Heart Attack Vs Heartburn

When should you be worried? 

When you are dealing with uncomfortable chest symptoms the first thing you might be thinking is, “Am I having a heart attack?” You may be surprised to discover that heartburn and a heart attack have some symptoms in common, and our Woodbridge & Stafford, VA, cardiologists want to make sure that you can spot the difference for yourself. What you know could save your life, or the life of someone you know.

Are symptoms really the same? 

It can be difficult to spot the differences between a heart attack and heartburn. While your medical history and a physical exam can often help a doctor determine the cause of your chest discomfort, don’t be surprised if your local ER performs certain tests to determine whether you’re dealing with a heart attack.

What are the symptoms of a heart attack? 

The classic symptoms of a heart attack are sudden, severe chest pain and trouble breathing; however, symptoms can vary greatly and don’t often present with these “classic” symptoms. Along with heartburn, those experiencing a heart attack may also experience,

  • Chest tightness or pressure in the chest
  • Pain or weakness that spreads into the neck, jaws, or arms
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Cold sweat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms of a heart attack can also vary by gender. Women are more likely to experience nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, and jaw or back pain, while men are more likely to experience classic symptoms of a heart attack.

Is my chest pain being caused by digestive issues?

Sometimes chest pain isn’t caused by problems with the heart but rather issues with the digestive tract. Your chest pain may be due to an esophageal muscle spasm or a gallbladder attack. Those with gallbladder disease may also experience nausea and pain in the upper right quadrant of their abdomen. Sometimes the pain may radiate to the shoulders or neck. Of course, if you’re not sure what is causing your pain, you should seek immediate medical attention in Woodbridge & Stafford, VA, to rule out a heart attack.

Whether you are at risk for a heart attack or you’re dealing with other heart-related issues, the Woodbridge & Stafford, VA, cardiologists at NOVA Cardiovascular Care are here to make sure you get the immediate and expert medical care you need. Call us at (540) 628-2173 or (703) 492-6822 to schedule a checkup. If you think you’re experiencing a heart attack, call 911 immediately.

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