tends to remain localized, meaning that it does not spread to other areas. Heartburn commonly develops behind or under the breastbone.

How the ache feels

Some the the indigenous that civilization use to describe cardiac chest pain are:


In contrast, noncardiac chest pain has tendency to feel favor an intense stabbing or burning sensation simply beneath the surface of the skin.

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

Accompanying symptoms

The symptom accompanying chest pain can be crucial indication of whether it is cardiac or noncardiac.

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

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

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

pain or challenge swallowingbad breathan unpleasant or sour taste in the mouth

Causes that cardiac chest pain have the right to include:


Coronary artery condition (CAD), likewise called ischemic heart condition or coronary heart disease, occurs as soon as fatty deposits develop up in the arteries that supply blood come the love muscle.

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

People often define angina as a emotion of pressure, squeezing, burning, or tightness behind the breastbone. This pain have the right to spread to other parts of the body, consisting of the arms, jaw, neck, and also shoulders.

Angina frequently occurs during physical activity, and stress can likewise bring it on. If the pain proceeds after rest, this deserve to be a authorize of a love attack.

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


Myocarditis is a rare type of cardiovascular condition that causes inflammation of the love muscle. This inflammation have the right to lead to chest pain, love failure, or suddenly death.

According come the nationwide Organization for rare Disorders, myocarditis commonly develops without an i can identify cause. However, doctors regularly diagnose civilization with myocarditis adhering to a viral or bacterial infection.

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

Other symptom of myocarditis include:

irregular heartbeatdizziness or lightheadednessloss that consciousness

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

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

People deserve to inherit gene from their parents that boost their risk of emerging HCM. However, HCM can also occur together a result of high blood pressure, diabetes, or thyroid disease.

The symptoms of HCM include:

chest pain that often results native exerciseshortness of breathfluttering heartbeat or heart palpitations

Pulmonary hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension describes high blood press in the arteries that supply the lungs.

Common symptoms encompass shortness the breath and also chest pain, i beg your pardon may happen or worsen v physical activity. Over time, symptoms may become an ext frequent as the an illness progresses.

People through pulmonary hypertension may likewise experience:

fatigue and also weaknessfainting, lightheadedness, or dizzinessirregular heartbeata dry sneeze that may bring up bloodswelling that the legs or feet that results from liquid buildup

Pneumonia is a chest infection that causes the small air sacs within the lungs to end up being inflamed and also fill v fluid.

A usual symptom that pneumonia is chest pains that commonly worsens when a human inhales deeply or coughs. The chest pains can variety from mild to severe.

Other symptoms of pneumonia deserve to include:

difficulty breathingshortness of breathcoughing the produces green or bloody mucusfatigue

Peptic ulcer

A peptic ulcer is an open sore in the lining the the stomach or tiny intestine. Bacter infections and also long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs deserve to lead to peptic ulcers.

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

Other symptom of peptic ulcers have the right to include:

bloatingbelchingnausea and vomitingunexplained weight lossloss of appetitelightheadedness

However, not everyone through peptic ulcers experiences symptoms.


Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage roughly the breastbone. This inflammation can reason tenderness and sharp chest pains that might feel similar to the pain of a heart attack.

The pain indigenous costochondritis generally affects the left next of the chest, but it can sometimes affect both sides. Deep breathing, coughing, and also physical activity may make the ache worse.

Possible reasons of costochondritis incorporate severe coughing, chest injuries, infections, and overexertion.

Esophageal spasms

Involuntary spasms or contractions of the food pipe can reason intense chest pain. These spasms deserve to come on suddenly and sometimes last for several hours.

Other symptom of esophageal spasms may include:

intense pain or tightness in the cheststomach components coming up the food pipedifficulty swallowing

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

Panic attack

A panic attack refers come a sudden attack of intense anxiety and also fear. These assaults can last for in between a couple of minutes and several hours, and also a person may feel as though they are having actually a love attack.

Symptoms the a panic strike can include:

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

A person may have a panic assault in response to a stressful event, however an assault can additionally occur unexpectedly. Recurrent panic strikes are a symptom of scare disorder.

Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux and also GERD that reasons a painful burn sensation in the center of the chest. This sensation have the right to sometimes feel comparable to the chest ache that people experience throughout a heart attack or assaults of angina.

A heart assault is a medical emergency, so gift able to tell the difference in between heartburn and also cardiac chest pains is crucial. If chest pain spreads to other locations of the body, such as the eight or jaw, or wake up alongside symptoms such together shortness of breath and also a feeling of tightness in the chest, it could be a sign of a heart attack. If chest ache lasts for more than a couple of minutes, call 911 immediately.

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A person who suspects that they or someone rather is having actually a heart assault should instantly call 911 or go straight to the emergency room. The is also advisable to watch a doctor about any unexplained chest pain, even if it goes far on that own.