Experiencing chest pain can be terrifying at first. You wonder if you are having a heart attack or if there is something wrong with your lungs. For some people, this feeling is immediately followed with another realization: the chest pain you just experienced is because of flatulence. It is normal to pass intestinal gas throughout the day, but the condition can be embarrassing. When it is excessive, you may feel uncomfortable going out with friends and the condition itself can be painful. To begin solving your chest pain due to gas, you have to learn why it happens and ways that you can manage the problem.
What Makes Gas Build Up in Your Body?
Sometimes, the carbohydrates that you eat during the day are not properly digested in the small intestine. If this happens, the bacteria that are in your colon will start to ferment the carbohydrates and create gas. While you may end up experiencing chest pain from gas, this is actually just occurring because the gas initially built up within your abdomen. A variety of different problems can cause this to occur.
1. You Swallowed Air
Sometimes, you swallow air and it ends up moving to your lower digestive tract. This can occur because you chewed gum, drank through a straw or ate too quickly. Air may also be swallowed if you feel especially nervous or drank something too quickly.
2. You Consumed Artificial Additives
Artificial sweeteners were never intended to be eaten by nature. These man-made chemicals are often found in sugar-free gum, food and candy. They may be in ingredients like mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol. Some people are naturally more sensitive to these artificial sweeteners and may experience diarrhea or gas.
3. You Ate Fiber-Rich Foods or Carbonated Beverages
Carbonated beverages like beer and soda can cause gas to form. Fiber supplements that include psyllium can do the same thing. In addition, high fiber foods like beans, legumes, vegetables, whole grains, peas and fruits can cause excess gas to build up.
4. You Have a Food Intolerance
There are some common foods that could be causing your chest pain due to gas. Many people are unable to break down the sugar and lactose in dairy products. Other people have problems breaking down gluten in their body. If you have a food intolerance, you may experience bloating or excessive gas.
5. You Have a Health Condition
Some chronic health conditions can make you more susceptible to experiencing gas. Ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease and diverticulitis can all cause excessive gas. Many diabetics also experience excessive bloating and gas because the bacteria within their small intestine becomes overgrown.
6. You Have Heartburn
Chest pain may also be caused by severe heartburn. This condition occurs when some of your stomach acid escapes from your stomach and travels back up the esophagus. Other than causing heartburn, this can end up causing discomfort, nausea and excessive gas. If you have heartburn all the time, you could have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux.