Gastric Chest Pain Explained: Causes, Symptoms, and Relief!

May 16, 2024

Gastric Chest Pain Explained: Causes, Symptoms, and Relief!

Ever felt a sudden chest pang and wondered, Is that heavy dinner the culprit, or is it because of gastric chest pain? How can you tell the difference? 

Chest pain is a common medical condition with many potential causes, including benign gastric issues like gas buildup. While concerning, not all chest pains stem from cardiac problems. The right medicine depends on finding the cause. So, how will you find this and get relief from this pain?

Don’t worry. In this blog, we will discuss symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of pain due to gastric. Oh, we will see the difference between gas pain and a heart attack too!

Symptoms of Gastric Chest Pain

People who have chest pain because of gas often have a burning feeling in the chest area. It can sometimes spread to the belly. It's important to recognize these signs to tell if it's just gas or something more serious. Some common signs are:


One common sign of gas pain in the chest is letting out air through belching or burping. It can help manage the pain.


Some people may feel indigestion along with chest pain from gas. This makes it challenging to digest food.

Loss of Appetite

If someone has chest pain from gas, they might not want to eat as much. Losing apatatite indicates the impact of gas on overall digestive comfort.


Feelings of fullness or tightness in the abdomen are typical signs of bloating. This can lead to chest pain.

Excessive Gas Passing

Patients can notice the voluntary or involuntary release of extra gas. It might temporarily ease the chest pain that comes with gas.

Pain Shifting to Abdominal Regions

The pain might not just be in the chest. It can move to different parts of the belly.


Some people may experience nausea along with chest pain from gas. It makes the general discomfort worse.

Shoulders or Back Pain

The pain may spread to the shoulders or back. Similar to the pain of more severe cardiac issues.  

Increasing Pain after Eating

Those who have chest pain from gastric pain can feel worse after meals. Particularly after consuming gas-producing foods.

Causes of Gastric Chest Pain

Feeling chest pain can be concerning, especially when it's linked to gastric issues. We'll go over the things that might be making you feel this way, from what you eat to possible health problems. So, let's start with:

Gas-Producing Foods

Eating gas-producing foods like beans, onions, and cabbage can lead to excessive gas buildup during digestion. It can cause pressure, bloating, and chest pain in the stomach.

Food Intolerances

Food intolerances can cause chest pain from gas. If you are lactose intolerant, eating dairy can make your stomach acid build up. It can lead to chest pain.  Also, if you have celiac disease or another issue related to gluten, eating food with even a small amount of wheat can make your symptoms worse.

Gluten contamination can also make the bowels swell and hurt for up to six months. This can make digestion worse in the long run.

Swallowing Air

When we eat, drink, or chew gum, the air we swallow can get stuck in our digestive system. It can cause it to build up, leading to bloating, discomfort, and chest pain.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Some inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, can make the digestive system overflow with gas. These long-term inflammation conditions make digestion difficult and can cause stomach pain, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.

Diabetes and other digestive problems can also make digestion difficult and lead to the same signs of gas and pain. If you have a disease that causes inflammation or blockages, your digestive system won't work right.

These inflammatory and obstructive digestive disorders can cause the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Abdominal pain

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disease that affects the intestines but does not cause inflammation. Stress can trigger these symptoms, and they may get worse after eating. IBS can also cause the following symptoms with chest pain:

  • Diarrhea
  • Cramps
  • Constipation
  • Pain in abdomen


Eating too much or big, heavy meals can be too much for the digestive system. The gas it produces can lead to bloating, fullness, and chest pain.

Unhealthy Eating Habits

Bad eating habits, like eating too fast, gulping down food or drink, or not chewing properly, let extra air into the digestive system. This can cause gas buildup and chest pain.


Anxiety and stress can interrupt digestion. This can cause more gas, resulting in uncomfortable bloating and stomach pain.

Medicine Side Effects

Sometimes introducing new medicines or supplements to your body can cause chest pain. Medications like antacids, aspirin, antidiarrheal drugs, and opioids can create gas as a side effect.

Carbonated Beverages

Carbon dioxide gas gives carbonated drinks their fizz, like soda, tonic water, and sparkling water. You might burp if you have too much of this gas. Also, it could build up in your digestive tract and cause pain.

Gas Pain vs. Heart Pain

Key Factors

Gas Pain

Heart Pain


Center or left side of chest

Center or left side of the chest, may radiate to other areas like neck, back, arms, and jaw.





Temporary, comes and goes

Persistent, lasting several minutes or more

Type of Pain

May be sharp, stabbing, burning, or tightness

Heavy pressure, squeezing, tightness

Nature of Pain

Mild to moderate


Risk Factors

Eating gas-producing foods, swallowing air while eating, underlying digestive issues

Family history, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes

Other Symptoms

Bloating, belching, flatulence, indigestion, and abdominal pain

Shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, dizziness, fatigue

Action Needed

Lifestyle changes if chronic

Immediate medical attention needed. Seek emergency help.

