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Posted in Internal Issues
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Friday, 20 June 2014
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Those who have a childhood that is free from allergic reactions can also suffer from allergies upon reaching adulthood. It is possible that there are changes in which the individual is allergic to certain things that were previously loved. By being familiar with the symptoms of typical allergies as well as the causes, it can help prevent irritation or a severe case from occurring. Just like with any medical condition, once you suspect an adult-onset allergic reaction, it is important to consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Allergies

Individuals who are prone to severe allergic reactions always bring an EpiPen.

What are the causes of adult-onset allergies?

The allergic reactions that occur during adulthood can cover a wide range of reactions that spontaneously occur right after puberty. In some cases, these changes coincide with the hormonal changes but there are other cases where they occur without any reason. Always remember that adult-onset allergies are often linked with food but not all the time.

Pollen allergies

There are some allergies to pollen that can occur during adulthood which is due to changing locations. In some cases, the individual who has not been exposed to a particular pollen allergen do not have an in-built defense or resistance, thus resulting to an allergic reaction. The symptoms typically include swelling as well as itchiness of the mucus membranes in the throat, eyes, nose and mouth.

Food allergies

The most common allergy that develops among adults is caused by certain foods. Generally, the immune system of the body suddenly confused food as a threat to the body and overreacts to the presence. The food-based allergens include nuts, berries, wheat, legumes, milk and honey. Take note that these allergies can be life-threatening since they can manifest between one meal and the next, progressively becoming worse and can often result to anaphylaxis which can be fatal.

Allergies to certain materials

There are some materials such as latex that can trigger an allergic reaction during adulthood. Latex is basically a rubber-based material that is used in condoms and examination gloves. The allergic reactions to latex typically include mild to moderate rashes, itchiness and other skin reactions. In some cases, the reaction can be severe that it results to anaphylaxis. Other materials that can trigger an allergic reaction include rosin, nickel, thiuram and certain antioxidants utilized in creams and lotions.

How to prevent allergies

There is no prevention of allergies that are spontaneously generated but once these allergies manifest, it is possible to reduce their effects. In case of an adult-onset pollen allergy, the basic first aid measure is to provide over-the-counter or prescriptions medications for allergy. An epinephrine shot can be given to help counteract the symptoms of the allergy.

As for allergies triggered by exposure to food and certain materials, it is advised to avoid these products that contain the allergen. When it comes to peanut allergies, the individual must avoid eating peanuts and peanut-based products.

Posted in Food Safe
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Friday, 20 June 2014
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Allergic reactions to lobster and other crustaceans are quite common among adults. Always bear in mind that shellfish allergies are responsible for causing severe reactions including anaphylaxis. Take note that this allergic reaction typically starts during adulthood and can occur even among adults who never experienced food allergies in their earlier years. Individuals who are allergic to lobster are usually allergic to other shellfish and might be required to avoid all types of shellfish.

Tests to determine lobster allergy

The symptoms of a lobster allergy can manifest right after exposure to lobster or other shellfish which indicates an allergy. Oftentimes, food poisoning or other infections can be mistaken as allergic reactions. Take note that it is also possible to undergo tests for allergies to determine the exact cause of the problem.

Skin tests can be performed to determine if an individual has lobster allergy. The doctor will prick the skin using a tiny needle that contains a small amount of the protein that causes the allergy. If there is a positive reaction, a red bump or hives will start to break out of the site where the test was performed. Allergen-specific blood tests can also be performed to measure the response of the body to the lobster proteins. A blood sample is taken for an allergy screen or RAST test to determine if the individual is allergic to lobster.

What are the symptoms of lobster allergy?

Lobster allergy

The EpiPen will provide a shot of epinephrine in order to slow down or counteract the reaction as well as allowing time for medical intervention.

Lobster allergy can be mild or severe. In most cases, the severity of the symptoms can progress with every exposure to lobster, thus individuals who are allergic must avoid all contact with lobster. The symptoms often manifest with a tingling in the throat or mouth and progresses which includes rashes and hives, swelling of the tongue, face, throat, congestion, wheezing and difficulty breathing. Even dizziness and fainting can occur.

What is anaphylaxis?

