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Difference between Indigestion and Heart Attack Symptoms

Difference between Indigestion and Heart Attack Symptoms

Heartburn can be a symptom of indigestion or even heart attack. Here is more information on the symptoms of these two condition that will help in knowing the difference between them.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
One experiences indigestion at numerous occasions in a lifetime. Although its symptoms cause a lot of discomfort, indigestion actually is not a severe disorder (provided that it is experienced occasionally). Heartburn and chest pain are the most prominent symptoms of indigestion. However, these very symptoms are also identifying signs of a heart attack.
Indigestion and Heart Attack Explained
As mentioned above, heartburn is observed in case of acid reflux, indigestion, and even heart attack. Therefore, when a person experiences a sudden pain in chest and heartburn, he is sure to think that he must be suffering from a heart attack. However, both, indigestion and heart attack are two very different things. Indigestion is not a serious condition and can be treated by taking over-the-counter medications or rest. On the other hand, heart attack is a life-threatening condition that needs immediate treatment. If not diagnosed and treated immediately, it can prove fatal. Indigestion can be experienced in people of any age group and even children, whereas, heart diseases are only found in adults who are at a risk of suffering from it.
Signs and Symptoms
It should be noted that the signs and symptoms of heart attack are a lot different from indigestion, except heartburn and chest pain. Along with chest pain, symptoms of heart attack also include pain in the left side of the body. One may experience pain in the left arm, the left shoulder, left side of the chest, jaws, severe perspiration or sweating, shortness of breath, etc. Silent heart attack symptoms also include nausea, vomiting, etc., which are, unfortunately, similar to the symptoms of indigestion.
Indigestion symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, bloating, headache, loss of appetite, etc. Indigestion and chest pain is also observed in case of acid reflux disease. Chronic indigestion may result in severe symptoms like blood in vomit and stools. No other symptoms similar to heart attack like pain in left arm or perspiration are observed in this case. Therefore, identifying the symptoms is essential to know whether the condition is indigestion or heart attack.
Diagnosis
It is essential to seek emergency medical help to find out the underlying cause. If the person is obese, has a high blood pressure, has an increased level of cholesterol, has a history of heart disease, there may be high chances of the condition to be heart attack. In this case, it is wise to consult the doctor immediately. There is a misconception that only older people suffer from heart attack. There have been several cases of people in their thirties suffering from heart diseases. Knowing about a person's dietary habits, or meal plan, etc., can help in diagnosing indigestion.
Lastly, we conclude that when suffering from heartburn and chest pain, you should not keep guessing whether it is heart attack or indigestion. You should rather look for immediate medical help and get the condition diagnosed and treated immediately, before it is too late. Take care!
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, seek to replace the advice of an expert.