Heart attack or oesophagus ? : Morning all... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK
109,156 members126,802 posts

Heart attack or oesophagus ?


Morning all,

Early hours Tuesday< I ended up in A & E with suspected heart attack. After a mass of tests, my heart was finally cleared but with no answer as to what had caused my "attack".

Last night another attack, but less severe this time, which gave me the chance to listen to my body and really pay attention to what was going on.

Both attacks were preceded by eating late and lying down not long after. I have gastro related symptoms, possibly connected with my thyroid and take lanzoprazole.

The feeling was not heartburn or reflux, more like a blockage causing spasm. So after a bit of late night research I think I may have an answer. Esophageal Spasm !

Not nice but much less scary than the alternatives.

Has anyone else experienced similar attacks. It seems that our thyroids tendency to cause leaky gut and other gastrointestinal symptoms could suggest a link.



11 Replies

Hi there - I don’t habe any advice or useful info but am very interested in any answers you get to your post. I have Graves’ disease and am on 25mg of carbimozole (was on propranolol but not any longer). I too, began about 2 months ago to get the sort of attacks that you have described. Like you, I thought I was having a heart attack but after heart echo scan I was told my heart is good and nothing there to worry about. So I thought it was heartburn which I’d never had before. So I started taking a nexium each time it started to come on and at first this seemed to help and the attack would go away quite quickly - but the last couple of weeks the Nexium hasn’t worked and the attack can go on for hours and it’s incredibly painful. I can’t lie down or stand up without feeling painful pressure from my stomach right up to my chest - I get clammy and shaky and there’s nothing that stops it. It’s actually scary.

I will be interested to see if others have experience this and can give us any advice.

in reply to Millea

Try looking up " Nutcracker oesophagus". It describes my attack perfectly. There are some things which can relieve it. Fizzy drinks, surprisingly worked for me last night. Liquorice root ( check what form as some can affect blood pressure). Lavender oil rubbed on chest. I'm still looking at things. But my trigger seems to be going to bed after eating late.

I'm pretty new to this myself, but on reading the leaflet enclosed with my levothyroxine, it does say that lansoprazole, etc, can have an effect on it, so I would check it out with your gp.

Hi, I have similar chest pain which can be triggered by eating or drinking. It feels like the sides of the oesophagus have been stuck together and the food/ fluid is trying to force its way through. The pain is excruciating and feels like you would expect a heart attack to feel it can last for several seconds perhaps a minute or two and feels like you can’t breath. Then it feels like the oesophagus finally relaxes and the food/ fluid moves and the pain goes.

I have Sjögren’s syndrome which causes my throat to become very dry and swallowing can be difficult. I get the attacks more in the morning after waking and mainly when drinking as opposed to eating. It feels like my oesophagus has closed over or has a tight band around it preventing the fulid getting through temporarily but then it forces its way though. It’s extremly difficult to explain. Interested in responses as mines been gettin worse lately. I’m afraid to take a drink when I wake up.

in reply to rosserk

I get this too rosserk, usually mornings when I drink a cup of tea. Awful sensation, everything stuck with great pain, I thought it was a sort of air bubble/vacuum effect then realised that was unlikely. If I drink slowly it doesn't happen.

What a scary trip to A&E for you! I get similar to rosserk's description. Usually in the morning with a first cup of tea, a sort of sudden closing of everything, pain, then forcing through. But mine only lasts for seconds at a time. I had looked it up and also found esophageal spams, but haven't had it checked out, so will watch thread with interest.

I will be getting things checked out as my first attack was 1&1/2 hours of agony. Ambulance took an hour to arrive as 111 didn't give full info. Second attack was nearly an hour but nowhere near as severe.

Hopefully GP won't mind my little bit of research..

Hi, yes I think I’ve had similar. Also had to call for an ambulance as I passed out and had intense chest and jaw pain. It’s happened a few times since.

I like the idea that I found when researching, as you suggested, of using peppermint extract to relax oesophageal spasm. I shall buy some. Also a non caffeinated, carbonated drink might help.

Thank you for identifying this problem. I didn’t have a diagnosis before just that it wasn’t a heart problem. It’s a rare occurrence for me but frightening when it happens. I think you might have pinpointed the problem.

My attacks happen usually in the early evening but don’t seem related to any particular food etc.

Probably another hypo symptom. I have had a hiatus hernia diagnosed. Low stomach acid I expect, made worse by inappropriate antacid medication.

Many thanks for posting about this.

Hi little-anne, yes I have this problem too I have had under-activeThyroid for nearly 30 years and have had gastric issues all my life. I was admitted to A&E 3 times in the space of 10 days in 2007 .Dr's said it was my heart but all tests came back clear.I find I have to limit the foods I eat as many foods trigger the pain to start .I have also developed Facial Neuralgia which makes it difficult to chew foods .I am sure that this problem is linked to our Thyroids not working properly and feel.much more research needs to be done on this subject . Love and hugs xx Moyra

Thankyou everyone for your replies,

I have just brought some DGL Liquorice from the health food shop, a tip I found online.

Have tried one yesterday evening when a little discomfort began and it worked.

Will watch the blood pressure though it is full DGL so should be ok.

Apparently some people find this liquorice means they can cut out the lanzoprazole.

Many thanks to all

little -anne


How long since Thyroid and vitamin testing last done

Can see you have Hashimoto's, and low vitamin levels in past

Low stomach acid and acid reflux are common problem when hypothyroid

But definitely must not just stop Lansoprazole

Low stomach acid info








Are you on strictly gluten free diet? This helps many with Hashimoto's

You may also like...