Posted: 02/09/2016

How to Distinguish Heartburn from Angina

Woman_with_chest_pain

Heartburn, angina and other conditions that lead to chest pain such as muscle strains or inflammation can be difficult to distinguish from each other. To get a definitive diagnosis, it is always recommended that you see a doctor. There are some signs, patterns and symptoms that can help you determine whether the chest pain you are experiencing is a result of heartburn or angina though. Read on below for more information about the distinguishing factors for these two conditions.

Similar Symptoms
Due to their similar symptoms, heartburn and angina are somewhat difficult to differentiate. The primary symptoms of angina and heartburn include chest pain located in the center of the chest. Pain in the chest can be a sign of other conditions such as panic attacks, stomach ulcers, muscle strains and even heart attacks. However, two common conditions that lead to recurring chest pain are heartburn and angina. Although these two conditions have similar primary symptoms their causes and triggers are very different.

Differing Symptoms
Heartburn and angina are characterized by differing symptoms that most sufferers from each of the respective conditions feel. The symptoms of heartburn that distinguish it from angina include: feeling of regurgitation of food and acidic taste in the mouth. The distinguishing symptoms of angina include: nausea, shortness of breath/fatigue and feelings of weakness or lightheadedness. These symptoms are unlikely to occur in those suffering from heartburn. Often in the moment, it may be difficult to discern which symptoms are occurring alongside chest pain but there are other distinguishing factors to look for in telling the difference between heartburn and angina.

Patterns and Triggers
One of the main distinguishing factors between these two conditions is in the way they are triggered. Heartburn often occurs after eating and it most often occurs after eating these types of foods: acidic foods, caffeine, fried foods and alcohol. Angina can also occur after eating a heavy meal. However, angina is often triggered by physical exercise or exertion, extreme emotions, extreme temperatures or smoking. Angina also typically follows a pattern in terms of the triggers for a particular sufferer. A person’s first bout with moderate to severe angina or heartburn can be worrying to the sufferer especially when the trigger or cause is unknown.


Ranexa Popular Angina Medication

Heartburn and Angina Medications
There are now many different heartburn and angina medications on the market. These medications can help relieve your symptoms and often lead to sufferers determining which condition they are experience. Heartburn medications can be found both over-the-counter and by prescription. Multiple very effective prescriptions have been transitioned to over-the-counter medications like antacids and acid reducers including proton pump inhibitors. Angina medications are typically prescribed medications including nitrates, beta blockers and calcium channel blockers. Some popular angina medications are: Nitroglycerin, Ranexa and Amlodipine.

If angina or heartburn symptoms are severe or if you are experiencing symptoms similar to a heart attack, contact a doctor. Chest pain that does not go away after taking medication or chest pain that is accompanied with sweating, fainting or vomiting are signs that you could be suffering a heart attack. Get medical attention immediately if these symptoms occur.

By HelpRx Staff Writer

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About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality. Subscribe to the HelpRx.info pharmacy blog through our RSS feed or get updates by liking HelpRx.info on Facebook and following HelpRx.info on Twitter.

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