The difference between heartburn and a heart attack

Summer 2009 CSANews Issue 71  |  Posted date : Jul 21, 2009.Back to list

Is that pain in your chest heartburn or a heart attack? The symptoms are similar, but the health consequences differ dramatically. If you think that you are suffering from heartburn, watch for the following symptoms which are not typical of heartburn and could indicate a heart attack:
  • Breaking into a cold sweat
  • Pain moving from the chest into the jaw, shoulder or arms
  • Increased pain with exertion; rapid onset of fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Turning pale
  • Slow or no response to antacids
  • Nausea and possible vomiting
Keep in mind that the signs of a heart attack can be subtle, especially in women. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, go to the ER right away. Time is of the essence. The sooner that clot-busting drugs and other artery-opening treatments are started, the more good they will do and the greater the chances are for survival and a full recovery.