Heart Disease Home > Heartburn or Angina Symptoms?

Sometimes, people are unsure if they are experiencing heartburn or angina symptoms when they suffer an angina attack. Other medical conditions can cause chest discomfort, but many people believe that symptoms of angina are most similar to symptoms of heartburn -- namely, chest pain and discomfort. Being able to differentiate between the symptoms can help you get proper treatment as soon as possible.

Heartburn or Angina Symptoms -- or Neither?

Chest pain is a symptom that causes fear for many people -- and deservedly so. It can be a sign of something serious and even life-threatening, such as a heart attack. However, chest pain can also be a sign of something not so serious, such as a pulled muscle. Therefore, it is not unexpected that people, when experiencing chest discomfort, will wonder if these are heartburn or angina symptoms.
 
To better understand the differences between the two conditions, it is helpful to compare heartburn and angina symptoms, along with understanding their different patterns and triggers.
 

Comparing Symptoms of Heartburn and Symptoms of Angina

Many conditions can cause chest discomfort or pain. Other than heartburn or angina, causes of chest pain include:
 
 
Pain and discomfort in the chest can be a symptom of heartburn. This pain is often described as a burning sensation that may move up into the neck. Other heartburn symptoms may include:
 
  • A sensation of food or liquid coming up into the throat or mouth (regurgitation), especially when bending over or lying down
  • Bitter or acid taste in the mouth.
     
Pain and discomfort are the primary symptoms of angina. This angina pain or discomfort:
 
  • Is often described as pressure, squeezing, burning, or tightness in the chest
  • Usually starts in the chest behind the breastbone
  • May also occur in the arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, throat, or back
  • May feel like indigestion.
     
However, one of the main differences between heartburn and angina symptoms is that with angina, a person may also have:
 
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness
  • Weakness.
     
These common symptoms of angina are not generally associated with symptoms of heartburn.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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