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Difference Between Heartburn And Chest Pain

Differences Between Heartburn & Heart Attack

Difference between Acid Reflux and Chest Pains Related to Heart
  • Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux whereas a heart attack occurs when the coronary arteries are blocked due to the build-up of plaque, resulting in poor blood circulation to the heart.
  • A heartburn usually occurs after a heavy meal but a heart attack can occur at any time suddenly.
  • The former can cause an uncomfortable burning sensation in your throat, accompanied by a sour, or acidic taste in the back of your throat or pain that worsens with bending or when lying down. But the typical signs and symptoms of the latter include tightness or pain in your chest that may radiate to your neck, jaw or back accompanied by cold sweat, fatigue, sudden dizziness, etc.
  • When experiencing a heartburn, the chest pain or discomfort usually subsides after taking antacids but if its a heart attack, the chest pain usually does not subside after taking antacids.
  • Heartburns are not life threatening whereas a heart attack can be fatal and needs immediate medical attention.
  • Is It Possible To Prevent A Heart Attack Or Heartburn

    There is a good possibility that both heartburn or a heart attack can be reduced or prevented. A balanced diet along with exercise is key to preventing for both heartburn and or heart attack. In addition to treating the underlying cause of heartburn, there are life style changes and natural home remedies that may help prevent it.

    • Eat small, more frequent meals.
    • Do not eat about three hours before bedtime.
    • Elevate the head of your bed by about 6 inches.
    • Do not eat or drink foods that are acidic or trigger acid development in the stomach.
    • Stop smoking and/or drinking alcohol.
    • Try to take your heartburn medication at the same time each day.

    The chances of reducing or stopping recurrent or initial heart attacks may be prevented by lifestyle changes, for example:

    Relief For Chest And Breast Pain

    Some measures may be recommended for a healthy start toward comfort, including:

    • Avoiding strenuous activities
    • Applying an ice pack to the area throughout the day
    • Taking over-the-counter pain medications

    Nevertheless, effectively treating chest and breast pain will depend on what is causing the discomfort. Speak with your doctor to develop a treatment plan for your specific case.

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    How Can I Tell The Difference Between Heartburn And A Heart Attack

    It can often be difficult to tell the difference between these two issues based on symptoms alone. However, there are some indicators that may help you determine whether youre experiencing a heart attack or heartburn:

    • Heartburn tends to occur after a meal and be more painful when lying down
    • Antacid drugs can relieve heartburn symptoms, but wont alleviate chest pain associated with a heart attack
    • More generalized symptoms such as breathlessness or pain extending into the neck, shoulder, and jaw typically dont occur with heartburn
    • Pain extending into your throat is typically associated with heartburn
    • Belching and bloating often occur from heartburn but are not associated with a heart attack
    • Strenuous activity will often make heart attack symptoms worse

    Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

    What is the difference between Indigestion and Heart burn ...

    Heart attacks often but not always happen with classic symptoms:

    • chest pain that is often described as pressure, squeezing, heaviness, tightness, fullness, or ache
    • chest pain that feels like a very heavy weight crushing against the chest
    • pain may come and go, but lasts for more than a few minutes

    Not all heart attacks give the same symptoms. Symptoms can be mild or severe, and some people experience no symptoms at all.

    The chest pain or discomfort is usually central or central-left, but it might not be. The pain may spread to other areas. It can affect one or both arms, the neck, jaw, or upper or mid-back.

    Heart attack often comes with other symptoms:

    • breaking out in a cold sweat
    • being short of breath
    • feeling very tired or lacking in energy
    • feeling dizzy or lightheaded

    People who may be less likely to experience symptoms when having a heart attack include older people and those with diabetes. These people may still show other symptoms though, such as breathlessness.

    Read Also: Does Acv Help With Heartburn

    Chest Pains: Am I Experiencing Heartburn Or Heart Attack

    It can be pretty alarming when you start feeling pain in your chest. Some people can rule out that it could be heartburn, but in some cases, you may be dealing with a heart attack. However, you should know that these conditions are significantly different, and you can still figure out whether youre experiencing heartburn or a heart attack.