A harsh life-threatening reaction or anaphylaxis can also manifest. The symptoms of anaphylaxis include an inflamed throat that can obstruct the airway and makes it difficult to breathe, very low blood pressure, rapid pulse, lightheadedness, dizziness and collapse. These symptoms can occur quickly right after eating lobster. If the individual manifest any of the symptoms of anaphylaxis, it is important to seek emergency care right away.

How to prevent lobster allergy

The best way to prevent an allergic reaction to lobster is to avoid lobster completely. By eating lobster or inhaling steam from a cooking lobster, it can cause a reaction. This is due to the fact that it is not always possible to avoid exposure, thus those who suffer anaphylaxis must always bring along an EpiPen at all times. The EpiPen will provide a shot of epinephrine in order to slow down or counteract the reaction as well as allowing time for medical intervention. If you want to learn how to use an EpiPen, click here. For minor reactions, antihistamines can be given after exposure to help relieve the symptoms of lobster allergy.

Posted in Wilderness
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Friday, 20 June 2014
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Getting a bee sting is considered unpleasant for any individual but some can develop a severe allergic reaction to the sting which is called anaphylaxis. Individuals who are allergic to bee stings can suffer symptoms that are severe and life-threatening even from a minor sting. With this in mind, it is important that you know how to recognize the symptoms of anaphylaxis so that you can take the appropriate action.

During anaphylaxis

Even though some allergies can be considered as a plain nuisance, other allergic reactions can be dangerous. Anaphylaxis is a reaction of the whole body to an allergen. This can be caused by the venom in a bee sting or other insect bites as well as allergies to food, medications and other substances.

During anaphylaxis, the immune system releases chemicals that will trigger the allergy symptoms all over the body. Due to the severity of these symptoms, even a minor bee sting can be life-threatening if immediate first aid care is not provided right away.

Specific symptoms of anaphylaxis

If an individual develops anaphylaxis, there are various signs and symptoms. Take note that these symptoms typically affect different parts of the body at the same time.

Bee sting - allergy

The individual is experiencing anaphylaxis if there is chest tightness, difficulty breathing and swelling of the face and throat.

  • Swelling of the throat and face
  • Itchy red-colored rash
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • Wheezing or hoarseness
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fainting
  • Chest tightness

During anaphylaxis, the tissues will release substances that can constrict the airways. This can lead to other additional symptoms such as slurred speech, paleness, nose or chest congestion, dizziness, abdominal pain, heart palpitations and abnormal sounds when breathing.

In most cases, the allergic symptoms to a bee sting can manifest quickly. The individual will feel the symptoms in a matter of minutes after being stung. These symptoms can manifest within seconds after a sting. It is possible that the symptoms will take time to appear. It can take 30 minutes or even longer to notice these symptoms.

Preventing the symptoms of an anaphylaxis to a bee sting

Since the symptoms of anaphylaxis can be severe or even life-threatening, it is best to avoid them. If an individual already experienced a serious allergic reaction to a bee sting, emergency medications must always be on hand. The doctor can prescribe an injectable epinephrine or a chewable medication known as diphenhydramine which is an antihistamine. It is recommended to bring a bee sting kit when going outdoors and a medical tag must be used so that others will know about the condition.

When to call for help

If a family member experiences any of the symptoms after sustaining a bee sting, it is important to call for emergency assistance immediately. Once the individual shows signs of anaphylaxis, you have to stay calm. Remove the stinger of the bee from the sting site. Avoid squeezing the stinger since it can inject more venom into the body. In order to prevent shock while waiting for the medical team to arrive, position the individual flat on the ground. Elevate the feet about a foot off the ground.

Posted in First Aid
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Thursday, 19 June 2014
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Many do not delight on thinking about possible emergencies and natural calamities. On the other hand, most of these emergencies occur with little or no warning. With this in mind, it is vital to be always prepared to stay safe by being familiar with the basics on emergency preparedness. Always remember that taking the time to ensure that you are ready can help save a life during emergencies.

Emergency preparedness for flood

Flooding is considered as a common calamity in different parts of the globe. Even though one has not occurred lately, you never know when it will happen again, thus emergency preparedness is a must.

Emergency preparedness

A portable supply kit during a floor should include clothing, sleeping bags, medical supplies, prescription medications, flashlights, bottled water, non-perishable food, blankets and spare batteries.

