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What Is Causing My Chest Pain: Is It Gas Or Heart Problem?

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What Is Causing My Chest Pain: Is It Gas Or Heart Problem?

Gastro Sciences | by Dr. Ajay Mandal | Published on 05/05/2023



Overview:

Chest pain is a common symptom that is usually associated with heart problems. However, it is not always true. Gas pain in the chest is also a common symptom that can lead to discomfort and can cause a feeling of pain, burning sensation, or tightness around the chest.

Gas pain in the chest is usually common after a huge meal or sometimes, in general. Since the symptoms of heart problems and gas pain are quite similar, it is common to ignore signs of heart problems thinking they are due to gas. This can increase the risk of cardiac illnesses which can also lead to a heart attack. If you’re constantly experiencing chest pain, it is important you get in touch with a doctor for a comprehensive diagnosis. This blog provides information on the difference between gas pain in the chest and a heart attack. Please note that this blog is only for informational purposes and does not replace the significance of a doctor’s consultation.

Gas Pain Symptoms In The Chest:

Symptoms of gas pain in the chest are often similar to a heart attack. It is only after a comprehensive diagnosis, you can know the exact cause of chest pain. Here are some common symptoms of gas pain in the chest - 

  • Belching
  • Flatulence
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Distention 
  • Burning sensation
  • Stabbing pain in the chest
  • Weight gain 

When To Seek Medical Attention For Gas Pain In The Chest?

People who frequently suffer from acid reflux must seek medical assistance if they are encountering any of the following symptoms:

  • Prolonged gas
  • Food "sticks" to the back of the throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Trouble while breathing or swallowing
  • Frequent exposure to stomach acid can cause oesophagal injury.
  • Symptoms of a more serious ailment, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), cancer, or a peptic ulcer.

What Are The Symptoms Of a Heart Attack?

Heart attacks can be abrupt and severe. While there are several underlying symptoms and warning signs which can indicate poor heart health, most of them are often ignored due to their similarity with gas pain in the chest. Here are some early warning signs which can indicate the potential risk of a heart attack- 

  • Chest Pain (angina)
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Heart Palpitation
  • Cold sweat
  • Fatigue and unexplained anxiety
  • Unconsciousness
  • Nauseous or vomiting
  • Pain in the left arm or both arms, including the left shoulder
  • Pain in jaw, neck, throat, back, and stomach

Causes Of Heart Attack

In laymen's terms, a heart attack is a plumbing issue in the heart which impacts the heart’s ability to circulate oxygenated blood throughout the body. But if the blood supply to the heart is suddenly interrupted, it can lead to a heart attack. Eventually, if it is mistaken for gas pain or other illness, the condition can damage the heart muscles and increase the risk of death. 

Heart attack pain areas usually resemble of gas pain but there are some cardiac diseases which are mostly responsible for a heart attack - 

Verdict: Is It Gas Pain or Heart Attack?

Well, to know whether your chest pain is associated with gas or is an early warning sign of a heart attack, it is important to undergo a comprehensive diagnosis. Certain symptoms associated with a heart attack can become worse if they are mistaken for gas pain in the chest. Depending on your symptoms and how persistent they are, you can easily distinguish between gas pain, heart attack and acid reflux. 

  • Most commonly heart pain occurs suddenly irrespective of what you’ve eaten while gas pain may start after eating. Heart pain may feel like pressure at the centre or on the left side of your chest. While the gas pain may be associated with sharp pain or cramps in your abdomen.
  • Heart pain may increase in severity while gas pain has a tendency to move around in your chest and lowers as fast as it starts.

However, if you’re still confused and not sure whether you are suffering from a heart problem or gas pain, get in touch with a doctor near you and seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you’re looking for an expert opinion on such a health condition, contact our Gastroenterologist in Kolkata.

FAQs

 

Can a gas pain in the chest feel like a heart attack?

Yes, you may experience pain in the chest due to the accumulation of gas in the left side of the colon. The feeling can be misunderstood as a heart attack but usually goes away once you pass gas. However, get in touch with a doctor if the symptoms of chest pain persist for a longer duration.

How to relieve gas pain in the chest?

Gas pain in the chest usually resolves on its own. But if the condition persists, doctors recommend several dietary changes to get relief from gas pain in the chest - 

  • Avoiding spicy food
  • Reduce caffeine intake
  • Stay hydrated
  • Consuming a high-fibre diet
  • Eliminate sugar substitutes
  • Over-the-counter painkillers (if prescribed)
  • Exercise

How long does gas pain last?

Gas pain in the chest can last for a few hours and usually resolve on its own. There are certain home remedies which can be effective in reducing discomfort and pain instantly. 

How to identify gas pain in the chest?

Identifying gas pain in the chest involves being aware of the following symptoms -

  • Belching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Bloating
  • Pain that shifts to different parts of the abdomen
  • Voluntary or involuntary passing of excess gas (relieve pain)