Acid reflux can cause discomfort for some and pain for others and occurs when the muscles at the entrance to the stomach do not close all the way. This allows some of the stomach acid to move upward in a reverse direction into the esophagus after having a meal.
Factors that contribute to the development of acid reflux can include consuming large meals and lying down right after, being overweight, snacking close to bedtime, smoking and drinking beverages such as carbonated or caffeinated drinks and alcohol among others. Some of the symptoms triggered by these lifestyle habits can include the following.
Heartburn is a symptom that is felt when acid splashes up and out of the stomach. The sensation is felt as a mild to severe pain in the chest. Typically, this happens after eating a meal and is reported as a tightening or burning sensation in the area. The discomfort can aggravate even more if the individual bends over or lies down.
Ironically, the term heartburn can be misleading since the pain has nothing to do with the heart but impacts the digestive system instead.
2. Chest pain
Occasionally the discomfort experienced by acid reflux can be mistaken for heart attack pain since it occurs in the chest region. Plus, when the individual experiences tightening of the chest and has difficulty breathing, the condition may appear to mimic a heart attack.
The chest pain experienced with acid reflux tends to be more intense and can last longer than expected. It also likely intensifies with deep breaths whereas cardiac pain tends to remain unchanged.