Indigestion Chest Pain Condition – Why Is It Happening?
What is indigestion? Well, that is a very difficult question to answer, as indigestion is more a collection of symptoms that can often signal an underlying illness rather than being a condition all unto itself. Most indigestion symptoms are commonplace reactions to mealtime and include gas, bloating, nausea, diarrhea and constipation; all ordinary gastrointestinal symptoms that can be attributed to everyday edibles. Indigestion chest pain can be one particularly alarming symptom however, which can lead some people to wonder if they are experiencing common indigestion or heart attack symptoms instead.
Thankfully, most indigestion pain has some rather ordinary explanations. This pain can range in severity from mild to intense and sharp. According to WebMD, this pain can be most apparent in the upper stomach area. One common cause can be stomach bloating, which can be a side effect of built up gas in the intestines. This can occur from eating gassy foods such as those high in fiber that the digestive system has to work much harder to break down. In turn, gas is produced and if it is not released, it can create enormous amounts of pressure and translate into pain. The Mayo Clinic explains that even medical professionals can have a hard time differentiating between indigestion chest pain and more serious causes such as angina, and therefore any bouts of chest pain that last longer than a few minutes should be treated as an emergency.
Another reason why indigestion chest pain may be occurring is due to acid reflux symptoms. When stomach acid travels backwards up the esophagus, a burning sensation and pain are often the end result. This can be tremendously uncomfortable and can also create an acidic or sour taste in the mouth or the back of the throat. In some cases, acid reflux can worsen to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) a more severe form of the condition, where symptoms can be more severe and frequent. In most cases, acid reflux symptoms are brought on by eating foods and drinking beverages like hot and spicy fare, citrus, carbonated beverages, garlic, tomato products and mint. There are other causes as well that should be considered such as stomach abnormalities such as a hiatal hernia. Pregnancy, smoking, being overweight and certain over the counter medications such as pain relievers can also bring about symptoms.
Since a burning sensation and pain in the upper abdomen are both common symptoms of indigestion, it is not a stretch to consider that many cases of indigestion chest pain can be attributed to acid reflux. An easy way to determine whether or not acid reflux or GERD may be to blame is to keep a food diary to see if this is why it is happening. If symptoms occur after eating foods that are known to cause heartburn and at no other times, then it is likely that the culprit has been found and over the counter medications or acid reflux home remedies and lifestyle changes can be used to treat the symptoms. However, if symptoms appear at other times and do not seem to be associated with mealtime, then other considerations should be explored.
It is important to consider that there are more serious health concerns that can mimic the sensation of indigestion chest pain that, if common digestive woes cannot explain, should be evaluated by a health care provider. A heart attack is the most serious of these and that is why any chest pain that lasts longer than a few minutes or is accompanied by pain in the arm or shortness of breath should be treated as an emergency. Angina is another heart condition that is a result of decreased blood flow to the organ that can result in chest pain, sweating and shortness of breath. Sometimes, angina can be a precursor to a heart attack, and therefore symptoms of same should be taken very seriously. A pulmonary embolism is the result of a blood clot that becomes lodged in the lung within an artery and can cause sudden and severe chest pain.
Because of the seriousness of potentially life threatening causes of chest pain, cases of sudden attacks accompanied by other ominous symptoms should not be ignored. While indigestion chest pain can mimic these health hazards, serious risk can come from ignoring it if another underlying cause is to blame. However, most incidences of indigestion chest pain can be attributed to digestive troubles and lifestyle decisions such as meal choices. And, identifying and reducing these everyday causes can lead to fewer recurrences and offer an explanation of why the uncomfortable symptoms are appearing.