Home Heart Care Get to Know The Difference Between Heartburn and Heart attack

Get to Know The Difference Between Heartburn and Heart attack

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Did you experience unusual pain in your chest after dinner? Did you mistake it for a heart attack? We can relate to the panic it might have created.

Well, it is not always the case, as the symptoms of heartburn and heart attack often overlap each other and it is difficult to tell the major differences. 

But we will try to settle the issue once and for all. There are certainly major differences between heartburn and heart attack and knowing the differences will help you to rule out any underlying dreadful condition. 

With that being said it is also recommended to get the possible advice, so if you observe any unusual symptoms, visit the nearest hospitals to get the comforting advice.


Heartburn or acidity happens when the acid from your stomach moves towards the pipe connecting your mouth and stomach called oesophagus. 

Though there are powerful muscles that are always guarding the contents of your stomach to enter the oral cavity, there are some cases when the acid may dribble into your oesophagus. 

Heartburn may sound and feel horrifying due to its overlapping symptoms with a heart ailment. But there are certain points that should be kept in mind to console yourself. 

The symptoms that can possibly indicate the heartburn may include the followings:

  1. Burning Pain at the back of  your chest bone
  2. Pain that mostly covers your throat region but does not radiate towards the arms and shoulders.
  3. Burning sensation in your throat that may mimic the fullness or indigestion of food.
  4. Hot, sour and acidic fluid at the back of your throat.

The above-mentioned symptoms are often observed after taking the meal or may be observed when you lie down or bend over. 

No doubt whatever the case these symptoms are bothering and they need to be rectified. But let us just discover the symptoms of a heart attack first.

Heart Attack

Heart attack is a serious condition and the symptoms are often very similar to the ones that are mentioned above. 

Nonetheless, there are set and major differences between heart attack and heartburn that one should know to get oneself updated about the heart condition.

The common symptoms that have been reported during a heart attack are as follows:

  1. Pain that starts with exertion and may radiate towards the shoulders and arms.
  2. Irregular heartbeat
  3. Pressure pain or tightness in the chest that may spread to the arms and shoulders, neck and jaw.
  4. Shortness of breath and cold sweating

These symptoms are the warning signs that the blood supply to your heart muscles is affected or may need immediate medical intervention.

But the point here to be noted is that over 8 million patients visit the emergency room every year, half of them are of severe heartburn cases and the heart problems are often ruled out.

Can Heartburn Damage Your Heart?

Well, the answer to the question is NO. 

Heartburn is the pain or burning sensation that is often limited to your food pipe or the stomach so the chances of getting your heart damaged in the process are significantly less.

However, the point to consider here is that the acid moving to your oesophagus for a longer period of time may affect the smooth muscles of your food pipe and can also cause your stomach wall to be weakened.

The heartburn or the acid reflux if persistent for a longer period of time then it may indirectly affect your heart health. The food will take a longer time to digest and the chances of indigestion are also higher.

This can cause cholesterol build-up in your arteries and may lead to cardiovascular disorders. 

What are the available treatments?

To treat heartburn or the acid reflux issue there are certain treatments that one can take. But if you are not sure of the difference between heartburn and heart attack, then it is suggested to contact your healthcare provider.

These treatments include dietary modifications, some exercises and natural spices. Let us just delve straight into them one by one. 

Dietary Modifications

Making the necessary changes in your diet have proven to treat heartburn issues.

The dietary modifications that one should take can be easily divided into 2 major components. One that should be taken whereas the 2nd part that should be avoided at very cost.

The food that can help prevent the heartburn may include the following

1- Watery Food Items

This list may include many vegetables and fruits that can help to prevent acid reflux and may help to lessen the acid content in your stomach. The list may include: 

  • Watermelon
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber 
  • Herbal tea

2- Foods That Are High In Fibre Content

One should try to consume foods that are rich in fibre. There has been a lot of research that is being done in this regard and the results are quite convincing.

Research hints at the fact that high fibre foods aid in lowering the acid amount in the stomach. Hence making it the perfect match for all those suffering from heartburn.

High fibre food can also help in lowering the risk of heart attacks.

3- Mulethi 

Mulethi or liquorice is a herb which you might have heard of for other treatments is also found important in treating heartburn.

The ingredients that are available in it are useful for the soothing properties and they have considerably improved the heartburn issues. 

Be it heartburn or heart attack, that’s not all about mulethi or liquorice, there are benefits of mulethi which you certainly need to know so that you don’t miss out on major things.

If You Want To Treat an Upset Stomach caused by  Eating Spicy Foods Then You Need To READ ABOUT what helps settle your stomach after eating spicy foods?

The food items that should be avoided if you are feeling acidity or heartburn are as follows

1- Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits have been linked with increased levels of acidity in the stomach. The list is extensive but to get an idea, the following are some citrus fruits and you need to avoid them at any cost.

  • Tomatoes 
  • Pineapple
  • lemon

2- Fried Items

There have been cases that the fried items are linked with high levels of acid in the stomach which may ultimately cause severe heartburn.

The junks that are now a common part of everyone’s diet and are frequently used have also been linked with higher cases of heartburn. But they have eradicated the discrimination and it is now getting difficult to know the difference between heartburn and heart attack all due to increased consumption of junk food items.

The list is by no means exhaustive but we have listed some general items that should be avoided in case of heartburn.

  • Pizza 
  • French fries
  • Deep-fried food items
  • Oily and greasy stuffed food items

Along with this, the use of soda or canned drinks should be controlled in this heartburn case.

Consuming foods which are high in cholesterols can also increase the risk of heart attack as well. So the difference between heartburn and heart attack is greatly reduced.

Natural Remedies 

1- Milk 

Milk can help to ease the symptoms of heartburn. 

Drinking milk can act as a buffer that will temporarily ease the acidity but there is a need to be careful in its administration. 

The content of milk particularly the fat portion may stimulate your stomach to make more acid.

2- Ginger

This amazing spice has always much more than bringing flavours to your broth. 

Ginger has also been found to be an effective home remedy in treating heartburn and acidity. 

And due to its amazing properties, ginger can also be used for treating the symptoms of many other diseases even if you are not sure of the difference between heartburn and heart attack. 

Medical Treatments

To cure this heartburn issue there are certain medications that can be used.

Most common of all is the use of antacids. Antacids will work by stabilizing the acid being produced by your stomach linings.

Besides antacids, there are some over the counter heartburn medicines that can be taken to stabilise and soothe acidity.

If your symptoms aggravate or do not get better then it is always preferable to get the best possible advice from the best gastroenterologist. 

Exercise To Help With Symptoms Of Heartburn

It is always good practice to do the low-impact exercises and keep yourself active as it will help to keep everything in balance and check.

Some light walk or yoga and light swimming can help you to treat acid reflux issues.

The Final Takeaway

There could be many reasons for the painful sensation in your chest.

Anxiety, gallbladder pain or esophageal muscle spasms may cause chest pain similar to a heart attack. 

Making the necessary amendments to the routine may help you in this regard. Be it heartburn or heart attack dietary modifications and a healthy lifestyle will promote health and will keep you fit as a fiddle. So if you are not sure of your symptoms then it is always the best approach to consult the doctor and get yourself updated on the best possible options. Make an appointment today with the best general physician. Also to keep yourself updated on healthcare issues, visit our website healthwire.

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