Is it Gastritis or Gastritis as a prequel of heart attack? How to differentiate? read

Mar 25 2022


Heart attack and Gastritis (heartburn) both cause chest pain. So, people often confuse the two whenever they register some kind of pain in their chest. Knowing the difference between the two can save you from any potential disaster.

In this article, we are going to cover the difference between heart attack and gastritis. By the end, you will be better able to distinguish between the two conditions. Let’s start with the basics first.

What Are Heart Attacks & Gastritis?

Heart attack is a condition in which a heart muscle or a part of it does not get enough blood and oxygen. Most of the time, this happens because a major artery or arteries fail to supply blood. The medical name of heart attack is myocardial infarction.

Gastritis is a condition in which acid from the stomach rises to the esophagus and causes a burning sensation. In the ideal condition, this acid should stay in the stomach and dissolve food and nutrients. The inner lining of the stomach is made of special tissues that are not affected by this acid. But the lining of the esophagus is not strong enough and hence gets burnt.

Both these conditions cause pain in the chest and hence the confusion. Knowing more about the accompanying symptoms can help you differentiate between these conditions.

What Is Common Between Heart Attack & Gastritis?

The only common thing between the two conditions is pain in the chest. Other than that, causes, treatment, and accompanying symptoms are different. Sometimes, these symptoms are hard to sense, and hence the two conditions become indistinguishable.

What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Attack & Gastritis

You can know whether you are suffering from gastritis or having a heart attack by observing the symptoms.

  • Gastritis

The burning sensation caused by gastritis starts from the upper part of the stomach. Gradually, this burning sensation radiates up to the chest. In some cases, the acid even rises up to the level of the mouth. In such cases, one also feels a sour taste and burning sensation in the throat.

  • Heart Attack

A heart attack involves a sudden pain in the center or the left side of the chest. The pain is accompanied by an uncomfortable sensation. This sensation can either be squeezing or pressure.

Along with the chest, one also feels discomfort in the shoulders, neck, back, or even jaw. Since the heart starts malfunctioning during a heart attack, one also feels weak or faint during it. Different people experience different symptoms of a heart attack. Some might feel mild pain in the chest, while others might feel severe pain in the chest during a heart attack.


As we mentioned earlier, the only common thing between the two conditions is the main symptom: pain in the chest. Apart from that, there is nothing common between the two conditions. For causes, the causes of these conditions are totally different. Down below, you can find the potential causes of heart attack and gastritis.

  • Heart Attack

Heart attack is mainly caused by blockage of an artery that is responsible for supplying blood to your heart. The blockage of coronary arteries might be because of the buildup of cholesterol, fat, or any other similar type of substance. Sometimes, a clot is formed in the arteries due to the rupture of a plaque.

Whatever might be the reason for the blockage, ultimately, the blood flow towards the heart is interrupted, and a part of the heart is destroyed because of it.

  • Gastritis

There is a valve in our digestive system that creates a separation between the esophagus and the stomach. In the ideal condition, this valve opens up when food has to pass down from the esophagus to the stomach and immediately gets closed as soon as the food arrives. gastritis occurs when this valve does not function properly.

If the valve does not get closed, the acidic mixture will move up in the esophagus. This phenomenon is called reflux. There can be various reasons why the valve stop functioning properly, such as:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain medications
  • Hiatal hernia


When To Seek Medical Help

If you are feeling a burning sensation after you have eaten something oily or you have lied down immediately after you had food, there are high chances that it is gastritis. You don’t need to seek medical help in such a condition.

However, if you have a sense that someone is squeezing your chest or you can’t breathe properly, you should immediately seek medical help. You should consult a doctor even if such symptoms get alleviated by themselves.

How To Prevent Heart Attacks & Gastritis

Here is how you can prevent the two conditions:

  • Gastritis

One should never go to bed after having a heavy diet. This increases the chances of food rising upwards. Eating the food slowly and avoiding certain types of foods like extra spicy foods or fried foods also decreases the chances of developing gastritis.

  • Heart Attack

There are some lifestyle changes that can help you in preventing both heart attack and gastritis—for example, eating fresh and healthy food and maintaining weight.

Managing cholesterol levels and diabetes is very important in preventing heart attacks. Keeping a check on high blood pressure is also important to reduce the chances of a heart attack. Other than that, getting regular exercise, limiting the intake of alcohol, managing stress, and getting enough sleep also help in preventing heart attacks.


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