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Heartburn or Angina Symptoms?

Patterns of Heartburn or Angina Symptoms

For some people, knowing the patterns and triggers of heartburn or angina symptoms can help them understand the differences.
 
Stable angina usually occurs in a pattern. Most people with angina learn to understand:
 
  • What causes the angina pain to occur
  • What it feels like
  • How long it usually lasts
  • Whether it is relieved by rest or medicine.
     
After several episodes, you will learn to recognize when you are having angina and its triggers. For a lot of people, angina is triggered by:
 
  • Physical exertion, such as exercise, hurrying, or sexual activity
  • Emotion (stress, anger, frustration, or fright)
  • Exposure to very hot or cold temperatures
  • Heavy meals
  • Smoking.
     
It is important for you to notice if the pattern starts to change. Changes to be aware of may include:
 
  • The pain is occurring more often
  • It is lasting longer
  • It is more severe
  • It occurs without exertion
  • It doesn't go away with rest or angina medicine.
     
These changes in the pattern may be a sign that your symptoms are getting worse or becoming unstable. You should seek medical attention if these things happen. Unstable angina suggests that you are at high risk for a heart attack.
 
Heartburn symptoms usually occur after eating, and can also be triggered by certain foods or activities. Some examples of things that may trigger heartburn include:
 
  • Lying down
  • Bending over
  • Large meals
  • Tobacco products
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Certain foods and drinks, such as:
 
    • Chocolate
    • Peppermint
    • Fried and fatty foods
    • Tomato products
    • Foods and drinks that contain caffeine, including coffee
    • Alcoholic beverages.
 
If you think you have symptoms of heartburn, take an antacid. If the symptoms do not get better, then it could be angina.
 
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