What’s The Difference Between Indigestion And A Heart Attack
Indigestion, or heartburn, is a feeling that usually comes on after eating. It causes a burning and uncomfortable sensation in your chest and abdomen, and often a sour taste in your mouth.If you havent experienced heartburn or indigestion before and you’re experiencing persistent burning chest pain or chest pain combined with other heart attack symptoms, phone 999 immediately.If youre prone to heartburn or indigestion and youre experiencing the same symptoms as usual, take the steps you usually would to ease your discomfort, such as taking some medicine and/or drinking water.If the burning feeling in your chests persists, or it begins to spread to your arms, neck or jaw, phone 999 immediately as you may be having a heart attack.
Pain In Other Areas Of The Body
Heart attack pain can occur in places other than the chest, like the back, shoulders, arms, neck or jaw. According to Cleveland Clinic, when there’s a problem in the heart, such as a blocked artery, it can trigger the nerves in your heart to give a signal that something is wrong, and you’ll feel pain. Considering the vagus nerve is connected to not only the heart, but also the brain, chest, abdomen, and neck, you may feel those pain signals in other areas of the body aside from the heart region.
Preventing Heart Attacks By Understanding Cardiovascular Risks
Do you know that heart attacks have “beginnings” that can occur days or weeks before an actual attack? It is important to recognize these beginnings, with the help of an EHAC doctor, to help prevent the actual attack and its potential health consequences. People often mistake the early warning signs of a heart attack, such as chest pain, for heartburn or pulled a muscle. The unfortunate outcome is that many people wait too long before getting help.
At The Hospitals of Providence, we have an EHAC program delivered by a team of cardiologists, nurses and staff who are dedicated to helping men and women recognize the early warning signs of a heart attack. We provide care and treatment options for these signs and help prevent the emergency from happening.
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Never Ignore These 11 Heart Symptoms
If something went wrong with your heart, would you know it?
Not all heart problems come with clear warning signs. There is not always an alarming chest clutch followed by a fall to the floor like you see in movies. Some heart symptoms donât even happen in your chest, and itâs not always easy to tell whatâs going on.
“If you’re not sure, get it checked out,” says Charles Chambers, MD, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute.
Thatâs especially true if you are 60 or older, are overweight, or have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, says Vincent Bufalino, MD, an American Heart Association spokesman. “The more risk factors you have,” he says, “the more you should be concerned about anything that might be heart-related.”
Especially watch out for these problems:
Nausea Indigestion Heartburn Or Stomach Pain
Some people have these symptoms during a heart attack. They may even vomit, Chambers says.
Women are more likely to report this type of symptom than men are.
Of course, you can have an upset stomach for many reasons that have nothing to do with your heart. It could just be something you ate, after all. But you need to be aware that it can also happen during a heart attack.
So if you feel this way and youâre at risk for heart problems, let a doctor find out whatâs going on, especially if you also have any of the other symptoms on this list.
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Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack In Women
Heart attacks are often stereotyped as something that happens to older men, not women. But heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States.1 Yet only about half of women know this.1
Plus, the way women experience a heart attack can feel different from men. While both men and women may have chest pain during a heart attack, women tend to have symptoms in addition to chest pain.
Researchers found that when women have a heart attack, theyre more likely to experience 3 or more related symptoms compared to men.2 These symptoms may include jaw pain, neck pain, back pain, and shortness of breath, and can make it hard for women to tell if theyre having a heart attack.
Women are also more likely than men to think their heart attack symptoms are caused by anxiety and stress.2 Oftentimes, this misunderstanding combined with a wider range of symptoms can cause women to wait longer to get treated.
Several studies have shown that women wait longer to get treatment for a heart attack than men, says Mingsum Lee, MD, a clinical cardiologist at Kaiser Permanentes Los Angeles Medical Center.
So, its important to learn these symptoms of a heart attack and know when to seek care.
How Is A Heart Attack Diagnosed
Doctors typically diagnose a heart attack after they perform a physical exam and review your medical history. Your doctor will likely conduct an electrocardiogram to check your hearts electrical activity.
An echocardiogram, which uses sound waves to create an image of the hearts chambers and valves, can reveal how blood is flowing through the heart and what parts of the heart, if any, have been damaged.