Initially, you have to create a portable supply kit for your vehicle. This would include clothing, sleeping bags, medical supplies, prescription medications, flashlights, bottled water, non-perishable food, blankets and spare batteries. You can even purchase a flood insurance policy especially those who reside in high-risk areas for flood. Lastly, always listen to the local news that broadcasts a flood warning or flood watch.

Fire

Fire has caused a high number of casualties and injuries yearly. It is important to take into consideration certain precautions in order to avoid injuries and fatalities.

  • Check regularly if all windows can be easily opened. You should refrain from using complex lock systems that might be difficulty for children to use and check.
  • Install smoke detection alarms and always make sure that the batteries are regularly checked.
  • Review the available options for escape routes. You can practice escaping from every room with all family members.
  • Install escape ladders particularly for houses with several levels and if the bedrooms are on the higher floors.

Hurricane

Those who reside in hurricane-prone areas should take into consideration these measures in order to protect your family and property.

  • Create an evacuation plan that includes where the family members will meet, alternate transportation routes and how to leave if there is no access to a vehicle.
  • Assemble a portable kit that includes non-perishable food, battery-powered radio, flashlights, bottled water and extra batteries.
  • Install hurricane shutters that will protect the windows from strong winds and minimize the risk for serious damages.
  • Purchase a flood insurance to protect your property.

Tornado

Tornadoes can suddenly occur at any time of the year. A vital way to prepare is by determining how and where you will take shelter. You have to take note of these safe options.

  • Always keep an emergency kit that includes bottled water, non-perishable food, flashlights and extra batteries in the shelter location. A portable first aid kit will also come in handy in case of injuries.
  • Underground shelters such as cellars and basements can provide the best protection during a tornado.
  • Small interior hallways or rooms are considered as second options especially on the lower floors.
  • Vehicles do not provide adequate protection. It is best to look for buildings that have a strong foundation that will serve as your shelter.

Earthquake

Certain parts of the globe are at high risk for earthquakes. There are considerations to bear in mind so that you are prepared in case an earthquake strikes.

  • You have to prepare your home by fastening shelves securely to the walls; avoid hanging pictures above the bed and place heavy objects on the lower shelves.
  • Designate a meeting place for the family. Look for a location that is within or outside the neighborhood in case you are not together once the earthquake strikes.
  • Create an emergency supply kit that includes bottled water, non-perishable food, flashlights, battery-operated radio and extra batteries.

By taking into consideration these basics on emergency preparedness in any emergency course, you are prepared in case of trauma or when calamities strike.

Posted in General Questions
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Sunday, 15 June 2014
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Mites are microscopic organisms that can act as parasites that feed on animals, plants, humans and even mold. There are thousands of mite species all over the world and have existed for millions of years. Mites are considered as close relatives of the tick that also affect humans. Take note that mites can feed on humans and their bites can cause itchiness and skin irritation. The reaction from a mite bite can range from minor discomfort to a severe reaction that is accompanied by severe itchiness. Even though the bites of mites can be annoying, they rarely spread any diseases to humans.

Itchiness and redness

Mite bites can cause the reddening of the skin which is quite similar to a mosquito bite. Most of the time, there is a bump on a red area and it can be very itchy. Oftentimes, minor bleeding can occur by simply scratching the bite site. The individual must not scratch the bite site in order to preventing breaking the skin since it can increase the risk for an infection.

Swelling

The scabies mites can cause the most severe reactions among humans. Unlike with the mites that only bite, the scabies mites are capable of burrowing to 3cm into the human skin and lay their eggs while at the same time feeding on the skin and secretions. The common symptom of scabies is the appearance of tiny red-colored bumps that are surrounded by very dry skin. The individual can also experience the sensation of something crawling under the skin.

Rashes

Mites

Mites are responsible for triggering allergic reactions and can also be held liable for causing asthma attacks.

In some cases, the bites often appear in clusters on the arms, legs and stomach in a rash-like formation. Take note that these bites are very itchy and often similar to bites caused by fleas or chiggers.

