Solving The Mystery In Record Time
Even if you know the signs of a heart attack and are informed and engaged in your own or a loved ones healthcare, if there is a reason for concern, it is always better to be safe and quickly seek a professional medical evaluation. Even medical professionals can mistake one condition for another without the proper tools needed to make a diagnosis. Our hospitals, emergency rooms, cardiologists and other medical professionals are experts at investigating and uncovering the true cause of your heart attack symptoms. HCA Midwest Health has 11 emergency rooms conveniently located throughout Kansas City with heart care experts ready to solve the mystery quickly.
With the areas largest network of award-winning, accredited chest pain centers, your chance of surviving a heart attack improves by more than 35 percent. No other Kansas City area hospitals open up clogged arteries for heart attack patients faster than we do.
Every second counts when solving a mystery. Dont drive. Call 911.
Not Sure If What Youre Feeling Is A Heart Attack Or Heartburn
I tell my patients that if you belch and the symptoms go away, it probably isnt related to your heart but to your esophagus, Bauman said. But if you have shortness of breath or sweating, then its likely a heart-related issue.
However, everyone is different, and not all symptoms are caused by one or the other, so:
Will Heartburn Go Away On Its Own
For many people, occasional heartburn is common. By watching what you eat and avoiding certain triggers , you may be able to prevent heartburn or manage it. If you find that you frequently experience heartburn and that it keeps getting worse, it could be a sign of a medical condition like GERD. In these cases, your heartburn will not go away without treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider so that you can develop a treatment plan.
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Nutritions Role In Angina Prevention
The most common cause of angina is coronary artery disease. As plaque in the blood vessels builds up, blood flow is restricted and deprives the heart muscle of oxygen.
Atherosclerosis, on the other hand, means that the walls of the arteries become damaged in some way, shape, or form. Some people believe it could be cigarette smoking or a chronically poor diet, but specifically the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, colloquially known as bad cholesterol because it can build up in the arteries, may indeed be one of the damaging factors in terms of damage to arterial walls.
After this arterial wall is damaged, our immune system comes to the rescue. It sends white blood cells, sometimes known as leukocytes, to correct the problem and help absorb the oxidized LDL.
Specifically, this is under the direction of monocytes and macrophages, two types of white blood cells which actually trigger a cycle of events that involve inflammation and, ultimately, the development of plaque. This level of inflammation is a major disease risk for the development of heart disease.
When it comes to treatment, its important to include food with anti-inflammatory compounds such as nuts and dark berries in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and flaxseed also help reduce inflammation.
Simple Causes Of Chest Pain
- Burping, belching, heartburn, nausea and a sour taste in the mouth usually accompany indigestion
- Heart palpitations usually accompany a panic attack, shortness of breath and anxiety
- Chest-wall or muscle pain from exercise or injury can be made worse when the sore area is pressed with a finger
- Breathing pain of respiratory infections can be made worse by coughing and deep breathing
- Its important to know that any of these symptoms also can be present with a heart attack. Do not assume that you are just having indigestion or a panic attack. Get medical help right away.
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Other Heart Attack Early Warning Signs And Symptoms: Arm And Back Pain
The chest pain of a heart attack can spread, or radiate, down one or both arms and to the shoulders. This often happens, and the pain may even extend to the wrist and fingers. This is most common on the left side of the body but it can also occur on the right side.
Upper back pain
The upper back is another common location for the spread of the pain from a heart attack. Most commonly, back pain that stems from a heart attack is described as occurring between the shoulder blades.
A feeling of being generally unwell or like you are coming down with an illness can accompany a heart attack. This can be described as fatigue or even lightheadedness, with or without fainting. Some people will experience severe anxiety or panic during a heart attack. This has been described as feeling a sense of doom, as one experiences a panic attack.
Worried About Your Heartburn
Find a primary care provider to answer your questions.
If youre concerned that the burning in your chest is more than an antacid can handle, dont hesitate to see your doctor. If youve never had heartburn and youre older, seeing your primary care doctor is the right thing to do, says Sauer.
If you have taken antacids for what you believe is reflux and the reflux is not going away, Its really a no-brainer to make sure its not the heart first, advises Patterson.
