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How can I tell if my chest pain is angina or acid reflux?

Dr. Gary W. Falk, MD
Gastroenterologist

Acid reflux and angina are two vastly different conditions, but in some cases, the same symptoms are described for both. Acid reflux, also known as heartburn, occurs when stomach acid washes back into the esophagus. It can cause a burning sensation radiating from the stomach through the chest and throat. Angina occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked by the narrowing or hardening of the arteries. It causes mild to severe pain behind the breastbone and can also feel like indigestion or heartburn. That being said, although acid reflux shares some of the same symptoms of angina, it is important that you see a doctor to determine which of these conditions you're experiencing.

The classic symptoms of acid reflux, or GERD, are heartburn and indigestion. Angina is typically described as crushing chest pain. Esophageal spasm, which can be exacerbated by GERD, can mimic angina.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.