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What might seem like indigestion could be a heart attack or a symptom of coronary artery disease, particularly if you are a woman. Coronary artery disease occurs when arteries that carry blood to your heart are narroweddue to an accumulation of a fatty substance called plaque. Coronary artery disease can eventually lead to a heart attack.
Not all patients who experience heart attacks will have chest pain. Heart attack symptoms can include any of the following: chest discomfort that can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain; discomfort or pain in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach; shortness of breath; breaking out in a cold sweat; or feeling nauseated or lightheaded.
Men and women can both experience a heart attack as a feeling of indigestion, though it is more common for women to do so. If you are concerned that your indigestion may be a heart attack - and particularly if you have existing heart disease or the indigestion has not responded to heartburn medication - seek medical attention immediately. Remember: it is far better to find out you are only experiencing indigestion than to ignore the symptoms and delay heart attack treatment.