Are all burps the same or can some be caused by angina?
Angina pectoris is the medical term for chest pain that results from reduced blood flow in the heart’s arteries.
Sometimes, shortness of breath accompanies an episode of angina.
The restriction of blood flow is caused by coronary artery disease: plaque buildup inside the heart’s arteries.
An uncommon form of angina is when the reduced blood flow results from a spontaneous spasm of these arteries (which has nothing to do with whether or not they are filled with plaque).
Burping with Angina?
“Burping is a very unusual presentation for acute coronary syndrome,” says Lance S. Burns, MD, emergency medicine specialist, of Legacy ER & Urgent Care, Frisco East location.
What is acute coronary syndrome? This is a category of pathological processes that result in a shortage of blood supply to the heart, usually caused by an arterial blockage (namely plaque buildup), but can also be caused by a spasm of a coronary artery as mentioned prior.
You may be burping during an angina episode, but this doesn’t mean that whatever’s causing the angina is also causing the burping.
Dr. Burns adds that “indigestion is a very common symptom for cardiac issues and frequently is ignored or confused with a gastrointestinal etiology.”
If you’ve recently gone to the emergency room for a complaint of chest pain — whether or not you were also burping — and you were told that there’s nothing wrong with your heart — you should absolutely follow up with a cardiologist appointment.
The ER doctor will order tests to see if a patient recently had a heart attack or has abnormal heart structure, pneumonia or a blood clot in the lung.
But these tests do NOT show if your coronary arteries are blocked, let alone how blocked they might be.
They also can’t rule out angina. Burping aside, your next move should be a full workup by a cardiologist.
Dr. Burns has over 30 years of experience, and he specializes in emergency medicine as well as family medicine. For more info: Legacy ER & Urgent Care.
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. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.