    Sometimes heartburn can be treated easily with the help of Dexilant. In some cases, many think that mustard is good for acid reflux and trust this home remedy to ease the burn in their chest. But what if its a heart attack?

    The symptoms of a heart attack can be quite similar to that of heartburn. However, a noticeable sign that says you could be dealing with a heart attack is if the pain is accompanied by difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or sweating. Even if youve taken an over-the-counter heartburn remedy and the pain persists, you should get medical attention right away.

    Understanding the difference between heartburns and heart attacks could potentially save your life. So, in this article, well dig deeper into the heartburns and heart attacks going beyond the symptoms, what happens to your body when you have heartburn, and if there are other causes for chest pains.

    South Denver Cardiology Associates Can Help

    South Denver Cardiology Associates provides award-winning cardiac care focused on helping you achieve a healthier life. We offer comprehensive diagnostic testing to determine whether your symptoms are heart-related or not. Once weve accurately diagnosed the cause of your symptoms, well work with you to develop the right treatment plan to manage your condition.

    Please contact us today to schedule a consultation. South Denver Cardiology Associates serves patients in Denver, Littleton, and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

    Despite having similar symptoms to heartburn, the symptoms of a heart attack are quite unique:

    • Pain, pressure, or a squeezing sensation in your chest or arms that begins to spread to the neck, jaw, or back
    • Shortness of breath
    • Sudden dizziness
    • Persistence or increasing intensity of symptoms over the course of several minutes

    The symptoms of a heart attack often come on very quickly, as they are typically a result of a blockage within the coronary artery.

    Differences Between Symptoms Of Heartburn And Heart Attack

    How can I tell the difference between heartburn and a heart attack?

    It can sometimes be difficult to know if symptoms are due to a heart attack or heartburn. Doctors often find making a diagnosis based on symptoms alone difficult and rely on tests.

    Sometimes even doctors can find their symptoms difficult to understand. A doctor at Harvard, for example, has told his story of heart disease.

    He had a burning symptom in his upper belly whenever he exercised, but treatments for heartburn did not help.

    It was not until he became breathless and unable to carry on that he sought medical help. Tests revealed heart disease that was close to causing a heart attack.

    The main difference between symptoms is that:

    • Heartburn tends to be worse after eating and when lying down, but a heart attack can happen after a meal, too.
    • Heartburn can be relieved by drugs that reduce acid levels in the stomach.
    • Heartburn does not cause more general symptoms, such as breathlessness.
    • Heart attack does not cause bloating or belching, but these can happen with heartburn.

    following symptoms should call 911 at once:

    • Chest pain or discomfort, such as pressure, squeezing, pain, or fullness that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back again
    • Pain or discomfort in other parts of the body, for example, one or both arms, back, jaw, neck, or stomach
    • Shortness of breath, before or with chest discomfort
    • Cold sweat
    • Other signs: Feeling unusually tired

    All these symptoms can affect both men and women, but:

    Also Check: What To Eat To Fix Heartburn

    Heartburn Or Heart Attack How To Tell The Difference

        Chest pain can be scary. And its not always easy to tell the difference between heartburn and a heart attack especially since heartburn-like symptoms can be from a heart attack. Columbus Batiste, MD, an interventional cardiologist and chief of cardiology at Kaiser Permanentes Riverside and Moreno Valley Medical Centers in Southern California, breaks down the symptoms and details the importance of knowing if youre at risk for heart disease.

        What is heartburn?

        Heartburn is discomfort or pain that occurs when food and stomach acid back up into the esophagus the tube that leads from the throat to the stomach.

