Is it Heartburn or a Heart Attack

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heart healthStatistics reveal that 42 percent Americans experience the uncomfortable feeling of burning in the chest called heartburn at some point or the other. It is caused due to the reflex action of the acids in the stomach all along the food pipe up to the throat or neck. It is the major sign of GERD ailment. But, in 0.6 percent people, this very action can be the symptom of the dreadful heart attack.

Symptoms of Heartburn:
  • A burning sensation under the ribs
  • Pain felt during exercising, post meals and while experiencing anxiety
  • Pain spreading to neck and shoulders in due course of time
  • Cold sweat in rare cases
  • Symptoms going away on taking antacids
  • Burping
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Acidic taste in mouth
  • Chest pain
Symptoms of Heart Attack:
  • Feeling of tightness or fullness in the chest
  • Pain spreading to neck and shoulders in due course of time
  • Cold sweat
  • Sudden chest pain that worsens
  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness
  • The pain quickly responds to nitroglycerin

A close look at the symptoms of both these conditions would reveal several similarities among them. Owing to this reason, it becomes extremely difficult for even the doctors to properly diagnose these conditions.

Is it Heartburn or Heart Attack?
  • One of the major reasons of developing heart ailments is the build up of plaque in the pathways of the heart.
  • It is waxy cell debris which narrows the arteries and veins of the organ.
  • As a result, it becomes difficult for the oxygen rich blood to flow out of the heart.
  • The organ increasingly strains itself to pump adequate amounts of blood to various parts of the body and in this process can fail suddenly in performing its basic task.
  • Such an eventuality is technically known as heart attack.
  • The process of the build up of the plaque in the arteries and veins is a very slow which takes place over a period of several years.
  • However, the dreadful impact of the collapse of the organ and the appearing of its symptoms happen all at once.
  • This abruptness in the manifestation of the signs also confuses the doctors when the patient in brought to the hospital in critical conditions with the complaints of discomfort in the chest.
How to Handle This Issue?
  • People suffering from GERD should maintain a list of food items and drinks which cause them chest discomfort.
  • This list is comprised out of painful experience over a period of time and should be kept handy for reference in order to avoid the listed items.
  • Heart patients should remain physically active and restrain from the intake of foods which increase the levels of cholesterol in the blood.
  • Regular visits to the family physician helps him or her to remain updated with the latest developments in the patient’s body.
  • It proves handy in correctly diagnosing the ailment in case of uncertain reporting of symptoms by the family members.
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