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Is Heartburn A Sign Of A Heart Attack

Cardiac Arrest Vs Heart Attack

Heart attack mistaken for heartburn Symptoms not same for all

Sometimes there is confusion between the terms “cardiac arrest” and “heart attack.” A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, is damage to the heart muscle that occurs due to reduced blood flow to the heart muscle, depriving the heart muscle of the oxygen it needs to function properly.

Cardiac arrest means that the heart stops beating and death is imminent. A heart attack, if severe, can lead to cardiac arrest, and this is what occurs when a heart attack is fatal. However, other conditions, such as serious arrhythmias or shock, can also cause cardiac arrest.

Women And Heart Attacks

Do women experience heart attack symptoms differently than men?

According to the University of Utah, while the symptoms of a heart attack are technically the same in men and women, its possible that women may experience pain differently than men.

This differentiating pain threshold level may cause women to either underreport symptoms or simply ignore them.

This pain threshold difference is not scientifically proven, however, and there are other studies that find women are more sensitive to pain.

Another reason women may have a different reaction to symptoms of a heart attack is that this health issue is sometimes portrayed as a mans issue in popular culture.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , every year in the United States, heart disease kills just as many women as it does men.

So it bears repeating: If youre feeling tightness or pain in your chest, and you cant think of a direct cause, call 911 or local emergency services, or get to a doctor as soon as you can.

The questions below are designed to help you if youre ever in a situation where youre trying to decide whether you or someone else is experiencing a heart attack or just heartburn.

Do You Feel Pressure In Your Chest And Discomfort In Your Shoulders Arms Neck Jaw Or Back Do You Feel Like You Have Indigestion

Angina signals an underlying heart condition that can lead to a heart attack. Stable angina is triggered by emotional stress, smoking, heavy meals and extreme variances in temperature, all of which cause your heart to work harder.

This type of angina is episodic but controllable. Your doctor can help you understand and manage the condition.

Unstable angina is characterized by sudden chest pain or worsening or persistent chest discomfort that occurs during sleep or reduced physical activity. It is caused by a reduction in blood flow to the heart. This is a serious health issue that requires immediate medical attention.

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What Happens After A Heart Attack

When a heart attack does occur, the part of the heart that has gone without a blood supply is injured. The extent of damage depends on the size of the area that was nourished by the blocked artery and the length of time between injury and treatment.

The heart muscle heals from a heart attack by forming scar tissue, usually over the course of several weeks. Even though a part of the heart may have been injured, the rest of the muscle keeps on working. However, the damaged heart may be weaker and unable to pump as efficiently as before. Proper treatment and a change in lifestyle after a heart attack can limit or prevent further harm.

What’s The Difference Between A Cardiac Arrest And A Heart Attack

Heartburn Or Heart Attack? Thats How You Interpret The Symptoms ...

The phrases cardiac arrest and heart attack are often confused, however are different.If youre having a cardiac arrest you will be unconscious, not breathing or not breathing normally. Your heart has stopped pumping blood around your body and youll need CPR and medical attention immediately. During a heart attack you’ll be conscious and breathing, but experiencing chest pain or discomfort.A heart attack is a medical emergency and can lead to cardiac arrest so its important to seek medical attention straight away.

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How Can I Deal With Heartburn During Pregnancy

Im in my second trimester. No matter what I eat, I get heartburn. Is this normal? If so, what can I do to feel better?Cari

Heartburn, despite its name, has nothing to do with the heart. Its a burning feeling in the throat and chest when the stomachs contents move back up into the esophagus .

Heartburn is common during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones can make the valve at the entrance to the stomach relax so that it doesnt close as it should. This lets acidic stomach contents move up into the esophagus, a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux , or acid reflux. It can get worse later in pregnancy when the growing uterus presses up on the stomach.

To help ease heartburn pain:

  • Skip foods and drinks that can make it worse, such as citrus spicy, fatty foods caffeine and carbonated drinks.
  • Eat several small meals throughout the day.
  • Take your time when eating.
  • Drink liquids between not during meals.
  • Avoid eating or drinking for 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Resist the urge to lie down after meals.
  • Raise your head when you sleep.
  • Talk to your doctor about medicines that are safe to take for heartburn during pregnancy.

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Do You Have Chest Pain And Discomfort

These are the most common symptoms of a heart attack, for both men and women, young and old. But there are other symptoms to look out for, as well. Women are more likely to experience shortness of breath a squeezing, aching or sharp pain in the chest or arms that may spread to the neck, back or jaw unexplained nausea, heartburn vomiting sweating fatigue irregular pulse

lightheadedness or sudden dizziness.