Your doctor may also order a cardiac catheterization. This is a probe inserted into the blood vessels through a flexible tube called a catheter. It allows your doctor to view areas in and around your heart where plaque may have built up. They can also inject dye into your arteries, order an X-ray to see how the blood flows, and view any blockages.
Your healthcare team will likely also take a sample of your blood or perform other tests to see if theres evidence of heart muscle damage.
A commonly used blood test checks for levels of troponin T, a protein found in the heart muscle. Elevated levels of troponin T in the bloodstream is associated with a heart attack.
If youve had a heart attack, your doctor may recommend a procedure . These procedures can relieve pain and help prevent another heart attack from occurring.
Common procedures include:
Your doctor may also prescribe medications to treat your heart attack, including:
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Waiting For The Ambulance
If someone has had a heart attack, it’s important they rest while waiting for the ambulance. They should avoid unnecessary strain on the heart.
If you have aspirin, give them an adult-sized tablet while waiting for the ambulance. They should slowly chew and swallow the tablet. Do not give them aspirin if they are allergic to it.
The aspirin helps to thin the blood and restore the heart’s blood supply.
Make Preventing Another Heart Attack Your First Priority Here Are Five Things You Can Do:
Take your medications as prescribed. Certain medicines can greatly lower your risk of another cardiac event. Thats why its important for you to understand your medicines and take them correctly. Learn about managing your medications.
Attend your follow-up appointments. Attending your follow-up appointments will help your doctors keep track of your condition and recovery. You can make the most of your time with your doctor by preparing for your appointment.
Participate in cardiac rehabilitation. Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program designed to help you recover after a heart attack. You should have received a referral to cardiac rehab when you were discharged from the hospital if you didnt, ask your doctor about it. Learn more about cardiac rehab.
Get support. Its normal to feel scared, overwhelmed or confused after a heart attack. Getting support from loved ones or from people who have also experienced a heart attack can help you cope. Connect with other heart attack survivors and caregivers through our Support Network.
Manage your risk factors. After a heart attack, its important to manage risk factors by taking medications, quitting smoking, eating healthy food and getting active. Find out more about managing your risk factors.
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Warning Signs Of Heart Attack
When having a heart attack, you may experience pain, pressure, heaviness or tightness in one or more parts of your upper body, including your:
Warning signs of heart attack vary from person to person and they may not always be sudden or severe. Although chest pain or discomfort is the most common symptom of a heart attack, some people will not experience chest pain at all, while others will experience only mild chest pain or discomfort.
You may have just one of these symptoms or you may have a combination of them. Symptoms can come on suddenly or develop over minutes and get progressively worse. Symptoms usually last for at least 10 minutes.
If you have warning signs of heart attack that are severe, get worse quickly or last more than 10 minutes, call triple zero immediately and ask for an ambulance.
Chew 300mg aspirin unless your doctor has told you not to take it.
What Are The Early Signs Of A Heart Attack
There are heart attack symptoms in women that are different from heart attack symptoms in men. But the common signs and symptoms they usually share are as follows:
- Chest pain or discomfort: The discomfort usually lasts for more than a few minutes or it may go away and come back. The discomfort may feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain at the center of the chest.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: This may include pain or discomfort in the back, jaw, stomach or in one or both arms.
- Shortness of breath: This may occur with, before or without chest pain or discomfort.
- Breaking out in a cold sweat
- Nausea or light-headedness
Meanwhile, heart attack symptoms in women sometimes go unnoticed. These include the following:
- Pressure, fullness, squeezing pain in the center of the chest, spreading to the neck, shoulder or jaw
- Unusual fatigue
- Treating or managing conditions that can be a risk factors of heart attack such as diabetes
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Minutes Matter During A Heart Emergency
Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, it is best to be examined by a medical professional. Minutes matter. Acting fast can save your life. Dialing 911 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment.
Don’t Drive Yourself
If you are experiencing heart attack symptoms, call 911. It may save your life.
An Ambulance is More than Just a Ride to the Hospital
With a heart attack, every second counts. Calling 911 starts your care sooner, which could save your life.
