Despite its name, heartburn doesn’t actually have anything to do with the heart. It’s the regurgitation of stomach acid or other gastric contents into the esophagus.

The result of the regurgitation is a burning sensation in the chest. Unfortunately, this can also cause chest pain and thus be mistaken for a heart attack. So, how can you tell if it’s heartburn or a heart attack?

The burning sensation from heartburn will start in the upper part of your stomach and extend to your chest. This usually occurs after a meal and can be accompanied by a cough or sore throat. This can be normal but sudden pain and intermittent squeezing pressure in the upper chest could be warning signs of a heart attack. See additional heartburn symptoms here.

While heartburn can be normal, if you are ever in doubt about chest pain, contact an emergency specialist ASAP. If you suffer from chronic heartburn, schedule an appointment with our gastroenterology team to discuss treatment options.

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