Is It Possible To Have Belching And Pressure In The Sternum Region, Where The Heart Is Concerned?


Asked by Carrie with a question?

Is It Possible To Have Belching And Pressure In The Sternum Region, Where The Heart Is Concerned?

My husband is 39 (soon to be 40) and experienced what we all thought was a heart attack about a week and a half ago. Our ER could not find anything on the EKG nor on the chest x-ray; however after 3 days his symtoms have returned; just not at the severity of what they were the day I was in the process of driving him to the ER (while driving he told me that he needed and ambulance... so i called 911 and they met us and he took the rest of the trip to the ER by ambulance). I am just curious and so is my husband if symtoms such as belching constantly, diarrhe, pressure in the sternum region, and a lot of feeling nauseous. My husband does have a history of heart disease on both sides of his family. I would greatly appreciate a response ASAP.


Carrie with a question?

Thanks for your question.

I'm glad to hear that the Emergency Room found nothing to indicate a cardiac cause for your husband's discomfort. Unfortunately, they didn't come up with the reason for his symptoms.

Though heart disease is now lower on the list, I would not eliminate it altogether in view of your husband's family history. At some point, his doctor should consider a stress test to be sure there is no problem there.

I think the next area to investigate is the gastrointestinal tract, including the Gallbladder. Gallbladder disease can cause all of the symptoms experienced by your husband. It is notorious for causing many patients to be admitted to coronary care units because the suspicion is the heart. Gallbladder pain can be felt in the abdomen, chest and even a shoulder. It can range from mild discomfort to extreme pain and distress. Nausea, belching and even vomiting are also very common symptoms.

Problems of the esophagus and stomach can also cause problems that could explain his discomfort. A stricture (narrowing), ulcer, inflammation (esophagitis, gastritis), and growths are all possible causes.

I suggest you make an appointment for an evaluation by his physician to check for these potential causes. And don't forget to discuss the need to check his heart out further.

Best wishes.

Martin Cane, M.D.