If you've skipped a meal or two and now have a jabbing pain in the chest, the most logical explanation, you may think, is gas or flatulence. But is it really possible to have chest pain from gas?
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the chest pain and how long it lasts. We all have gas pain at one point or another, but it most often happens in the abdomen.
The body naturally produces gas when we eat or swallow air. We also rid the body of gas in two ways, namely through the mouth (i.e. when we belch), and through the anus (passing gas).
When we ingest foods, these nutrients are conveyed from the small intestine to the large intestine. Bacteria in the large intestine respond to the new intake by producing a cocktail of carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen â€“ which is then released or trapped in the body based on the levels produced.
Pain in the chest that is accompanied by frequent flatulence, belching, or feelings of indigestion may be a sign that it's just another episode of being gassy.
These are all signs that you may have excessive gas trapped in the body.
Too often, individuals who experience these symptoms mistake it for a heart attack. When panic sets in, however, the ache may feel worse.
One rule of thumb is to rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10. If the pain is on the lower end of the spectrum and you notice other symptoms of gas, such as bloating, for example, it may just be a case of flatulence and you can try some of the do-it-yourself remedies discussed later on.
If the pain doesn't dissipate over a few hours, seek medical attention right away. Chest pain is one of the main signs of a heart attack, which is a life-threatening condition.
Seniors, especially, should take extra precaution during any episode of chest pain. Some of the tops signs of a heart attack, in addition to chest pain, including muscle weakness, pain in the arms, labored breathing, and sweating.
Prolonged chest pain may also be associated with an underlying heart condition.
When it's gas, here are a few tips to try at home:
If you still have recurring gas chest pain after completing an elimination diet and being mindful of the times you eat, consider over-the-counter gas medicines. Antacids and probiotics can also help. A doctor should also be consulted when the problem persists and you're worried it's something more.