Diagnosis of Gastric Chest Pain

A physical exam alone cannot reliably detect the source of chest pain. Heart issues can have similar symptoms. So, doctors will start with an electrocardiogram (ECG) test to make sure it isn't a heart problem.

Once heart problems are excluded, doctors may order more tests to look for other possible causes:

  • Blood tests to check for food allergies or inflammatory markers indicating conditions like celiac disease or Crohn’s disease

  • Stool tests to look for signs of parasites, bleeding, or other markers of inflammatory bowel disease

  • Lactose intolerance test ing to assess the ability to digest dairy

  • Endoscopy to examine the esophagus and stomach for ulcers, acid reflux, or other abnormalities

  • Abdominal CT scans or Ultrasounds to image organs like the stomach and gallbladder

  • Esophageal pH monitoring to assess for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

  • Manometry to evaluate esophageal muscle function

  • Helicobacter pylori testing to check for a stomach ulcer-causing bacteria

  • Breath tests for conditions like lactose intolerance and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

Doctors will adjust their diagnostic approach to the patient's symptoms and medical history. The first step is to rule out heart conditions that could be life-threatening. Next, identify the digestive problems caused by the chest pain.

Treatment for Gastric Chest Pain

Finding the best way to treat gastric chest pain means looking at a lot of different choices. To help you find the right solutions, we've organized them into two categories: 

Medical Treatment

  • Over-the-counter antacids can help neutralize stomach acid and relieve symptoms like heartburn.

  • Medications like simethicone help break down gas bubbles for easier passing.

  • Prescription medications may be needed for recurring chest pain linked to GERD, IBS, or inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) to treat underlying conditions.

  • Antibiotics treat chest pain caused by food poisoning based on severity. Hospitalization may be required.

  • Medications to dissolve gallstones or surgical gallbladder removal treat gallstone-related chest pain.

  • In severe GERD cases contributing to chest pain, procedures like surgery or endoscopy may be considered.

Home Remedies

  • Drink warm, non-carbonated fluids like peppermint, ginger, and chamomile tea to aid digestion.

  •  Chew fennel seeds or ginger to reduce indigestion.

  • Avoid gas-producing foods like beans, cabbage, and carbonated drinks.

    • Stay active to promote digestion and prevent bloating.

  • Maintain good posture while eating, and avoid lying down immediately after meals.

  • Manage stress through techniques like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing.

    • Drink plenty of water and limit caffeine/alcohol which can contribute to dehydration.

    When to Seek Medical Care

    See a doctor if your chest pain lasts for a long time, is serious, or worries you. Take quick action if you are short of breath, sweating, or feeling pain running down your arms. Making the right diagnosis is important for getting the right care, especially for ruling out serious heart conditions.

    Preventing Gastric Chest Pain

    Usually, you can avoid gastric chest pain by limiting triggers that cause gas buildup or disrupt digestion. Key prevention tips include:

    • Limit greasy, spicy foods that can induce heartburn or indigestion, leading to chest pain.

    • Avoid caffeinated and carbonated drinks, which can accumulate gas in the digestive tract.

    • Identify and avoid foods that cause intolerances or allergies like dairy, gluten, etc.

    • Practice good food hygiene to prevent contaminated foods that could cause food poisoning and chest pain.

    • Get regular exercise to promote healthy digestion and prevent gas buildup that causes chest pain.

    • Reduce intake of high fiber foods, artificial sweeteners, and sugar alcohols that can produce excess gas.

    • Drink plenty of water and non-carbonated fluids to aid digestion.

    • Manage stress through yoga, meditation, etc. to prevent digestive irritation.

    • Adopt optimal eating habits, like chewing thoroughly and not eating before bed.


    So that brings us to the end of this blog about gastric chest pain. We have discussed symptoms, reasons, diagnosis, treatment, and how to prevent building gas for chest pain. I hope this guide will help you find relief from it.

    While gas-related chest pain is often harmless, it's crucial to pay attention. Dietary adjustments, home remedies like ginger, and exercise can provide relief for mild chest pain episodes. Also, there are some prescribed medications that can come in handy. 

    However, severe, lingering pain, despite treatment, warrants medical attention to rule out serious conditions. If chest pain remains for more than two hours, seek prompt medical advice. Your health is invaluable—don't overlook it.


    How Does Gastric Chest Pain Feel?

    Gastric chest pain often feels like a tightness, burning, or squeezing in the chest. It might happen along with indigestion, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. Pain can get worse or better and may spread to other parts of the body, like the shoulders or back.

    How to Remove Trapped Gas in the Chest?

    Drinking warm, non-carbonated fluids can help move excess gas out of the digestive tract to relieve trapped chest gas. Water, ginger tea, peppermint tea, and chamomile tea are examples. Light exercise may also help get rid of the gas that's building up in your chest and causing pain.

    How Long Does Chest Pain Last for Gastric?

    For gastric causes, chest pain is typically temporary. It can last from a few minutes up to a couple of hours. But how long it lasts varies on things like the underlying cause, whether lifestyle changes or remedies are used, and how each person responds.




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