GERD can cause chest pain but do you fear it can lead to heart problems?
GERD causing heart problems is a common concern among the many sufferers of acid reflux disease, which is a prevalent condition.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause burning, aching and strange feelings in the chest as well as the upper abdomen.
Can GERD negatively affect the heart?
“GERD cannot cause heart disease, but esophageal symptoms can be confused with cardiac symptoms,” explains Larry Good, MD, who’s been a practicing gastroenterologist for 40+ years. He has a private practice located in Lynbrook, NY and is affiliated with Concierge Choice Physicians, a leading provider of personalized care in the U.S.
In addition to chest pain, burning and aches, GERD can also cause issues with the throat such as coughing, a hoarse voice and a feeling of a lump in the throat.
When acid reflux makes its way to the throat, causing symptoms, the condition is known as LPR: laryngopharyngeal reflux disease.
Heart Chest Pain vs. GERD Chest Pain
Dr. Good continues, “Typical cardiac chest pain from angina pectoris is described as an oppressive heavy chest pressure (on elephant sitting in the chest) with difficulty breathing.”
Though you are now assured that GERD does not cause problems with the heart, you are not quite out of the woods.
Acid reflux disease, over time, depending on severity and frequency, can lead to pathological changes in the esophagus, bringing on a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus.
This in turn increases the risk of esophageal cancer.
Another important point to consider is this:
Just because GERD does not cause any problems with the heart, does not mean that you do not have coronary heart disease!
You may very well still have clogged arteries! Consider getting a complete exam by a cardiologist.
Dr. Good has additional expertise in the diagnosis/treatment of IBS and inflammatory bowel disease, and is extremely proactive in genetic testing, individualization of pharmacologic treatment, and risk mitigation in cancer screening/prevention. Concierge Choice Physicians
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.