Even though your heartburn may be triggered by something completely different from your neighbor's triggers, you will most likely have similar symptoms of heartburn.

Some of the most common symptoms include a burning sensation behind the breastbone after eating (the sensation can last minutes up to many hours); chest pain (but more so after lying down, eating, or bending over); burning in the throat due to the stomach acid; trouble swallowing; the feeling that food is stuck in you throat or chest; and chronic cough, sore throat, and hoarseness.

If you have some or all of these symptoms of heartburn, your doctor will most likely agree with you that that is your diagnosis. However, your doctor will still probably run some tests to check on the severity so your heartburn can be treated more effectively.

If it is possible that you have GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder), or there is accompanied weight loss with your symptoms of heartburn, your doctor may order more intricate tests.

Heartburn can often be mistaken for heart attack. Some sufferers of extreme heartburn have been known to run to the nearest hospital to make sure they aren't having a heart attack.

To prevent an unwanted trip to the hospital and bill, you should be familiar with some of the differences in pain. Because the symptoms of heartburn and heart attack can be difficult to distinguish, you still might want to visit the local hospital just to make sure you aren't having a heart attack.

One of the most common symptoms of heartburn confused with heart attack is a burning sensation beneath the sternum. In heartburn, the pain usually doesn't radiate to other areas like the arms, shoulders, neck, or back. The pain also is onset by eating, exercising, anxiety, or lying on the back. The pain usually quickly subsides after taking an antacid as well.

The most common symptom of heart attack is a dull, achy pain in the center of the chest. Some people complain of tightness, like a belt being tightened around the chest. Unlike heartburn, the pain related to heart attack doesn't lessen, it actually worsens.

The pain may spread to other areas of the body like the arms, shoulders, neck, and even the jaw. Pain may also be accompanied with dizziness, shortness of breath, cold sweat, and lightheadedness. In this case, pain is responsive to nitroglycerin.

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