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What To Do If You Have Chest Pain

If youre having chest pain that you think could be a heart attack, dont drive yourself to the emergency room. Always call 911 or local emergency services so you can get medical attention as quickly as possible.

The more time the heart goes without proper blood flow, the more damage the heart muscle may undergo. This is why its not a good idea to wait or hesitate if you think you may be experiencing a heart attack.

When Should I Call My Doctor About My Heartburn

Heartburn vs. heart attack – what you need to know

Even though heartburn is common, it can sometimes lead to more serious health problems. Severe, chronic heartburn has been linked to inflammation and narrowing of the esophagus, respiratory problems, chronic cough, GERD, and Barretts esophagus, which may lead to esophageal cancer.

You should contact your doctor if:

  • Your heartburn wont go away.
  • Your heartburn symptoms become more severe or frequent.
  • Its hard or hurts to swallow.
  • Your heartburn causes you to vomit.
  • You have had substantial, unexpected weight loss.
  • You take over-the-counter antacids for more than two weeks and you still have heartburn symptoms.
  • You have heartburn symptoms even after taking prescription medicines.

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What Does A Heart Attack Feel Like

    Knowing the early warning signs of heart attack is critical for prompt recognition and treatment. Many heart attacks start slowly, unlike the dramatic portrayal often seen in the movies. A person experiencing a heart attack may not even be sure of what is happening. Heart attack symptoms vary among individuals, and even a person who has had a previous heart attack may have different symptoms in a subsequent heart attack. Although chest pain or pressure is the most common symptom of a heart attack, heart attack victims may experience a diversity of symptoms. The following list describes the symptoms of a heart attack in more detail.

    What Are The Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

    Heart attack symptoms can vary but the most common signs of a heart attack are:

    • chest pain or discomfort that suddenly occurs and doesnt go away. It may feel like pressure, squeezing or heaviness in your chest. It can feel like indigestion or a burning sensation
    • pain that may spread to your left or right arm or may spread to your neck, jaw, back or stomach
    • feeling sick, sweaty, light-headed or short of breath.

    Other less common symptoms include:

    • a sudden feeling of anxiety that can feel similar to a panic attack
    • excessive coughing or wheezing due to a build up of fluid in the lungs.

    Pain levels can also vary from person to person. For some people the pain or tightness in their chest is severe, while other people just feel uncomfortable, or pain similar to indigestion. Heart attack symptoms can persist over days, or they can come on suddenly and unexpectedly.

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    What Are Heart Attack Signs

    Typical heart attack symptoms include:

    • Pressure, tightness, pain or a squeezing/aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back
    • Nausea or abdominal pain
    • Fatigue
    • Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness

    For both men and women, the most common symptom of a heart attack is chest discomfort.

    Women usually experience some of the additional signs, such as jaw or back pain, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should take steps to get checked out right away.

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    The Symptoms Of These Two Health Problems May Overlap And Sometimes So Do The Treatments

    Heart Attack Versus Heartburn

    During your regular after-dinner walk around the neighborhood, you feel a painful sensation in the center of your chest. Could it be your heartburn flaring up again, or something more serious?

    Heartburn is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease , often called acid reflux. Acid from the stomach bubbles up into the esophagus, causing a painful burning just behind the breastbone. Not surprisingly, it’s often mistaken for a heart attack. In fact, of the over eight million emergency room visits for chest pain each year, severe heartburn accounts for over half the cases in which actual heart problems are ruled out.

    Chest pain caused by insufficient blood flow to the heart or a heart attack is often described as a feeling of tightness, constriction, or pressure, rather than a burning sensation . But it’s not always easy to tell the difference. “Chest discomfort brought on by exercise is more likely to be a heart-related problem,” says Dr. Michelle O’Donoghue, cardiovascular specialist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. But you can also have angina that’s not related to physical activity, she notes. If you have any symptoms you’re not sure about, see a doctor. And call 911 if you feel chest tightness, have trouble breathing, break into a sweat, turn pale, or become very weak.

    GERD and heart disease are both common, and many people take medications to prevent or treat both conditions.

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    Heart Attack Vs Heartburn Complications

    If left untreated or handled improperly, both conditions could lead to complications further down the line. Below are the most common complications associated with heart attacks and heartburn.

    Heart attack: The damage that occurs as a result of a heart attack can lead to complications such as abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmias, heart failure, heart ruptures, and valve problems. Most of these issues have the potential to become fatal, so it is imperative that all heart issues are checked as soon as possible.

    Heartburn: Chronic heartburnGERDcan cause complications, including esophageal damage like inflammation, ulcers, and scarring. These conditions are known as esophagitis, esophageal ulcers, and esophageal stricture respectively. GERD can also cause Barretts esophagus, which is the development of precancerous cells in the gullet. It can also increase your risk of esophageal cancer, and cause tooth decay as the acid wears away at tooth enamel, leaving your smile weak and vulnerable to cavities.

