A woman experiencing gas pain in her chest.
Heart & Vascular

Is It Gas Pain or a Heart Problem?

Aug 3 2020
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It’s perfectly normal to pass gas between 10 and 20 times a day. At the same time, it’s understandable to be worried if you feel chest pain after eating a meal. After all, if it’s gas, aren’t you supposed to feel it in your gut, not near your heart?

While you may be simply feeling the sensation of gas pain in your chest, this pain could also indicate a serious heart issue. Learn how to determine if you or a loved one needs to seek medical attention.

Please note, if you are still unsure if you are experiencing gas pain or a heart problem after reading this article, play it safe and go to the nearest emergency room to receive care.

Know when it’s gas

You may feel pain in your chest if gas has gathered in your stomach or in the left portion of your colon. Gas can become trapped in your digestive tract when you swallow too much air. There are other food-related reasons why you may feel gas pain near your chest. They include:

  • A food intolerance may be upsetting your digestive system and causing you to build up gas.
  • Artificial sweeteners can cause digestive upset symptoms, including gas pains.
  • Carbon dioxide gas in carbonated drinks, like soda, can cause an air bubble feeling in your chest.
  • Eating a lot of fiber-rich foods can result in too much fiber in your gut, producing gas for longer periods.
  • Food poisoning can cause gas pain near your heart, along with fever, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea or blood in your stool.

Consider medical conditions that cause gas pains

Besides food and drink, you may have a medical condition that creates gas pains.

  • Heartburn or indigestion can cause stomach acid to leak up into the esophagus and cause sharp chest pains from burping.
  • Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), can cause air to become trapped in your esophagus. The feeling can cause anxiety, which then leads to a short burst of heart palpitations.
  • Gallbladder disease can cause pains in the chest from excess gas. You’ll also experience a loss of appetite, nausea, chills and pale stools with this issue.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can cause gas build up in the digestive system. In addition to excessive flatulence, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can cause abdomen pain, diarrhea or constipation and nausea.

Contact your primary care provider if you believe you are struggling with one or more of these conditions. They will be able to order numerous tests to help diagnose the root of your problems.

Identify the signs of gas

There are noticeable differences between the feeling of gas and a heart attack. When it’s gas, you’ll likely experience the following:

  • Bloating
  • Burping
  • Knotted stomach
  • Passing gas through your backside
  • Quick, sharp pains that suddenly come and end

If it’s heartburn, it’ll happen soon after eating or it can awaken you from sleep after a couple of hours. You’ll feel the burning stomach acid moving up from your stomach into your throat. You’ll probably taste something sour in your mouth as well.

Taking antacids is one of the best home remedies of chest pain due to gas.

Identify the signs of a heart attack

If you feel an aching or burning in the chest area, it may be more than just gas. Check to see if any of the following symptoms are occurring along with severe gas pains. If so, you need medical help for a heart attack immediately.

Here are the signs of a heart attack:

  • Cold sweat
  • Heart palpitations and increased heart rate
  • Heaviness, pressure or squeezing pain in the chest
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain in one or both arms
  • Pain in the left shoulder
  • Pain in the neck or back
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Pain in the throat or jaw
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden and unexplained fatigue
  • Unexplained anxiety
  • Weakness

We offer many different health care services at Bon Secours. Learn more about the ones we offer for digestive health and well as heart care.


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