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India
12 Jan 2019

#HealthBytes: Indigestion or Heart Attack? How to tell the difference

How to identify a heart attack

Sudden, unexplained chest pain might occur due to a number of reasons.

Although the most commonly cited culprit is the usual heartburn, one can't always be sure.

This is so because the condition might be a result of reduced blood flow to the heart owing to narrowing of arteries (angina) or blockage in one of them (heart attack).

Here's how to tell a heart attack from heartburn.

In context

How to identify a heart attack
Heart attack and its symptoms

Heart attack

Heart attack and its symptoms

When coronary artery disease leads to a loss of blood supply to part of the heart muscle, it is called a heart attack.

Classic symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain (characterised by pressure, squeezing, heaviness, tightness, fullness, or ache).

Other symptoms include shortness of breath, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, and break-out in cold sweat.

Heartburn

And, what is a heartburn?

Heartburn isn't actually a disease, but a symptom.

It is characterised by a burning sensation in the lower-chest, that occurs mainly due to acid reflux, ie. stomach acid splashing back to the food pipe, usually right after eating or drinking.

And although the condition has no direct relation with heart, the confusion with heart attack comes from the similarity with the common symptom-chest pain.

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Difference between symptoms of heartburn and heart attack

The difference

Difference between symptoms of heartburn and heart attack

Sometimes, even for medical experts, it can be quite difficult to tell the difference between the two.

Heartburn tends to worsen after eating or when lying down, but a heart attack can happen anytime.

General symptoms such as breathlessness are on the lighter side in case of heartburn.

Further, heartburn might come with bloating or belching, but these doesn't happen in case of heart attack.

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Most asked questions

What is a heart attack?

What is heartburn?

How can difference between heart attack and heartburn be recognized?

What is the difference between symptoms of heart attack and heartburn?

More questions

What is a heart attack?

Asked on 12-01-2019 by Aradhya Subramanium

Answered by NewsBytes

When coronary artery disease leads to loss of blood supply to part of heart muscle, this is called a heart attack. A heart attack can also further cause stopping of heartbeat, which is called a cardiac arrest. Heart attack symptoms include chest pain, nausea, vomiting, breathlessness, cold sweat etc.

What is heartburn?

Asked on 12-01-2019 by Pari Nair

Answered by NewsBytes

Heartburn isn't actually a disease, but a condition that occurs due to splashing back of stomach acid to the food pipe, often right after eating or drinking. It is characterised by pain in lower chest (above stomach).

How can difference between heart attack and heartburn be recognized?

Asked on 12-01-2019 by Vishal Gavde

Answered by NewsBytes

Due to the similarity in chest pain, difference between a heart attack and heartburn isn't easy to tell, even sometimes, for health-care professionals. That's why, medical tests are conducted to rule out a heart attack when someone suffers from chest pain.

What is the difference between symptoms of heart attack and heartburn?

Asked on 12-01-2019 by Dhruv Pillai

Answered by NewsBytes

Following are the difference between symptoms of heart attack and heartburn- 1) Heartburn, unlike heart attack, tends to worsen after eating or when lying down, 2) Heartburn can be relieved by using drugs aimed at reducing acid levels in the stomach, 3) General symptoms such as breathlessness do not occur in heartburn, and 4) Heart attack, unlike heartburn, does not cause bloating or belching.

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