Heart attack, or just indigestion? How to tell the difference…

Some days it’s scarily easy to dismiss heart attacks as something that happens to other people. At other times, we can break into a panic at the slightest bit of digestive discomfort. When should chest pain actually worry us?

The following tips will help you distinguish a heart attack from other, more trivial digestive concerns.

 The pain spreads beyond your chest

Generally speaking, indigestion should not cause discomfort in other areas of the body. If you notice pain or numbness in your jaw, teeth, arm or upper back, it could by a symptom of something more serious.

It’s most common for women to feel something wrong in other areas of the body. Men are more likely to feel a crushing weight on the chest.

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You feel pressure, burning or tightness

According to Mayo Clinic, these are feelings are among the biggest hints you should be taking the pain seriously.

Other heart attack symptoms include feelings of breathlessness, sweatiness, dizziness, nausea and even vomiting. Your body will very quickly tell you something is wrong; stay tuned for these warning signs.

It doesn’t go away through traditional means

Sometimes heart attacks can happen slowly and subtly, making them easy to dismiss.  It’s worth remembering that heartburn and indigestion will usually go away after taking an antacid and drinking milk or water. If it persists – even as mild discomfort – there could be cause for concern.

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It happens with activity or emotional turbulence

While most of us are aware of the effect exercise can have on our hearts, the impact of emotional stress can be just as significant. Distress can reduce the flow of blood to the heart – sometimes down to one third – and women are particularly at risk of this form of heart attack.

Your instinct says something is wrong

As often as our brains can lie to us and overreact, this is one area where you should listen to your intuition. According to Everyday Health, many surviving patients have told doctors they simply had a sense that something was very wrong.

You’re simply not sure

If you’re uncertain, please play it safe. Call 000 immediately. They can walk you through the symptoms and help you identify the issue.

Have you ever had this scare? What other tips would you share with the Starts at 60 community for identifying a heart attack? Share your thoughts in the comments below.