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How To Tell The Difference Between A Heart Attack And Heartburn

Apr 16, 2008
Would you know if you, or a loved one, were having a heart attack?

Could you identify the signs and symptoms that indicate the discomfort you're experiencing is not indigestion, but a life threatening heart attack?

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. today. According to the American College of Cardiology, the death rate for women is at it's highest point in twenty years.

We need to learn to identify the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, so that in the event of an emergency we can respond promptly and take immediate life saving action. Although the warning signs of a heart attack may differ from person to person, there are several common symptoms we can readily recognize.These include the following:

1. Chest discomfort. This may feel like a squeezing,
crushing pain, or uncomfortable pressure in the center of the chest. The pain may be mild or strong. It may continue for a few minutes or go away and return.

2. Upper body pain. One may experience discomfort in one or both arms, the neck, back, jaw, or stomach.

3. Shortness of breath. This may occur either together with the chest pain or before it occurs.

4. Other signs, more frequent amongst women,may include fatigue, nausea (feeling sick to the stomach,anxiety, sweating,or fainting.

In the event of an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately. Do not attempt to drive yourself or take the victim to the hospital in your own car. Ambulances are equipped with life saving equipment and trained staff. Every minute counts. A delay of more than an hour may cause lasting heart damage or death.

Many people naively dismiss the warning signs,
thinking they are not the "real thing." By ignoring these symptoms they carelessly put their lives at risk. Do not think you are bothering the medical staff needlessly. The life you save may be your own.

Many people confuse the symptoms of heartburn for a heart attack. Heartburn frequently occurs to people over forty years old after eating a heavy meal.

The symptoms of heartburn may include a burning sensation in the chest, just behind the breastbone. This chest pain usually occurs soon after eating and may last from a few minutes to several hours.

Other signs of heartburn may include chest pain after lying down, eating, or bending over. A burning sensation or feeling a hot, sour, salty, or acidic fluid in the throat. Difficulty in swallowing.

A feeling that small amounts of food or liquid are coming back up the throat. In addition, chronic heartburn may cause hoarseness, sore throat, or cough. Unlike a heart attack, during heartburn, chest pain does not usually spread to shoulders, neck, or arms, but it can.

Heartburn usually responds quickly to antacids or other heartburn treatments. It is best avoided by eating lighter meals. The best way to avoid a heart attack is by modifying the risk factors we face daily.These include smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, and cholesterol.

When is the best time to start a heart attack prevention program? The sooner the better. Or as Dr. Cary Passik, cardiothoracic surgeon advises, "live your life everyday as if you have coronary heart disease." Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
About the Author
M.Welt is the editor of http://www.Heart-Attack-Information.com The site offers in depth information on the signs and symptoms of a heart attack as well as methods of prevention and treatment. An excellent selection of short video clips complements the text.
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