Dr. Oz: Heart Attack Vs. Anxiety Attack
Dr. Oz talked about how to tell the difference between a heart attack and an anxiety attack. The symptoms may feel the same, but they’re very different.
Dr. Oz showed a video of a woman explaining she had a pain in the middle of her chest, which felt like someone was stabbing her. It came on all of a sudden, but started to fade after five minutes.
Is this an anxiety attack or a heart attack? Lindsay in the audience thought it was an anxiety attack, so Dr. Oz made her an assistant for the segment.
Dr. Oz: Anxiety Pain Vs. Heart Attack Pain
He asked her where she thought the pain would be for anxiety attacks or heart attacks. She said the left upper part of the chest. Dr. Oz explained that in an anxiety attack, that’s where the pain stays. In a heart attack, the pain radiates up the neck, the shoulder, and down the left arm. It can even go to the back or chin.
Dr. Oz said this was because the heart itself can’t feel pain. So the pain happens somewhere nearby, because the body knows something is wrong.
Dr. Oz: Stabbing Pain Vs. Pressure Pain
A feeling of a sharp, stabbing pain is more common in anxiety attacks. Heart attacks feel more like a weight on the chest, like someone put a cinder block on their chest. This is because the heart is panicking because there’s no blood in it.
Dr. Oz: How Suddenly Did the Pain Come On?
Another clue is how fast the pain comes on. A panic attack pain will come on very suddenly. Heart attack pain will take minutes to come on. It’ll get worse and worse and build up. Anxiety pain will last less than 15 minutes and the pain will diminish over time. Crushing or squeezing pain from a heart attack will last much longer, because the problem isn’t going away.
Dr. Oz revealed the video of the woman describing her pain actually depicted an anxiety attack. If you’re unsure of whether you’re having an anxiety or heart attack, don’t take chances. Call 911.