Good Morning Chris,
There are many definitions of panic attacks and many symptoms but here is the basic definition to refresh our memories:
The sudden onset of intense anxiety, characterized by feelings of intense fear and apprehension and accompanied by palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, and trembling. Also called anxiety attack.
panic attacks are often diagnosed by eliminating all other possibilities
and GERD often go together
when a panic attack starts, it helps to avoid tensing up or fighting back but do accept, try to relax and do breathe deep and slow
panic attacks wont hurt you, I am now 65 and in good health after 20 years of panic attacks