Caregivers in Red Lodge MT: The Difference Between Heartburn and a Heart Attack


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The Difference Between Heartburn and a Heart Attack

Caregivers in Red Lodge MT

Caregivers in Red Lodge MTSome people may swear they are having a heart attack, only to find out it was an intense case of heartburn. Heartburn can occur when stomach acid splashes up from the stomach into the esophagus. The pain that comes with heartburn is very similar to that of a heart attack, so it is difficult to decipher which is which. By understanding the symptoms of both conditions, you and your aging parent will have a better idea of when and if they should be heading to the emergency room.

Symptoms of Heartburn

If the elder feels any of the following symptoms, they are most likely suffering from heartburn:

  • A sharp, burning sensation that is located just below the breastbone or ribs
  • The pain usually remains in the chest and does not end up in the arms, neck, or shoulders
  • This pain typically happens after eating, when lying down, during exercise, or when having an episode of anxiety
  • The elder will quickly get relief from the symptoms after eating an antacid
  • Sometimes accompanied with a cold sweat

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

When the senior is suffering from a heart attack, or angina, the symptoms are typically far worse. They include:

  • A sensation of tightness, fullness, dull pressure, or pain in the center of the chest
  • Feeling as if a belt is being tightened around the chest
  • Sudden chest pain or pressure that seems to be getting worse
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Having the pain radiate the shoulders, jaw, neck, and arms
  • Shortness of breath
  • Possibly feeling lightheaded
  • Symptoms are usually accompanied with a cold sweat
  • The pain is often relieved quickly with nitroglycerin

If any of these symptoms last for more than a few minutes, they will need medical attention as soon as possible. Older adults who live alone should also consider hiring caregivers to look after them and care for them. These caregivers can also watch for any of these symptoms.

Being able to decipher the difference between a heart attack and heartburn can be a challenging job, but knowing the symptoms should make this task much easier for you and your senior loved one. If your loved one frequently gets heartburn, encourage them to talk to their doctor about their symptoms. The doctor may be able to prescribe a medication or offer some lifestyle tips that can help them relieve the intense pain that causes disruptions to their life and sleep routine. 


If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Red Lodge, MT, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 406-839-2390.

Shanna Tourtlotte

Shanna Tourtlotte has been the owner of SYNERGY HomeCare Billings since 2011.

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