    When To See A Doctor For Heartburn

    People who experience acid reflux should make an appointment to see a doctor if:

    • the condition persists for some time
    • food sticks in the throat
    • there is difficulty eating
    • there is blood in the stools
    • there is difficulty breathing or swallowing

    Persistent exposure to the stomach acid can cause damage to the esophagus.

    Emergency doctors will consider the symptoms, examine the patient, and carry out some tests.

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    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.

    Heartburn Or Heart Attack When To Sound The Alarm

    Heart attack mistaken for heartburn Symptoms not same for all

    Heartburn is a very common condition that affects about 42 percent of Americans. In fact, I experienced it myself shortly after dinner last night. It is a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux that you typically feel as pain or burning in the chest. When you have heartburn, some of the acid in your stomach comes up into your esophagus, causing that pain. Taking an over-the-counter antacid can bring relief in moments.

    Chest pain, however, is also a common sign of heart disease. Heart disease is life-threatening and is diagnosed in about 12 percent of Americans . It is one of the top causes of death for Americans. A heart attack, a condition in which the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen because of blocked blood vessels, can strike suddenly and be fatal if not treated promptly.

    If youre experiencing pain or burning in your chest, how do you know its just heartburn and not something more? We spoke with a pair of UVA doctors for some clarity.

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    Is It Heartburn Or A Heart Attack How To Tell

    Is that burning sensation in your chest simply heartburn or the sign of something much worse? Its not always easy to tell.

    Unfortunately, the stakes couldnt be higher. Forty percent of women and 30 percent of men with coronary artery disease experience this symptom, UH cardiologist disease specialist Barbara Williams, MD says.

    Is It Heartburn Or A Heart Attack

    If youve ever shown up at the emergency department convinced youre having a heart attack only to discover it was a particularly bad case of heartburn, youre not alone.

    The journal Circulation of the American Heart Association reports that there are more than 8 million visits to the emergency department every year for chest pain, but fewer than 5 percent end up being a serious heart condition.

    If it makes you feel better, determining whether its really a heart attack can also be tricky for the professionals.

    Although heartburn and a heart attack are very different, they feel alike in many ways, said Cardiology Fellow William Stoutt, DO, with Samaritan Cardiology – Corvallis. It can be difficult to determine the true cause of chest pain with just a description of symptoms, and we may need to use several tests to pinpoint a diagnosis.

    If you arrive at the hospital and report chest pain, the emergency department will usually check an electrocardiogram. An EKG looks at the electrical activity of the heart and may show signs of heart muscle injury, such as a heart attack. You may also need a blood test that measures an enzyme called troponin, which can be seen when there is heart damage.

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    Heartburn Or Heart Attack: Knowing The Signs

    Differentiating simple heartburn from heart disease symptoms can be challenging. Sometimes, people may have a meal and then go out for a walk. In that situation, it can be difficult to tell the difference between reflux or heart disease, says Patterson.

    Its hard because the symptoms might be similar, agrees Sauer. You may not be able to decipher them. It may even require an ECG or stress test to check if its your heart.

    With reflux, patients may have a bitter taste in the mouth. With heart problems, there is no bitter taste in the mouth and no association with food, says Patterson. I would differentiate the symptoms in regard to meal vs. exercise, and acidic, funny taste in the mouth vs. none.

    In addition to the time of occurrence and related activity, understanding your own potential risk factors for heart disease is also helpful. Age is an important risk factor for both men and women. A mans chance of a heart attack increases at around age 40. However, the increased risk occurs around menopause for women.

    Other factors include gender and family history of premature coronary artery disease. These factors are not in our control, but there are many more controllable risk factors, reminds Patterson.

    Major risk factors for heart disease that we can control include:

    • Weight
    • Hypertension
    • Illegal drug use

    But what about the pounding chest pain and collapse weve all seen in countless movies and TV shows? Isnt that how heart attacks are supposed to happen?

    When In Doubt Check It Out

    Most Common Heartburn Causes &  Symptoms

    If youre not sure if its heartburn or your heart, seek medical attention right away. Its very easy to confuse the two issues so let a doctor rule out the most severe possibility. This is an especially important message for women.

    Women are more likely to call help for someone else but not themselves, Bauman said. In fact, 81 percent of women said they would call 911 for someone else showing signs of a heart attack but only 65 percent would call for themselves, according to a special report in Circulation.

    She added: I always tell people if youre concerned and not sure if its your heart, its better to err on the side of checking it out and having someone tell you its not a heart attack.

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