A burning feeling behind your breastbone is often from heartburn, an instance when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. In a significant number of cases, however, it actually may be due to the heart receiving inadequate blood flow. Unfortunately, many people end up having heart attacks thinking it was heartburn or indigestion. If you have associated symptoms such as difficulty breathing or sweating, or the pattern doesn’t fit with that of typical heartburn, it’s recommended you seek immediate medical care.
Causes & Risk Factors
Heartburn typically occurs when the sphincter at the end of the esophagus allows some of the stomach’s acidic contents to reflux into the esophagus. Alternatively, a blocked coronary artery may also cause a burning sensation in the chest that can be mistaken as heartburn.
Treatment & Prevention
The first step in treating discomfort in the chest is understanding what’s causing it. If the doctors at Manhattan Cardiovascular Associates determine there is a cardiac cause, they will tailor a treatment plan to prevent long term damage to your heart and treat its underlying cause. If the source of the discomfort is determined to be gastrointestinal, a recommendation to a trusted gastroenterologist can be made.