HEALTH

Is it a heart attack or heartburn? The difference between the symptoms

Heart attack and heartburn present similar symptoms, and there is often a tendency to confuse them.

Heart attack is a serious condition that requires prompt medical intervention, while heartburn can also be treated at home.

In this photogallery, we explore the differences between the symptoms of heart attack and heartburn to help you understand when to go to the emergency room and when you can take an anti-inflammatory and get well. Let's find out together how to recognise these two conditions so that you can act promptly to avoid serious consequences.

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Is it a heart attack or heartburn? The difference between the symptoms
Heart attack and heartburn can present similar symptoms, and there is often a tendency to confuse them. Heart attack is a serious condition that requires prompt medical intervention, while heartburn can also be treated at home. In this photogallery, we explore the differences between the symptoms of heart attack and heartburn to help you understand when to go to the emergency room and when you can take an anti-inflammatory and get well. Let's find out together how to recognise these two conditions so that you can act promptly to avoid serious consequences. (source: health.com)
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Why is it difficult to distinguish them?
Distinguishing between heartburn and heart attack is very complicated because the nerves in the stomach and heart do not clearly signal to the brain where the pain originates. This creates a big problem because patients who have a heart attack often either have no symptoms, or have minor symptoms that are difficult to identify correctly.
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When could it be heartburn
Gastrointestinal problems such as gastroesophageal reflux, ulcers and pancreatitis can all cause chest pain and other symptoms similar to those of a heart attack or angina, an overwhelming type of chest pain caused by decreased blood flow to the heart. If the symptoms are related to the digestive system, the pain worsens when changing position, particularly when lying down or bending over. In addition, the pain is more acute, especially after eating a fatty or spicy meal.
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When could it be heart attack
Depending on heart and stomach conditions, people may experience different symptoms, but there are some indications that can help to differentiate. If it is a heart attack, other symptoms are often associated, such as sweating, nausea, dizziness, irregular pulse and difficult breathing. This pathology is manifested by severe oppression, burning or pressure in the chest.
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Risk factors
To distinguish between heart attack and heartburn, each individual's personal risk factors must also be taken into account. Specifically, risk factors related to heart attack are diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and the presence of heart disease in the family history. In addition, the length of time for which the symptom is prolonged must be taken into consideration: angina lasts between 5 and 10 minutes on average, a heart attack is slightly longer while acid reflux can last hours.
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At-risk categories
Certain categories of people are more likely to experience unusual heart attack symptoms. Women, for example, may experience symptoms such as generalised tiredness and nausea, while elderly people may experience shortness of breath, general malaise or a feeling of fainting.
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Consult a physician or go to an emergency room if in doubt
Consulting a doctor or going to the emergency room in a timely manner is vital when you have symptoms whose cause you cannot identify: excessive sweating, pale colouring, fainting, general weakness and chest tightness are all symptoms that can be related to serious illnesses for which you need to take prompt action.
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