How To Distinguish Between Heart Burn And Heart Attack?

Posted by 21 Sep, 2009

Chest pain associated with a heart attack can some times be mistaken for a common heart burn (acid reflux).

This situation can become lethal if left untreated. In the initial stages of a heart attack, it is quite difficult for a layman to distinguish between a heart attack or heart burn. How do you distinguish between a common heartburn and a serious heart attack?

If you are at higher risk of having a heart attack, then you should be aware of your risk in the first place. If you are a smoker or if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol or diabetes, then you are at high risk of a heart attack. If heart attack runs in your family or if you are obese or if you have heart problems, then also you should keep this possibility in your mind. If you are not sure, then it would be always better to check with your doctor than taking chances with your life.

Let us go through common symptoms of a heart attack. When you are having a heart attack you may feel general discomfort, pressure or burning sensation in your chest area, throat, neck area or on your arms. The discomfort or pain may start in the chest area and spread to your arms. You may find it hard to breath, may feel like vomiting, may feel dizzy or may start sweating. If you feel these symptoms, then think of the worst and seek medical help immediately.

Acid reflux symptoms can feel like heart attack too. Acid reflux pain does not spread to the arms or throat. Many times acid reflux happens after a heavy meal. Acid reflux pain may be relieved with the use of common antacids in a short time. Even if you think it is a acid reflux and are feeling sweaty or dizzy, then it is more likely to be a heart attack. Even those people who have a long history of heart burn may ind it difficult to distinguish between acid reflux and heart attack. The symptoms can be so similar and the pain and discomfort can seem like originating from the same area.

How is the common man going to distinguish between acid reflux and heart attack? Is it a smart move on his part to undertake self diagnosis? No. Common people should never try to decide whether it is heart attack or heart burn. That decision must be left to the doctors to decide. Only they are in a position to decide for sure whether it is a heart burn or a heart attack. An average Joe should not be the one who distinguishes between these two. If he tries to do that, he may be risking his own life. It is always good to err on the side of caution than risking your life otherwise. In the worst case scenario, if you finds out that all you have is heart burn, you may feel a bit embarrassed. But the chances of you are alive are much better this way.

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Categories : acid reflux
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