Heart attacks are a good example of how people can make a mistake when it comes to self-diagnosing. There have been many cases where people have ignored the symptoms because they thought they were simply experiencing heartburn. At the same time, we don’t want to tie up emergency departments every time we have a burning sensation in our chest due to our eating habits. Emergency departments are after all for emergencies.
Heart Attack or Heart Burn
To ensure good health, it is vital that you educate yourself about the differences between a heart attack and heart burn. Chest pain and heartburn share some of the same characteristics, but cardiac care specialists point out there are some symptoms that are specifically associated with heart attack.
A heart attack and heartburn cause a feeling of pressure and a burning sensation in the chest. Physicians say after these similarities everything changes.
If you have eaten a big meal or consumed something spicy you may experience heartburn. Essentially, an increase in stomach acid is what causes the uncomfortable symptoms of heartburn. If you are lying down and you have heartburn you may get a sour taste in your mouth along with the burning sensation in your chest. This is due to the fact that the stomach acid is moving up your esophagus. Some people who suffer from serious heartburn experience something called acid reflux. This is when you have chronic regurgitation of acid.
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A heart attack presents some unique signs but it is important to note that not all heart attack victims experience all of these symptoms. Below are some warning signs outlined by the famed Mayo Clinic.
- Mild chest or upper body discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden pressure, tightening or squeezing feeling right in centre of chest
- Pain spreading to back, neck, shoulders, arms, and particularly the left arm
- Tightness in chest when you are being physical or are under emotional stress
- Pain along with nausea and vomiting
It is interesting to note that women are more likely to experience the various symptoms listed above. Most men have pain or discomfort in the chest, yet never feel the other signs outlined here.
The Keys to Your Good Health
Good health is all about awareness so now that you know some of the signs of heartburn and heart attack take note the next time you have pain or discomfort in the chest area. You may not require cardiac care; it may be as simple as having to change your eating habits. Here are a few questions to ask yourself…am I experiencing this pain immediately following a meal? Am I experiencing this pain while I am bending over or lying down? Did I over-eat or consume spicy, fried or fatty foods? If the answer is yes to any or all of these, it might be a case of heartburn. Ask yourself…am I in pain and sweating profusely? Is the pain radiating to other parts of my body? Is my pain accompanied by a nauseous feeling? In this situation it could be a heart attack.
No one expects you to have all the answers; the body is intricate so if you have any doubt it is better to be cautious and seek medical attention immediately.