Chest pain can be a terrifying experience, sending shivers down your spine and leaving you scrambling for answers. While it’s a common symptom of heart attacks, it can also arise from less serious issues like gastric problems. This confusion can lead to delayed medical attention or unnecessary panic.

This blog aims to shed light on the key differences between chest pain caused by acid reflux and the kind associated with heart attacks. By understanding the tell-tale signs, you’ll be better equipped to assess the situation and seek appropriate medical help.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux

You may experience acid reflux when the gas inside your stomach is trapped. These gases such as nitrogen, methane, hydrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide fail to pass, and you experience serious cramps. Sometimes these cramps manifest as chest pain, which is a common symptom of a heart attack. If this chest pain subsides on its own, then you don’t need to worry as it can just be gas.

Here are a few symptoms that you may experience along with gas pain

  • Passing of gas through the mouth
  • Gas passing through the anus
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Indigestion
  • Distention
  • Bloating

What are the symptoms of a heart attack?

One of the most prominent symptoms of a heart attack is a chest chain. This pain is often characterised by a feeling of tightness, heaviness, aching, and burning sensation in the chest. You may experience this pain in the middle or on the left side of your body. But it can experienced elsewhere as well, which may feel similar to how gas pain feels.

If you’re having chest pain, look for these other symptoms and get medical help as soon as possible.

  • Severe pain in either one or both arms
  • Pain in shoulders
  • Increased heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating

Key differences between a heart attack and gastric issues

While heartburn and heart attack can have signs that feel similar, the symptoms associated with these two can serve as a line of distinction.

The symptoms associated with acid reflux may include bloating, indigestion, weight gain, constipation, belching and flatulence. If you’re feeling this pain, recall what you had for your meals. Some food items which are heavy on the stomach can also cause gastric issues. These food items usually include processed or rotten foods. You may also suffer from gastric pain if you swallow excess air while chewing food.

As for chest pain associated with heart attacks and cardiac arrests, you may also experience symptoms such as shoulder pain, indigestion, sweating, intense pain, nausea, rapid heartbeat, light-headedness and fainting. If you have high blood pressure, cholesterol, or diabetes, you’re at risk of having heart attacks or cardiac arrests. Likewise, if your diet includes regular consumption of fatty foods, or you drink or smoke regularly, are obese or lead a sedentary lifestyle, the chest pain may be a sign of a heart attack.

Nevertheless, a medical diagnosis is necessary to confirm. Do not wait, rush for medical help even if you think you’re having chest pains associated with gastric issues.

What is the first line of action in this case?

The first step is calling for help. Do not wait thinking you’ll be fine and there is no need to worry. Self-diagnosis never works. Immediately call someone in this instance. According to cardiologists, taking a Disprin also works as it helps in preventing excessive damage to the heart.

If you’re in the company of someone experiencing chest pain, you must lay them flat on the ground. Check for their pulse. If the person stops breathing, it’s time for chest compressions before medical help arrives. To begin, lock your fingers together and place the base of your hands at the centre of the chest. Press hard and fast, apply 100-120 compressions per minute. Maintain a depth of 2 inches. If you feel exhausted, swap with someone else, but do not stop the compressions.

Closing thoughts

While the symptoms of heart attack and gas pain may feel similar, they are different. Nevertheless, it is easy to mistake one for another. If you are finding it difficult to distinguish between gas pain and heart attack, talk to a medical professional. You must seek medical help even if it feels like normal gas pain. Do not draw your own conclusions, seek medical help immediately.

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