Q. I have chest congestion, acid reflux, and heartburn. Is it GERD or a heart attack?

Answered by
Dr. Sumit Srivastava
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 16, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 23, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am a 25 year old male, who weighs 240 lbs, and I am 5.10 feet tall. Tonight I had what I think was acid reflux or heartburn. I was not sure about it, as I have never had it. I felt like something is stuck in my throat, and also I felt a chest congestion when I tried to cough. I was reading online about the symptoms of GERD but also started reading about heart attack symptoms. I did not have any noticeable chest pains, but after reading about how people have a feeling of uneasiness, I had a weird feeling rush over my body for a brief second or two that felt like pins and needles and numbness, then I came back to normal. Is this a sign of anxiety, hypochondriasis, or a heart attack?

Dr. Sumit Srivastava

General Medicine Internal Medicine


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Thanks for your query. Let go of your anxiety.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is 80 % corrected by simple diet and lifestyle modifications. So, I would suggest you try the following.

  1. Lose your weight. If your BMI (body mass index) is 25 or above, you need to lose weight.
  2. Coffee, chocolates, citrus juices, tomato-based products, peppermints, onion family, beans, etc., are some of the food that you need to avoid, to relieve the symptoms.
  3. If you are fond of eating, it is time to stop it. Reduce your food intake. Instead of increasing the quantity, increase the frequency. Eat five short meals instead of three bigger ones.
  4. If you sleep just after or within three hours of meal intake, this habit needs to be stopped. Increase the interval.
  5. When you sleep, elevating the head at least 8 inches would be a good addition to the plan to combat GERD.
  6. Bending, stooping, and upside down hangings, with all other unnatural postures, need to be avoided.

Your symptoms could also be due to multivitamin deficiency, especially, vitamin B12 deficiency.

Hope this helps.

For more information consult a general medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/general-medicine-physician

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