September 13, 2010

Chest Tightness and GERD

Acid reflux disease can be referred to as either acid reflux, or the more severe diagnosis of gastro-esophageal reflux disease, or ?GERD.? Both denote a breakdown of the esophageal sphincter’s ability to properly close, allowing acid to come up from your stomach into your esophagus, throat and mouth. This is a wholly unnatural condition, since your stomach is the only body part properly equipped to withstand this corrosive stomach acid. The breakdown of the tissues in your upper gastrointestinal tract and throat causes heartburn pain, frequent swallowing, possible regurgitation of acid, the breakdown of tooth enamel, hoarseness, bad breath, frequent burping, and stomach pain. Occasionally, even chest tightness and GERD will go hand in hand.

Several factors contribute to this chest tightening feeling. Peripheral nerves in the esophagus and surrounding tissue can be aggravated by this condition, causing a feeling of tightness. The nerves surrounding the lungs can be agitated, causing a constriction of the airway, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest cavity. While this symptom is not necessarily life-threatening, it can be alarming, and is one of many anxiety-causing symptoms of GERD and acid reflux.

When you go to a doctor to have either GERD or acid reflux diagnosed, you may be recommended a prescription medication that fits your particular symptoms, or you may request your doctor to direct a more natural approach to healing. Know that many of the popular over-the-counter remedies including Prevacid, Prilosec, and Zantac are meant to be taken only for two weeks, and then a lengthy break is recommended before starting again. You might try Rolaids or Tums, but as with other over-the-counter remedies, long-term use is ill-advised.

There are many common sense solutions that you can use on your own to combat the symptoms of chest tightness and GERD. First you must focus on treating the actual cause, which is the esophageal sphincter-failure due to too much acid in the stomach. Cutting back on the causes of excess acid is one path, including cessation of alcohol, caffeine and smoking. Also included in your ?don’t? list is salt, which has been shown to act as an acid producer. Other ways to combat the symptoms include limiting your food intake to smaller meals per sitting, since heavy meals seem to lead to increased production of stomach acid. Red apples have proven to be an effective natural remedy, along with many old fashioned ?cures? including drinking plenty of milk (which may coat your stomach for short-term relief but in the long run cause additional acid production). Instead, try plain crackers with water, or Milk of Magnesia for infrequent flare-ups.

Keep your doctor informed to changes in your diet, and let him or her know if your symptoms lessen or increase. They need to know details before recommending a different course of action, which may include either changing your medication or ceasing it altogether. Of course, your best tool against this disease and its attendant symptoms is knowledge. Learn as much as you can about what to do and what not to do for chest tightness and GERD, and diligently follow a plan to ensure relief from your suffering.

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Comments on Chest Tightness and GERD »

December 31, 2013

andrea @ 1:02 pm

I have pain in my upper stomach where my gallbladder was,in my upper back in my jaw and tightness in my chest. I don’t really have acid comeing up my throat but I’ve never experienced such pain. Why does the acid make someone feel this way even when acid isn’t coming up my throat?

June 3, 2016

admin @ 9:38 am

Please check out for more information and help.

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