Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsOther - Diseases · 8 years ago

Can a hiatal hernia or GERD cause heart attack-like symptoms and difficulty breathing?

About me: I'm a 23 year-old female. I'm not overweight, I don't drink alcohol, I don't smoke, and I don't do drugs. I also don't consume a lot of caffeine. Here's the problem:

When I was around 13, I was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and also as having a hiatal hernia. I was able to manage it pretty well by taking medicine up until July of last year, when I started getting sharp, stabbing chest pains out of nowhere. Whenever this happens, it feels like I'm about to have a heart attack. The pain doesn't usually last very long (maybe 10 seconds or less), but it's always VERY painful. It happens about every two or three days.

I also can't take a deep breath and feel really short of breath. This happens on and off and usually coincides with the chest pain. I noticed when I'm like this, I can't hold my breath underwater for very long (maybe 4 seconds).

My doctor said he would send me to see a cardiologist and then a gastroenterologist. I saw the cardiologist, who ran a bunch of tests and said my heart was fine.

My next appointment with my general practitioner was 30 minutes before his office closed, and I was very rushed. I didn't even wait in the waiting room. The doctor (maybe because he was in a hurry) didn't even mention sending me to a gastroenterologist and put me on an anti-depressant instead, saying the pain and shortness of breath might be from depression. I've been on it for over two weeks now, and it hasn't helped at all. In fact, while on it, I had the worst chest pain yet, lasting almost a full 30 seconds! I just about keeled over in pain!

This is majorly affecting my life, and I've gone entire nights without sleep. I feel like the doctor has already given up.

So the question I really want to know is, is it possible that all of this could be caused by my hiatal hernia and/or GERD? If so, can it be fixed and how? If not, what could it be? Should I ask my doctor to refer me to a gastroenterologist?

If anyone actually reads this novel of a question, thank you for taking the time to read this and answer :)

5 Answers

  • Nancy
    Lv 4
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hello Leanne,

    I just happened to be on the computer... you need to go to the gastroenterologist. This could be related to your hernia - no way to know for sure until you get checked out. It probably can be fixed, but you need to work with a good gastroenterologist to fix it. I don't know what your gp was thinking. If you don't get it fixed, you will have much more reason to get depressed! If your current doctor doesn't refer you, go to another doctor who will give you a second opinion. You might even talk to a good gastroenterologist on your own to see what they recommend as to how to get with them for care.

    Good luck. P.S. It does not sound like you need an antidepressant if the cause of the problem is your hernia or related issue. However, be careful with the discontinuation of this med. It is important to do it properly. Different medications are discontinued in different ways. Make sure you follow through on this and understand what is right for the med you've been on. Read the insert that comes with this and all meds you take to make sure you understand about the med; i. e., side effects, how to discontinue a med, potential interactions with other medications, any other important considerations must all be taken into account.

    Source(s): Former EMT. Studied nursing.
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  • 3 years ago


    Source(s): Eliminate Heartburn Pain Easily -
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  • orsini
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Hiatal Hernia Heart Attack

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  • hoopes
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Symptoms Of Hiatal Hernia Attack

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    You can get rid of acid reflux and heartburn with this natural method

    Usually, heartburnThe most common symptom of acid reflux disease (also known as gastroespohageal reflux disease, or GERD). Heartburn feels like a burning pain in the center of the chest. It is caused by acid from the stomach backing up into the esophagus. is a symptom of acid reflux disease (GERD) Also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Describes the condition of backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus which frequently happens when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relaxes more often than it should and/or at inappropriate times. The symptoms of acid reflux disease typically occur on 2 or more days a week.. And if you suffer from persistent heartburn on two or more days a week—and you’ve treated it and changed your diet—it could be due to acid refluxBackflow of stomach acid into the esophagus. Acid reflux frequently happens when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relaxes more often than it should and/or at inappropriate times. This allows harsh stomach juices to back up into the esophagus. disease. But only your doctor can tell you if these are signs of acid reflux disease.

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