Is It Heart Attack or Heartburn? Find Out Now

Symptoms of Heartburn and Heart Attack usually appear similar. But both are different. Even experts sometimes have difficulty in diagnosing. However, in this post we will try to sort out the difference.

First lets understand Heartburn and Heart Attack.

What is Heartburn?

Although Heartburn contains the word ‘Heart’ it has nothing to do with your heart. It is simply a problem of your oesophagus.

Heartburn is caused when digestive juices (made up of HCl, an acid) enters the oesophagus. Your stomach is meant to withstand the acid, your oesophagus is not. Hence, the burning sensation.

What is Heart Attack?

Plaque formation within coronary arteries blocking the flow of blood is called heart attack or Myocardial infarction.

Both conditions occurring at chest’s center, a pain caused by heartburn can easily be considered as Heart Attack.

Use these guidelines to find which is which:

  1. Heartburn usually occurs after a meal (usually a heavier one). Heart Attack can occur at any time.
  2. Chest pain caused by heartburn remains around the chest. Rarely it passes to the throat and jaw. In case of Heart attack, the chest pain starts at chest and spreads alongs the arms, jaw, shoulder and back.
  3. If you belch and the pain goes away, it’s heartburn. If it’s heart attack, pain remains even after belching.
  4. If the pain passes away after taking an antacid then its Heartburn.
  5. If pain worsens after bending over or lying down then it’s heartburn. No matter in what position you are, the pain remains the same for heart attack.
  6. If you experience regular chest pain, often in short periods of time then it indicates possibility of heart attack. Chest pain caused by heartburn stays for hours.
  7. Chest pain accompanied by sweating and trouble in breathing is surely Heart attack.
  8. If you experience sourness in your mouth then its heartburn. This occurs due to the rising of acid.
  9. In case of Heartburn over the counter medication solves the problem.

For a complete list of heart attack symptoms click here.

For heart attack symptoms in women click here.

Here is How to Avoid HeartBurn

  • Don’t sleep within an hour after a meal. Give it a couple of hours so the food you consumed gets digested.
  • Stand up and walk so gravity can assist in digestion.
  • Avoid citrus fruits at night.
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal. When you eat too much, your body secrets more digestive juice than normal. This can easily result in heartburn.
  • Avoid oily foods.
  • Some medications like aspirin can cause heartburn. Talk to your doctor about it.

Although we have provided some tips to differentiate heartburn and heart attack, do not hesitate to call emergency number when in doubt. It is better to be rushed to the hospital and find it’s heartburn than to be foolish and risk your life.

The topic for this article was recommended by Molly Lindsey on our Fan Page. Thanks Molly for a great topic.

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