Last updated: Jun 01, 2009
Three years ago, Lee Ann Williamson began feeling uncomfortable as she was playing the piano for the Sunday services at a church in a Kansas City suburb. She wasn't sure what it wasa heart problem, heartburn, or something else. All she knew was that it felt a bit like someone was sitting on her chest. She tried to ignore the chest pain and kept on playing.
Heartburn-Easing Foods That Fight GERD
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GERD and other gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers, muscle spasms in the esophagus, a gallbladder attack, and pancreatitis can all cause chest pain and other symptoms that mimic those of a heart attack or angina, a crushing type of chest pain caused by decreased blood flow to the heart. Some people with angina say it feels like an elephant is sitting on their chest.
Other risk factors, timing of pain are key
If the problem is heart-related, you will likely feel a tightness, burning, or pressure in your chest. This pain is often exacerbated by exercise or severe emotional stress. It may spread to the back, neck, jaw, or arms, and is often associated with sweating, dizziness, nausea, difficulty breathing, or an irregular pulse.
If you have symptoms that you are unsure about, see a physician. And go to the emergency room if you have chest tightness, break into a sweat, turn pale, become very weak, or faint.