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When Heartburn Might Be Serious
If the symptoms of indigestion last more than five minutes or are intermittent and especially if the indigestion is associated with nausea or vomiting or heavy sweating Dr. Williams advises to go straight to the ER.
Unfortunately for women, many never experience warning symptoms before their first heart attack, she says. Their first symptom indigestion is their heart attack. On average women wait 2½ hours before seeking medical help. A lot of muscle can die in that time.
Women and men also should understand their risks for developing coronary artery disease: age, high blood pressure, and elevated blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Although smoking increases the risk of heart disease for both genders, women who light up are more likely to suffer a heart attack than men who smoke, Dr. Williams says.
Symptoms Of Gerd: How Do Doctors Diagnose Gerd
Since heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD, most doctors try to determine if GERD is the cause of a patients problems by offering a medication to stop acid reflux.
If the medication works then its usually safe to assume that the person was suffering from heartburn as a result of GERD .
This method on its own often isnt enough however, since there are other causes of heartburn which can be treated in this way this test on its own doesnt confirm 100% that GERD is the problem, so usually other tests are carried out as well.
The point made above in relation to GERD coughs also indicates why this method doesnt always work, since the heartburn symptom isnt always present in every GERD case.
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Spasm Of The Esophagus
The esophagus is the muscular tube that passes behind the heart, and carries food, liquid, and saliva from the mouth to the stomach. In a condition called diffuse esophageal spasm , the tube contracts uncontrollably, causing trouble swallowing and chest pain.
Rarity: Ultra rare
Top Symptoms: dry cough, deep chest pain, behind the breast bone, heartburn, trouble swallowing, burning chest pain
Symptoms that never occur with spasm of the esophagus: shortness of breath
Urgency: Primary care doctor
Heartburn Vs Heart Attack Symptoms
To complicate things even more, angina/heart disease and heartburn share risk factors of being older or overweight.
Signs more typical of heartburn include:
- You have a sharp, burning feeling just below your breastbone or ribs.The chest pain can be accompanied by an acidic taste in your mouth, regurgitation of food, or a burning in your throat.
- Pain generally doesn’t spread to your shoulders, neck, or arms, but it can.
- Pain usually comes after meals, particularly after foods or drinks that trigger reflux in you.
- Pain also comes when you lie down or exercise on a full stomach.
- Symptoms usually get better quickly after taking an antacid.
- You rarely get a cold sweat or shortness of breath along with your other symptoms.
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What Can Trigger Heartburn
Heartburn can be triggered by many different things that are a part of your daily life. For many people, heartburn can be caused by certain eating and lifestyle habits. These habits can involve things like eating large portions of food, eating too close to bedtime or even having high stress levels.
Certain foods and drinks can also trigger heartburn for some people. Some foods and drinks that could trigger your heartburn can include:
- Caffeinated beverages.
- Carbonated beverages.
Your lifestyle habits can also play a part in why you might experience heartburn. These everyday factors often contribute to medical conditions that cause heartburn, like GERD or hiatal hernia. Some lifestyle habits that can trigger your heartburn include:
- Being overweight.
- Having a high stress level.
- Wearing tight clothes and belts.
Could Acid Reflux Cause Cancer
Research has previously indicated that this damage may put patients at risk of developing a type of cancer called esophageal adenocarcinoma.
The latest study, , a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, investigated further.
A team led by Dr Christian C. Abnet, of the National Cancer Institute, looked at 490,605 adults enrolled in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.
Questionnaires were sent to participants in the study in 1995-1996 people aged between 50 and 71 years who were living in various US states.
Using Medicare claims data, the investigators estimated that 24 per cent of participants had a history of GERD.
Those over 60 years old, who used to smoke and were overweight were more likely to have GERD.
Over the following 16 years after participants joined the study, 931 patients developed esophageal adenocarcinoma and 301 developed esophageal squamous cell carcinoma two forms of oesophagus cancer.
A further 876 developed laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma cancer of the voice box.
People with GERD had about a two-times higher risk of developing each of these types of cancer.
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Am I Having Heartburn Or A Heart Attack
Youre experiencing chest pain after a big meal. It could be your heartburn acting up. However, its also possible that the chest pain is a sign of an impending heart attack. These two issues often feel very similar, making it hard to determine the difference. As a result, emergency room doctors will typically perform diagnostic tests to rule out a heart attack if youre experiencing chest pain.
