Gas Pain in Chest

How to relieve gas pain in chest?

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.

What is gas?

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 – which is then released or trapped in the body based on the levels produced.

Decoding when it’s gas in the chest

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.

Did you know?

Pain in the chest from gas may also be accompanied by:
  • Difficulty sleeping due to discomfort
  • Pressure or tightening of the chest
  • Whole-body pain, particularly in the stomach
  • Mild to excessive sweating
  • A distended abdomen

These are all signs that you may have excessive gas trapped in the body.

Ruling out chest pain

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.

When it’s actually a heart attack

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.

Other reasons for chest pain

Prolonged chest pain may also be associated with an underlying heart condition.

Moreover, a few recognized disorders that could trigger chest pain include:

  • Esophagus Disorders
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Lung Disorders
  • Musculoskeletal Pain

Home remedies for gas chest pain

When it’s gas, here are a few tips to try at home:

  • Stay hydrated – When you drink a lot of fluids, you directly aid the body’s natural digestive processes.
  • Avoid sodas – Carbonated beverages are notorious for trapping excessive gas in the body.
  • Drink something warm – This may sound like an old wives’ tale, but hot drinks, including teas and soups, are widely recommended for easing flatulence, and ultimately, chest pain caused by gas.
  • Incorporate apple cider vinegar – This potent home remedy for gas is inexpensive and usually readily available from the pantry. To use, add one or two spoonfuls in a drink of choice and sip to aid with digestion.
  • Go dairy-free – Some individuals are unaware of their lactose intolerance as it affects each person differently. If you have frequent gas pains in the chest or abdomen, however, take a trial-and-error approach to see if quitting dairy helps. This includes eliminating milk, yogurts, cheese, and other types of dairy products.
  • Try exercises – Get your blood pumping and your digestive tract moving with mild to moderate exercises. There are specific workouts you can do to help eliminate gas, including lying flat on the back and pulling the legs toward the chest. Repeat a few times to see if this helps.

If all else fails

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.

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Last Reviewed:
June 22, 2017
Last Updated:
October 12, 2017
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