Is It a Heart Attack or Heartburn? What’s The Difference!

 Is It a Heart Attack or Heartburn? What’s The Difference!

Problem of chest discomfort is the most common symptom of a heart attack, which can be life-threatening. We can also take it as a sign of heartburn, which has nothing to do with the heart and is a common symptom of indigestion.

Unlike its name, heartburn — or acid indigestion — is merely related to your esophagus. But we know that the esophagus and heart are located near each other; either one can cause chest pain which is why many people mistake heartburn for angina and vice versa.

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack occurs when an artery supplying the heart muscle with blood and oxygen is blocked. We observe such blockage due to the buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances, which form plaque in the coronary arteries that feed the heart.

And when coronary artery disease causes a loss of blood supply to part of the heart muscle, this is a heart attack. We can include these conditions in heart attack primary reasons.

Heart attack signs

  • Chest discomfort with heaviness, pressure, aching, burning, fullness, or squeezing pain
  • Both arms, left shoulder, neck, back, throat, mouth, or stomach are painful or uncomfortable.
  • Getting shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Sudden fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness or lightheadedness
  • Cold sweat or perspiration
  • Unexplained anxiety
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased heart rate

What is heartburn?

Heartburn is simply due to indigestion or acid reflux issues. You can have it when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, the food pipe that connects the throat to the stomach. Due to this backflow, you get a burning feeling or pain in the chest. Another symptom is regurgitation, which is when food rises in the back of the throat.

Many foods can trigger indigestion, including spicy foods. Other things you can do to prevent indigestion include cutting out alcohol, cigarettes, citrus, aspirin, and eating close to bedtime or late at night.

Heart Burn Signs

  • It begins with a burning sensation in the upper abdomen and progresses to the chest.
  • Usually occurs after eating, when laying down or leaning over, and may wake you up, particularly if you ate within two hours of going to bed.
  • Antacids are commonly used to treat it.
  • A sour taste in your mouth may accompany it, especially while you’re lying down.
  • A sour taste in your mouth may accompany it, especially while you’re lying down. A tiny amount of stomach contents may rise into the back of your throat (regurgitation)

What are the differences between symptoms of heartburn and heart attack?

These two disorders are hard to differentiate. We get confused about whether the symptoms are due to a heart attack or heartburn. So the doctors often find making a diagnosis based on symptoms alone difficult and rely on tests.

The main difference between symptoms is that:

  • Heartburn is aggravated by eating and lying down, but a heart attack can take place after a meal.
  • Medicines that lower stomach acid levels can help treat heartburn.
  • More general symptoms, such as dyspnea, are not caused by heartburn.
  • Bloating and belching are not symptoms of a heart attack, although they might occur due to heartburn.

Risk factors for heart disease

You should know that heartburn or heartburn-like symptoms could be serious. They could bring you serious harm you’re prone to heart disease. The risk factors include:

  • Diabetes or prediabetes
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • A family history of heart diseases

When to call a doctor

When you have the following symptoms, you

should seek emergency medical help:

  • Pain or discomfort in other regions of the body, such as one or both arms, back, jaw, neck, or stomach
  • Soreness or discomfort in the chest, such as pressure, squeezing, pain, or fullness that lasts longer than a few minutes or goes gone and returns back
  • Shortness of breath, before to or in conjunction with chest pain
  • Cold sweat.
  • Nausea and balance problems
  • Other symptoms include: Getting unusually tired

The symptoms mentioned above can affect both men and women. Mostly the women show signs like

jaw pain, nausea and vomiting, and chest pain.

Treatment for heart attack

Immediate treatment may include

Aspirin to stop the blood from clotting

  • nitroglycerin to improve blood flow
  • oxygen therapy
  • treatment for chest pain

Treatment for heartburn

It may include:

  • Medications to aid in digestion or limit production, as well as lifestyle changes such as eating smaller, more often meals
  • foods to avoid that cause heartburn
  • keeping a healthy weight, not smoking, not eating 2 to 3 hours before bed
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • not smoking

Another cause of chest pain

We define angina as a kind of pressure in the mid-chest — similar to indigestion pain —. It takes place when blood flow to the heart decreases, sometimes due to stress. It can prolong between 2 and 20 minutes and usually stops if you rest or end the stressful activity. When you experience these types of symptoms for the first time, seek immediate medical attention.


As a general rule, if you’re in doubt whether your symptoms are a heart attack or another condition, it’s best to seek emergency attention. Ignoring the signs of a heart attack can be severely damaging to your heart tissue and potentially life-threatening.


How to understand the difference between gas pain and heart attack?

The primary difference between the two symptoms is that heartburn is stronger after eating and lying down, although a heart attack can also occur after a meal. Drugs that decrease stomach acid levels can help treat heartburn.

What are the pre heart attack symptoms in females?

  • Chest pain
  • Extreme or unusual fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Upper body pain
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Stomach problems

Can heartburn damage your heart?

Heartburn is a symptom, not a medical condition. Acid reflux causes this discomfort, which is frequently described as a burning ache. The contents of the stomach flood up into the food pipe, causing acid reflux. Heartburn has nothing to do with the heart.

Denny Loyal