Apologies in advance for a lengthy first post. I’m a worry wart and any time I try to express myself, it can result in a train wreck. I’ll try my best to keep this organized.
I was diagnosed with GERD by my heart doctor in November last year. I had went to my PCP prior with complaints of heart palpitations, so she sent me to a cardiologist for further testing. The cardiologist checked my vitals and because my blood pressure, heart rate, EKG and my blood work results were all good, she saw no need for an echocardiogram or other tests. Here’s a little background information that led her to diagnosing me with GERD:
I’ve experienced heartburn off and on throughout my life, but it seemed to be more severe after a weekend of eating a Little Caesar's sausage pizza back in October. It started with the bitter taste and burn in my throat the first couple days, and that went away eventually as it usually does without treatment, but then I began feeling a persistent dull ache in my chest that lasted for about
two weeks. I would feel fine throughout the morning and early evening, but as soon as the sun set, it would start aching again. Because I had no other symptoms, I tried to make sense of what it could be on my own and until I could see the heart doctor, but I never considered GERD. I thought maybe I was coming down with a chest cold without a cough, or maybe having gotten the flu shot around this same time had caused the ache. Maybe I had the flu but the shot had made the symptoms less severe and it just left me with an ache in my chest, if that makes sense. Or maybe it was a reaction from the flu shot itself?
Anyways, as I was waiting for my appointment to see the cardiologist and talk with her about
the initial complaints of palpitations, along with this new chest pain, I thought more and more about
acid reflux and I decided to try an OTC calcium carbonate antacid. Fortunately, this relieved a lot of the pain for me and above all, gave me hope that I wasn’t experiencing something heart related. Luckily, this ache eventually faded away, or at least, it isn’t as prominent and persistent now with the use of antacids after eating.
So, the day finally comes to see the heart doctor and I told her about
the persistent chest pain/ache, as well as it being relieved by antacids, and she ruled out all heart issues and said I have GERD. She even said GERD can cause heart palpitations. Has anyone else heard of this or experienced palpitations caused by this disorder? These palpitations have been giving me a lot of anxiety, and while her words gave me some hope that it wasn’t something more serious, I still don’t understand how GERD can cause them and this lack of understanding causes me to still worry about
my heart despite being validated by a heart doctor that I’m fine.
Also, if you’ve experienced chest pain due to GERD, can it feel like a dull ache instead of a burning sensation? Usually, I have the burning sensation in my chest area, but this episode felt like a bone-deep ache, much like an arthritic type of pain. My next step is to have a chest X-ray to see if it is bone related, but until then, I’m left here worrying and seeking the support of others who may shed some light on this.
And hopefully I’m not sounding too needy here, but I’m starting an OTC Prilosec this week as recommended by my PCP and I would love to hear about
personal experiences with this type of treatment.