What Is Heartburn What Is A Heart Attack
Heartburn is a symptom, and usually feels like a burning sensation in the chest, under the sternum, and in the esophagus that can extend to the neck, throat, and/or face. Heartburn often is caused by a malfunction in the esophageal sphincter muscle , which causes regurgitation of acid from the stomach into the esophagus.
Heartburn is a misnomer because it does not involve the heart. Other names for heartburn include indigestion, dyspepsia, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease , pyrolysis, and even “cardialgia.”
A heart attack often is a sudden and sometimes fatal occurrence of coronary thrombosis that frequently produces chest pain and/or additional pain that may radiate to the neck, jaw, and/or arms. Heart attacks involve the heart and not the esophagus or acid regurgitation.
Because the esophagus and heart are located near each other, many people consider pain in that region as a sign of either heartburn or a heart attack. However, individuals may often not know how to tell heartburn from a heart attack.
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Identifying Symptoms Of Gerd In Children
It can be hard to pick up on the symptoms of GERD in a young child as the symptoms can differ from those experienced by adults.
If you have a baby or toddler who cant yet speak enough to describe symptoms to you, here are some of the visual indicators to keep an eye out for:
- Regurgitation and vomiting these are amongst the most common symptoms in babies
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How Do Doctors Diagnose A Heart Attack And Heartburn
Most people with heartburn are diagnosed by their symptoms that they describe to their primary care doctor. However, definitive diagnosis of heartburn may be made by endoscopy and pH probe data, which is frequently done by gastroenterologists. However, it is common practice for doctors to rule out heart attack or any other pending cardiac problem to make sure the individual is not suffering from a potentially life-threatening problem.
The two main tests to diagnose heart attack are an EKG and a test to determine the level of certain enzymes in the blood . Additional tests for a heart attack can be done by echocardiogram, chest X-rays, coronary catheterization , and exercisestress tests.
The treatment for heartburn is varies with the severity of the disease that causes heartburn. Some people can treat heartburn with diet modifications, for example, avoiding acid causing foods such as chocolate, caffeine, spicy foods, carbonated drinks and citrus.
Moderate to more severe heartburn disease may require histamine receptor antagonists , protein pump inhibitors that reduce stomach acid production, for example, esomeprazole or omeprazole , or even surgery .
Heart Attack Treatment
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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.
When Should I Call My Doctor About My Heartburn
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.
- You have serious hoarseness or wheezing.
- Your discomfort interferes with your lifestyle or daily activities.
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Is Heartburn A Sign Of Something More Serious
If youve ever had heartburn, you know how uncomfortable it can be. But did you know it could also be a sign of a more serious medical condition? Many people think nothing of it. Pop a Tums in your mouth and go on with your day. But frequent heartburn can lead to more serious medical conditions.
Heartburn is generally associated with a burning pain in the chest or throat. Some people have acid reflux, a condition where the liquid content of the stomach refluxes up into the esophagus- the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. Two out of five individuals have heartburn at least once a month. One out of five has it on a weekly basis. And one in ten suffers from it daily.
Heartburn can lead to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease , Barretts Esophagus and, in a very small number of individuals, esophageal cancer. A person has GERD if he or she has reflux more than twice a week. In addition to the symptoms described above, coughing, asthma and laryngitis can also be symptoms of GERD. Some people show no symptoms at all.
When changes in lifestyle and modification to your diet dont work by themselves, medications, either over-the-counter or through prescription, may be recommended. Exercise is important if you are overweight. A person is most likely to have reflux when they are lying down. Avoid eating two or three hours before bed. An endoscopy is use to confirm GERD. In the case of Barretts Esophagus, a biopsy is also necessary.
Symptoms Of Coronary Artery Disease
The most common symptom of coronary artery disease is angina, or chest pain. Angina can be described as a discomfort, heaviness, pressure, aching, burning, fullness, squeezing, or painful feeling in your chest. It can be mistaken for indigestion or heartburn. Angina may also be felt in the shoulders, arms, neck, throat, jaw, or back.
Other symptoms of coronary artery disease include:
- Shortness of breath
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