Common Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease: Dr. Kris Dosh, UP Health System – Marquette
In case of emergency, dial 911. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call:
Causes Of Heart Attack
There are several reasons for heart attack. Here we have jotted down a few common reasons. In Most cases, the heart attacks occur as a result of coronary heart disease . CHD is a serious condition in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside of the coronary arteries. The arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart. Nicotine and Carbon Monoxide both put a strain on our heart by making it act faster. They also enhance the risk of blood clots. Several Other chemicals in cigarette smoke severely damage the linings of the coronary arteries, leading to furring of the arteries. If you smoke, you enhance the risk of developing heart disease by 25%. If you have a diet rich in saturated fat, the blood cholesterol levels will rise. This leads to enhanced probability of heart failure. Having poorly controlled hypertension or high blood pressure can weaken the coronary arteries, making them vulnerable to CHD. The higher our blood pressure, the greater the risks of heart attacks and CHD.
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Heart Attack Symptoms In Women
If you have any of these signs, call 911 and get to a hospital right away.
What Happens When You Have A Heart Attack
A heart attack occurs when the blood vessel that supplies blood to your heart gets blocked partially or completely. The lack of blood supply means the heart does not get enough oxygen or nutrients. When you experience a heart attack, the signs and symptoms include:
- Chest discomfort in the form of pressure, heaviness, tightness, squeezing, or pain
- Chest pain that goes into your back, jaw, throat, or arm
- Fullness in the stomach or indigestion
- Fast and/or irregular heart rate
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Tips For Heart Attack Prevention
The goal after your heart attack is to keep your heart healthy and lower your risk of having another heart attack. Take your medications as directed, make healthy lifestyle changes, see your doctor for regular heart checkups, and consider a cardiac rehabilitation program.
Why do I need to take drugs after a heart attack?
You might take certain drugs after a heart attack to:
- Prevent blood clots
- Prevent plaques by lowering cholesterol
Know the names of your medications, what theyâre used for, and when you need to take them. Go over your medications with your doctor or nurse. Keep a list of all your medications, and take it to each of your doctor visits. If you have questions about them, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but don’t skip your medications. Many people don’t take their medications the way their doctor told them to. Figure out what keeps you from taking your medicine — it could be side effects, cost, or forgetfulness — and ask your doctor for help.
What lifestyle changes are needed after a heart attack?
To keep heart disease from getting worse and to head off another heart attack, follow your doctor’s advice. You might need to change your lifestyle. Here are some changes you can make that can cut your risk and put you on the path to a healthier life:
Why should I take part in cardiac rehabilitation?
What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Attack
The major symptoms of a heart attack are
- Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
- Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint. You may also break out into a cold sweat.
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders.
- Shortness of breath. This often comes along with chest discomfort, but shortness of breath also can happen before chest discomfort.
Other symptoms of a heart attack could include unusual or unexplained tiredness and nausea or vomiting. Women are more likely to have these other symptoms. Learn more about women and heart disease.
Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.1Learn more facts about heart attack and heart disease.
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What Are The Four Signs Of An Impending Heart Attack
Some heart attacks are sudden and severe. But most begin slowly with chest discomfort as the first sign. You need to pay attention if you experience the following warning signs of a heart attack. These signs are as suggested by the American Heart Association :
- Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes.
- Sometimes, you may have chest discomfort that goes away and then returns. You may feel uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
Discomfort in other areas of the upper body.
- You feel pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, and jaw. You may also get a stomachache.
Shortness of breath.
- You may suffer from shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
Other possible signs include
Risk Factors And Heart Attack Prevention
Some risk factors such as race, sex, age, and family history cannot be changed, but there are things you can do to lower your chances of having a heart attack.
Manage your blood pressure. Find information on knowing and managing your blood pressure numbers on the High Blood Pressure webpage.
Manage your cholesterol levels. For more information, visit the American Heart Associations website.
Maintain a healthy weight. Eat healthy meals and stay active.
Quit smoking. Visit the SD QuitLine or call 1-866-SD-QUITS for tools and support to quit tobacco.
Manage your diabetes. People with diabetes can lower their risk by controlling their blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Take all your medications as prescribed.
Attend your follow up appointments as scheduled.
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