Ask the doctor: What's the best way to tell heartburn from angina or a heart attack?

Ask the doctor

What's the best way to tell heartburn from angina or a heart attack?

Q. I'm worried that someday I will confuse my heartburn with my angina or a heart attack and end up in the emergency room for nothing. How do I tell the difference?

A. That's an excellent question, one that is often tough for doctors to answer without some further testing. Many people mistake heartburn for angina or a heart attack. Others ignore pain from angina or a heart attack because they think it is just heartburn.

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