Formation of raw spots

If the mites continuously bite the same part of the body, raw spots will start to form. In severe cases, the mite bites can bleed or even ooze. Oftentimes, this is aggravated since the individual could not control the urge to scratch the area. If this is the case, determining the cause of the mites and finding a solution is the only way to stop them from biting. It is recommended to wash all fabrics in the house using hot water as well as thoroughly shampooing the carpets and vacuuming the furniture.

Allergies

Dust mites are the most common among the species that interacts with humans and are considered as the main component of dust. These mites are responsible for triggering allergic reactions and can also be held liable for causing asthma attacks. By enrolling in a first aid class, you will learn how to properly manage allergies, especially if a family member has allergies. The common symptoms of an allergy include red, itchy eyes and runny nose.

Posted in First Aid
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Friday, 13 June 2014
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Based on statistics, dog bites occur at a high rate in different countries all over the world. A certain percentage of these bites came from small dogs that tend to scare easily and become defensive. Taking care of a dog bite is a task that can be done at home with basic first aid, but the serious dog bites would always require professional medical care. The treatment for small dog bites is still the same for bites caused by large dogs which only differ based on the severity of the wound.

First aid for small dog bites

In case a minor dog bite was sustained and there is no gaping wound or profuse bleeding, the wound can be treated with basic first aid measures. By enrolling in a first aid class, you will learn how to handle different types of wounds.

Small dog bites

With a clean cloth or towel, apply pressure on the wound to reduce or stop the bleeding.

Always remember that the wound must be thoroughly cleaned by washing it with water and soap. With a clean cloth or towel, apply pressure on the wound to reduce or stop the bleeding. Once the bleeding has been controlled, apply an antibiotic cream or ointment on the wound to hasten the healing process as well as prevent infection and then cover using a sterile bandage. It is important to change the bandage regularly to keep the wound protected and clean.

When stitches are needed

If the small dog bite gapes open, it would require assessment by a doctor and then the application of stitches in order to close the opening as well as prevent excessive scarring and infection from setting in. In most cases, the wound can be left open to promote faster healing if possible.

Administration of antibiotics

A dog bite that has signs of infection would require the administration of oral antibiotics in order to eliminate the infection while at the same time promote the healing process. If the infection is severe, it might be required for the individual to receive antibiotics that are given intravenously.

Tetanus shot

Once a doctor is consulted, the individual is asked when they last received a tetanus shot. If it has already passed more than five years since the last tetanus shot was given, the doctor might provide a tetanus shot. Always remember that tetanus is considered as a dangerous infection that can lead to breathing problems and muscle spasms.

In some cases, it is doubtful that a small dog bite can cause tetanus, but getting a tetanus shot will guarantee the individual that he/she is not at risk for acquiring the condition.

Rabies safety precaution

Rabies can be easily passed to humans by the saliva of an infected animal and it can be deadly. When a dog bites, most individuals will not need rabies shot unless the dog appears unhealthy. If the individual knows the owner of the dog that bit him/her, the vaccination records must be checked as a precaution. For a small dog bite from a stray, it is best to get in touch with animal control to locate the animal and the doctor will recommend a series of rabies shots.

Posted in Wilderness
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Thursday, 12 June 2014
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Eastern coral snakes are considered as reclusive animals that typically flee when noticed. Due to this, they only bite once they are handled incorrectly. Always bear in mind that snake bites from this species are not common but if an individual is bitten by one, it is extremely dangerous.

Identifying an Eastern coral snake

The Eastern coral snake is also known as the American cobra and considered as a dangerous snake due to the potency of its venom. Luckily, there is anti-venom available thus the risk for death or severe cases from a bite is minimized.

A full grown snake can reach up to 30 inches long. The females are the longest and characterized for their ring-link color patterns. There are also large sections of red and black with short segments of yellow rings in between. The head is black in color and small in size. Due to the color pattern of these snakes, they are often confused with the scarlet snake.

Even when an Eastern coral snake bites, there is likelihood that the venom will not be injected. The snake can strike several times when they do release the venom. Take note that these snakes can be very aggressive at times and they can also be calm at other times. It is believed that the females are more aggressive than the males. This is true if the female snake has eggs that are about to the deposited.

What is a dry bite?

