The symptoms of acid reflux syndrome are primarily heartburn and nausea. Some regurgitation of acid and/or foods may be present. While it is not a common symptom, some people do experience acid reflux chest pain. However, any chest pain should be thoroughly evaluated by a physician to rule out heart disease.
According to the Mayo clinic, chest pain that is not related to heart disease is most commonly caused by acid reflux syndrome or GERD, which is gastro-esophageal reflux. The terms are used interchangeably. In order to determine if a person is experiencing acid reflux chest pain, doctors may use tests to measure acid levels in the esophagus, this is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. A symptoms diary is also helpful to determine if the pain is acid reflux chest pain or another condition. If a person notes that the chest pain occurs when other acid reflux syndrome symptoms are present, then the doctor may conclude that the pain is caused by the acid reflux syndrome.
Studies have shown that between 22 and 66 percent of patients who had chest pain that was not related to heart disease suffered from acid reflux syndrome. This is not to say that all Acidaburn non-cardiac chest pain is acid reflux chest pain, there are other possible causes. Researchers have investigated the possibility that some chest pain, not caused by heart disease or acid reflux syndrome, may be caused by a heightened sensitivity to pain in some organs. Studies have shown that in some patients, the muscles of some organs are sensitive and quick to send pain signals to the brain. No one knows why this happens, but research does continue.
Once the determination is made that no heart disease is present, treatment of acid reflux chest pain is no different form treatment of acid reflux syndrome without chest pain. Antacids or proton pump inhibitors are commonly prescribed. Acid reflux syndrome should be carefully monitored to be sure that stomach acid is not damaging the esophagus. It does not appear that acid reflux chest pain is related to damage of the esophagus.
Some people prefer to treat acid reflux syndrome with herbs or botanicals and dietary or lifestyle changes. If these effectively reduce stomach acid, then they should relieve the acid reflux chest pain. Some lifestyle changes that can help relieve acid reflux syndrome include giving up tobacco and/or alcohol use and weight loss. Some dietary changes that can relieve acid reflux syndrome include eating smaller meals more frequently and removing highly acidic, fried and fatty foods from the diet.
There are many herbs and botanicals that may relieve acid reflux syndrome and therefore acid reflux chest pain. These include fennel seed or oil, ginger root, chamomile and aloe. These ingredients and others are sometimes combined by herbalists to create a product for relief of acid reflux syndrome.