        Common indicators of heartburn include:

        • A burning sensation in the chest or stomach
        • Foul breath and a sour, acidic, or metallic taste in the mouth
        • Increased gas or belching
        • Coughing, especially when lying down
        • Symptoms start after eating or lying down

        You should be able to relieve your symptoms by taking an antacid, like Tums or Rolaids, or by drinking a glass of water with a spoonful of baking soda stirred in it. If heartburn is keeping you from sleeping, propping yourself up in bed can help.

        Contact your doctor for advice if an antacid doesnt temporarily ease your symptoms, this is the first time youve had heartburn, or your symptoms have changed.

        Heart attack signs can vary greatly

        • Back discomfort
        • Lightheadedness

        Silent heart attacks are common

        Another cause of chest pain

        Risk factors for heart disease

        How To Spot Heart Pain From Heartburn

        Posted by Dr. Chris

        Most of us think that we will be able to spot a heart attack when we see one. The typical image of a person clutching their chest, gasping for air and falling to the ground is the way we have seen heart attacks portrayed time and again in the media. Pretty easy to spot even if you have absolutely no medical training. But you may be totally off the mark. A recent study in Iceland has shown that typical heart attacks are far less common than atypical heart attacks .

        In fact, some of the symptoms that we think is due to a heart attack may actually have nothing to do with the heart. Everyday emergency rooms around the world are faced with patients who think that they are having a heart attack but are actually experiencing severe episodes of indigestion and heartburn, among other non-cardiac causes of chest pain. Nevertheless, there is no harm in being cautious especially if you are in a high risk category for having a heart attack.

        Read Also: Foods To Eat To Avoid Heartburn

        Heartburn Or Heart Attack

        The symptoms of heartburn may mimic those of angina or a heart attack . If you’re uncertain, don’t hesitate to get to an emergency room for an evaluation as soon as possible.


        • Tightness, pressure, squeezing, stabbing, or dull pain, most often in the center of the chest

        • Pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck, or arms

        • Irregular or rapid heartbeat

        • Cold sweat or clammy skin

        • Lightheadedness, weakness, or dizziness

        • Nausea, indigestion, and sometimes vomiting

        • The appearance of symptoms with physical exertion or extreme stress


        • Burning chest pain that begins at the breastbone

        • Pain that moves up toward your throat but doesn’t typically radiate to your shoulders, neck, or arms

        • Sensation that food is coming back into your mouth

        • Bitter or acidic taste at the back of your throat

        • Pain that worsens when you lie down or bend over

        • The appearance of symptoms after a large or spicy meal

        Is Your Pain Accompanied By A Runny Nose Coughing Sore Throat And Fever

        Chest Discomfort? How to Know if Its Serious

        Acute bronchitis can make your chest ache, a pain that worsens if you have a hacking cough. The condition occurs when your bronchial tubes become inflamed. Mucus builds up, leading to shortness of breath and feeling like you have a cold.

        Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and ask you to rest and drink plenty of liquids to thin the mucus and keep your bronchial tubes lubricated. If symptoms continue longer than 10 days, consider getting a chest X-ray to determine whether your condition has turned into pneumonia or if there is another culprit causing your pain.

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        Is It Gas Pain Or A Heart Problem

        Its perfectly normal to pass gas between 10 and 20 times a day. At the same time, its understandable to be worried if you feel chest pain after eating a meal. After all, if its gas, arent you supposed to feel it in your gut, not near your heart?

        While you may be simply feeling the sensation of gas pain in your chest, this pain could also indicate a serious heart issue. Learn how to determine if you or a loved one needs to seek medical attention.

        Please note, if you are still unsure if you are experiencing gas pain or a heart problem after reading this article, play it safe and go to the nearest emergency room to receive care.

        How To Avoid Reflux

        There are some things you can do to keep the heartburn away.