A dry bite is when an Eastern coral snake does not inject any venom into the victim. The fangs of the snake are small in size and usually have trouble penetrating into thick clothing. In most cases, the snake can only bite an individual with a glancing blow which will not involve any venom. On the other hand, there is also the possibility that the snake is out of venom. Always remember that a single bite from an Eastern coral snake holds enough venom to kill 4-5 adults.

Symptoms of an Eastern coral snake bite

Eastern coral snake

The initial symptoms of an Eatern coral snake bite include nausea, vomiting and sweating that typically occur 10-14 hours after a bite is delivered.

The bite of an Eastern coral snake will not cause a lot of pain or swelling.  The fang marks are not usually apparent since they are small. The initial symptoms include nausea, vomiting and sweating that typically occur 10-14 hours after a bite is delivered.

If the bite is left untreated, the individual will experience difficulty speaking, lethargy, difficulty swallowing and drooping eyelids. In severe cases, respiratory depression and arrest will occur and eventually leading to death.

What to do if an individual gets bitten by an Eastern coral snake

Once an individual is bitten by an Eastern coral snake, it is vital to identify the snake that delivered the bite. Always remember that coral snakes have the characteristic black snout as well as the alternating bands of black, red and yellow. This snake is distinguished for its yellow band that touches the red band. It is important to bring the individual to the emergency department at the nearest hospital so that emergency care can be provided.

Posted in Wilderness
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Thursday, 12 June 2014
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During the summer season, mosquitoes also go along with the warmth at the time of this season. Mosquitos usually fly close to water between sunset and dawn. The female mosquitoes require blood for the eggs in order to live on and humans are always the likely targets. Always bear in mind that mosquitoes are usually the carriers of blood-borne conditions that includes yellow fever, dengue fever, malaria, West Nile virus and encephalitis. With this in mind, using a good mosquito repellant that contains DEET must be used before going outdoors especially during early morning or evening when the mosquitoes start to feed. Oftentimes, a mosquito bite can become bothersome that an individual ends up scratching consciously or unconsciously during sleep until it becomes infected. Take note that infected mosquito bites must be treated right away.

It is also important to note that there are certain areas where mosquitoes that carry blood-borne diseases are rampant. With this in mind, it is important to consult a doctor for the recommended vaccinations before spending vacation on these areas.

First aid care for infected mosquito bites

Taking care of an infected mosquito bite can be easily done at home without requiring any specialized medical skills.

  1. Wash the infected mosquito bite carefully using soap and water and pat it dry with a clean paper towel. Even though the individual might be forced to scratch the bite, instruct him/her not to do so since fingernails harbor different kinds of bacteria and can lead to a secondary infection if a break on the skin due to scratching occurs.
  2. Apply a thin layer of triple antibiotic cream or ointment to the infected mosquito bite. Cover it with a Band-Aid to prevent any contact with the sore area.
  3. Provide the individual with an antihistamine to minimize the itchiness as well as reduce the redness or welts, especially at night when unconscious scratching of the mosquito bite can occur. You can also apply Caladryl once the infected bite starts to heal in order to relieve the itchiness and minimize the swelling.

With the help of these first aid care measures, you can easily handle an infected mosquito bite in order to promote the healing as well as minimize the scarring.

How to prevent mosquito bites

There are various ways in order to prevent mosquito bites. Since mosquitoes usually go out to feed early in the morning or during the evenings, it is best to spend less time outdoors during these periods to prevent getting bites. Another preventive measure is to use any mosquito repellant that contains DEET to prevent mosquitoes from biting.

It is also best to wear pants or long-sleeved shirts if you have to go outside early in the morning or evening. These can help avoid any potential mosquito bites. In case an individual gets bitten by a mosquito, always emphasize not to scratch the affected area. In doing so, it will not become infected.

Posted in Wilderness
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Wednesday, 11 June 2014
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When an individual experiences altitude sickness, nausea is considered an early symptom that commonly occurs. If an individual experiences nausea, it must be treated right away since if he/she continues to climb higher, it can drastically affect the health and can even lead to other complications.

First aid care for nausea for altitude sickness

If an individual suffers from nausea from altitude sickness, these are the first aid steps that you have to take into consideration.

altitude sickness

You should also treat the other common symptoms of altitude sickness such as headache, dizziness and fatigue by resting and seeking lower ground until they completely subside.

