If you think you have heartburn but the chest pain keeps worsening, or you feel pressure instead of just burning, you may be having a heart attack. Other worrisome signs: The pain moves into your jaw or arm, or you are sweaty and short of breath. As soon as possible, chew and swallow one adult aspirin tablet (325 milligrams) or four low-dose “baby” tablets, and call 911 and ask for an ambulance. Most doctors consider chest pain a heart symptom until they can prove otherwise. If you call an ambulance, treatment can begin on the way to the hospital.
You should also consult your doctor if your gastrointestinal symptoms worsen, or if you experience any of the following, which can indicate a serious disorder:
- Persistent abdominal pain or persistent vomiting.
- Difficulty swallowing, including food getting stuck in the esophagus.
- Coughing up or vomiting blood. This may be fresh red blood but can also look like coffee grounds.
- Black, tarry stool, possibly the result of upper gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Unintentional weight loss.