Most people who suffer from chest pain do not realize that this may be caused by gastrointestinal problems. These pains come from the digestive tract and often feel like cardiac disorders. This is because of gastro-esophageal reflux (GERD) or acid reflux syndrome, a fairly uncommon condition that gets triggered by eating. Food and stomach acids get regurgitated up the esophagus, the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach, and pain is felt in the upper abdomen or around the breastbone. Studies show that approximately 22 – 66% of patients who experience chest pain suffer from acid reflux syndrome and not from cardiac problems.
Determining the Cause of Acid Reflux Chest Pain
To determine if you are indeed suffering from GERD, your doctor will perform tests to measure the acid level in the esophagus. It would also be helpful if you keep a symptom diary, where you write down other sensations that you feel while experiencing chest pain. If you notice that your chest pain occurs along with GERD symptoms, the doctor might conclude that your chest pain is caused by acid reflux syndrome.
Treatment for Acid Reflux Chest Pain
Once your doctor confirms that no other heart disease is present, treatment for acid reflux will begin. He or she will most likely prescribe proton pump inhibitors or antacids. You will also be asked to monitor your symptoms and return for regular check-ups to make sure that the regurgitating stomach acids are not damaging the esophagus. GERD can also be treated by lifestyle changes, like losing weight, and quitting smoking and/or alcohol. Dietary changes that can help alleviate acid reflux syndrome include removing acidic, fried, and fatty foods from your diet and taking small, frequent meals. Finally, some herbs and botanicals can help relieve GERD and acid reflux chest pain. These include ginger root, chamomile, fennel seed/oil, and aloe. Your herbalist can combine these with other ingredients to create a specific concoction that will relieve acid reflux syndrome.
Although a good number of chest pain cases are not caused by cardiac problems, do not assume that your chest pain is the effect of acid reflux syndrome. Always consult a doctor soon after experiencing chest pain as this could also be a symptom of a more serious cardiac disease.
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