Cardiology

Esophageal Spasm

Esophageal Spasm The chest is a complex area in the body, and many organs reside behind the breast bone. When we have pain in the chest, we usually think of the heart, but pain can also come from the muscles, the lungs, the sac around the heart, and or the digestive system.

The esophagus sits directly behind the heart and can cause chest pain. This is usually the result the reflux of acidic particles from the stomach upwards into the esophagus. These particles can cause the esophagus, which has muscle in it, to spasm

Symptoms

  • Patients usually feel a chest tightness after meals or when laying flat
  • Discomfort can last for more than 20 minutes

Diagnostic Tests

  • Testing is usually a trial of certain medications to see if they reduce the pain
  • Sometimes, an endoscopy is used to get clues. Endoscopy is procedure where a camera is inserted into the esophagus to look at it directly and take samples of the tissue

Treatment

Medications are the mainstay of treatment. There are multiple medications available. Some suppress the formation of acid in the stomach, and others relax the muscle in the esophagus.

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