      • Stay away from alcohol, cigarettes, aspirin/anti-inflammatories and citrus , Bauman advised.
      • And if you experience heartburn at night, try giving gravity a hand. Raise the head of your bed on blocks so gravity can help keep your stomach contents down in the stomach, Bauman said.
      • Another possible remedy can be not to eat close to bedtime or late at night. When your stomach is full of food or busy digesting food, try letting it finish that work before heading to bed.
      • Some over-the-counter medications can also help.
      • See your doctor to discuss your symptoms.
      • Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.

        Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Heartburn Before Bed

        Is It Heart Pain Or Just Heartburn

        The signals our body sends us can be confusing. And if the signal is coming from your chest, the stakes are high is it my heart or is it just heartburn?

        First and foremost, heres a good rule to follow: If in doubt, check it out. Its always better to be safe than sorry.

        That said, there are some clues that can help discriminate between heart pain and simple heartburn:

      • Heart pain tends to be brought on by exertion or stress and is relieved with rest. Heartburn has no relationship to physical activity. Instead, it tends to be related to ingestion of food.
      • Heart pain tends to occur in the context of risk factors for heart disease, including older age, family history of heart disease, history of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and/or history of tobacco use. Heartburn has no relationship to heart disease risk factors.
      • Heart pain tends to be progressive over time it will take less and less activity or stress to prompt the pain. Heartburn tends to remain more random.
      • Heart pain is unlikely to occur spontaneously in the middle of the night. Heartburn classically wakes people up at 2 to 3 in the morning.
      • Heart pain may be accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, and a sense of doom. Heartburn tends to be an isolated symptom.
      • Heart pain does not respond to antacids. Heartburn often gets better with over-the-counter medication like Maalox or TUMS.
      • NOTE: if you have regularly occurring heartburn, see your healthcare provider.

        What Is Acid Reflux

        How to Differentiate between Heartburn and Chest Pain

        A circular muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter joins your esophagus and stomach. This muscle is in charge of tightening your esophagus after food passes to the stomach. If this muscle is weak or doesnt tighten properly, the acid from your stomach can move backward into your esophagus. This is known as acid reflux.

        Acid reflux can cause heartburn and other symptoms that include:

        • cough

        Most people can experience heartburn and acid reflux intermittently related to something they ate or habits like lying down immediately after eating. However, GERD is a chronic condition where doctors start to examine long-lasting habits and parts of a persons anatomy that could cause GERD. Examples of the causes of GERD include:

        • being overweight or obese, which puts extra pressure on the stomach
        • hiatal hernia, which reduces pressure in the LES
        • smoking
        • consuming alcohol
        • pregnancy
        • taking medicines known to weaken the LES, such as antihistamines, calcium channel blockers, pain-relieving medicines, sedatives, and antidepressants

        Symptoms of GERD may disrupt your daily life. Fortunately, they can usually be controlled with treatment. Options include:

        • diet modification
        • smoking cessation
        • alcohol cessation

        Medications for GERD work to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. They may not be effective for everyone. Some people need surgery to help reinforce the LES.

        Read Also: How To Stop Heartburn And Acid Reflux

        The Bottom Line: Whatever Pain Youre Feeling Its Best To Remedy It Right Away

        Because heartburn and heart attack symptoms are very similar, making sure you dont interchange them from the other is incredibly important. While others believe that mustard is good for acid reflux, its still crucial that you do enough research to ensure that youre getting the right treatment to help ease the discomfort youre feeling.

        What Is A Heart Attack

        A heart attack occurs when your coronary arteries dont supply enough blood and oxygen to the heart. This can result in chest pain that is commonly described as tightness, pressure, or constriction in the region, whereas heartburn typically results in more of a burning sensation. However, it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two, which is why you should be on the lookout for other common symptoms of a heart attack, which include:

        • Pain that spreads into the arms, jaw, neck, or shoulders
        • Shortness of breath
        • Cold sweat
        • Nausea

        Not all of these symptoms will be present with every heart attack, and they can often vary in severity. While chest pain is the most common symptom and typically occurs with all heart attacks, women tend to develop these secondary symptoms heart attack symptoms more frequently than men.

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