  • When climbing at elevated heights such as mountain trekking, always bring some dimenhydrinate. This is an over-the-counter medication that is used to fight motion sickness, but it is highly effective for general nausea.
  • The individual must not proceed climbing if he/she experiences nausea due to altitude sickness. It is important that the individual must rest, hydrate and wait for recovery. Minor cases of altitude sickness can be effectively treated by resting and wait for the body to get accustomed to the present altitude before climbing higher.
  • If the symptoms do not clear up, the individual must descend to a lower altitude. In most cases, getting back to lower ground will put a stop to the symptoms caused by altitude sickness. If the nausea is severe, the lower the individual should descend.
  • The nausea can be treated by using medications as long as descending to a lesser altitude will not clear up the symptoms. In such instances, it is unreasonable to continue the climb to greater altitudes because the symptoms are just concealed by the medications but currently present in the body. Cases in which altitude sickness does not clear up must be taken seriously as nausea can indicate a more severe form of altitude sickness.
  • Continue the climb once all the symptoms, not just nausea have cleared up completely. You should also treat the other common symptoms of altitude sickness such as headache, dizziness and fatigue by resting and seeking lower ground until they completely subside.
  • The climb must be stopped if the nausea advances to the point of vomiting. Vomiting is regarded as a serious indication that a severe case of altitude sickness is developing. Medical care must be provided as soon as possible if the altitude sickness progresses to throwing up.

Important considerations to bear in mind

In most cases, many start to experience altitude sickness at a height of more than 8,000 feet or 2,400 meters. As long as that height is not exceeded, the nausea due to altitude sickness will not manifest.

Always remember that altitude sickness can eventually progress to a coma and result to swelling of the brain and lungs that can lead to death. Once an individual experiences the symptoms of altitude sickness aside from nausea, it is best to stop and rest for some time until the individual is acclimatized to the altitude.

Posted in Internal Issues
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Tuesday, 10 June 2014
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Once an individual finishes a meal and starts to experience chest pain, one might wonder whether it is a simple heartburn or a heart attack. Luckily, it is not the latter. Nevertheless, the signs and symptoms of heartburn and heart attack can be strikingly similar. Whether the individual suffers from regular heartburn or an individual believes he/she is at risk for a heart attack, being familiar with the difference between the two can help save a life as well as prepared on delivering the appropriate first aid care as long as required.

Difference between heart attack and heartburn

Always remember that heartburn is considered as a symptom, not a disease. Heartburn is characterized by a burning sensation or pain in the middle of the chest accompanied by acid reflux. If heartburn occurs frequently, it can indicate gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD) and requires medical attention as soon as possible.

Heartburn is due to the malfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter which allows the partially digested food and stomach acid to return back up the esophagus. There is a bad taste left in the mouth as well as burning sensation in the throat. Take note that this does not occur during a heart attack.

How heart attack is different

Heartburn

Heartburn is characterized by a burning sensation or pain in the middle of the chest accompanied by acid reflux.

 

The distinguishing feature of a heart attack is the persistent feel of crushing or tightening in the middle of the chest. Take note that this pain could not be alleviated by changing the body position and can last longer than a usual episode of heartburn.

The pain linked with a heart attack frequently radiates from the middle of the chest to either the left arm or both as well as the back, shoulders, jaw and neck This indicates that an individual must be given immediate medical care. Delaying medical care might minimize the chance of survival of the individual.

Pay close attention to nausea

It is important to observe closely nausea since it manifests during a heart attack and heartburn. You can easily determine the striking dissimilarities between the two conditions. During heartburn, nausea is typically momentary and can be due to stomach upset. When it comes to a heart attack, nausea is often accompanied by dizziness, profuse sweating and difficulty breathing. This occurs because once an individual experiences a heart attack, it triggers the body to respond since it is in a state of crisis.

Important tips to bear in mind

Do not ignore the warning signs of a heart attack believing that it is only heartburn. In case you are in doubt, it is important to call for emergency assistance right away. You never know since the individual might be having a heart attack.

It is also best to be particular in recognizing the symptoms of a heart attack if a family member or friend is at risk or already experienced a heart attack before.

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