How do you know if it's heartburn or something worse? Many of the symptoms associated with heartburn can also be indicative of other diseases and disorders within the body, especially the heart. However, there are often variations in signs and symptoms, even if only slight that can be used to determine if it is indeed heartburn or something worse.
- PAIN. The pain caused by heart attack can often be severe. Thousands of individuals head to the emergency annually, believing that they may be having a heart attack only to find that it was heartburn. However, one of the symptoms of a heart attack in men includes pain that often radiates into the neck, shoulder, and/or jaw. While heartburn pain can radiate, it does not typically do so into those specific regions.
- ACTIVITY. A helpful indicator in determining if it is heartburn or something worse is his activity. Heartburn is most commonly experienced after meals, when lying down, especially when on the back, and in times of stress. Angina or chest pain caused by heart attack or other heart related disorders can occur at any time, regardless of activity.
- DURATION. Length of symptoms also provide clues as to whether or not he is indeed experiencing heartburn. Drinking a glass of milk or taking an antacid typically provides relief fairly quickly. If the symptoms persist and/or progressively worsen, this can be a sign that it is not heartburn but something possibly worse.
- MEDICAL TESTS. In some cases, the only way to know if it is heartburn or something worse is to seek medical attention. There are several diagnostic tests that can help determine if he has heartburn or is suffering from another condition. When in doubt, it is crucial to seek medical advice.