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Pain on left side of chest

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  • Pain on left side of chest

    Hello all. This is my first post but have been reading this board for a while. Thanks for all the information that has been provided.

    I have heartburn/gerd and have a decent amount of the symptoms that have been discussed here. But I seem to have more than normal pain on the left side of my chest. It comes and goes. It will usually dissipate briefly if I burp.

    I have gone to a cardiologist and he did a stress test and ekg and it checked out fine.

    Does anyone how heartburn can cause pain in the left side of the chest?

    Also. Can someone please explain the difference between heartburn and indigestion?


  • #2
    Welcome, Scott! Thanks for the compliment about how helpful this board is. I agree that it has been a lifesaver.

    Others will be more helpful, I know, but I just wanted to explain that heartburn is not a diagnosis. It is one possible symptom of GERD. Not everyone who has GERD has heartburn. (I did not.) So ... I think the question you want answered is "What is the difference between GERD and indigestion." I don't have an answer.

    Don't mean to be a nitpicker, but I've found that it is useful to know these distinctions when it's time to talk to the doctor.


    • #3

      I have had substantial amount of chest pain (both sides) with GERD. Also had stress test to rule out cardiac. If it gets better when you burp, go for a walk, or take antacids, its sounds pretty much like what I've had.



      • #4
        hey scott

        Hope you're a little better. My own experiences in the chest has been a stinging and it was directed more to the left. Many of my symptoms also lead me to a cardiologist. But, my husband has really bad pain in the chest and his also attacks him on the left and also down both arms at times. He sits quietly for takes deep breaths and tries to relax and within a little while, it dissipates. Good for you for going to the cardio. I have covered many specialist because I needed to rule out so many other problems. This is a very scarey and crappy disorder and it can grab you to turn your life around quick. I am working on my fears and hopefully in not too very long, I can just be me with a tummy problem and not the tummy problem being me. Good Luck to ya Iris By the way, keep asking as many questions as you like and you will eventually get some of these really experienced folks and they are absolutely awesome and comforting.


        • #5
          Thank you all for you comments. It is quite scary and mentally draining.

          What gets me is how does indigestion/gerd make something outside of the gi tract have discomfort?

          Maybe I am just over thinking it and should not worry about it.


          • #6
            Originally posted by scottL
            What gets me is how does indigestion/gerd make something outside of the gi tract have discomfort?

            Maybe I am just over thinking it and should not worry about it.
            Scott part of the GI tract is in the chest. The GI tract is one big long tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus.

            The esophagus runs down the left side of the chest where it stops at the stomach. When acid irrirates the esophgus, it can feel like heart pain.

            The esophagus is located right next to the heart on the left side of the chest. . Thar's how the term "heartburn" was coined... it can feel like it's the heart.


            • #7
              Tricia. Thanks. I was under the assumtion that the esophogus went down the middle of the chest. Guess I need to brush up on my anatomy.


              • #8

                Hi Scott Well the esophagus is more in the center but veers left. It is actually located right behind the heart to be specific. The heart and esophagus are so close together that there are heart tests that cardiologists do that involve putting a tube down the esophagus in order to get very clear pictures of the heart.

                Chest pain is common in GERD and can be confused with heart problems. . Usually people who get bad chest pain get the heart checked out to be safe which i see you did.

                If it stresses you and for your own peice of mind if you want to make 100 % sure it is from GERD , ........ask your doctor for a 24 hour ph test to see if acid reflux events match your chest pain. ......An acid perfusion test ( Berstein test) is also good for evaluating chest pain. Esophageal motility disorders like esophageal spasms can also cause chest pain. Manometry test evaluates for that.

                You asked what the difference was between indigestion and heartburn. Heartburn is discomfort and burning in the chest and throat.

                Indigestion is discomfort and burning of the stomach. it's an array of stomach symptoms such as bloating, pain , burning, nausea, early satiety ( full feeling)

                The medical term for indigestion is dyspepsia. Dyspepsia ( indigestion) has recently been redefined in many countries to include heartburn and chest discomfort.... in addition to stomach discomfort ....... so i guess they basically mean the same now... where as before heartburn meant chest discomfort... indigestion meant stomach discomfort.