You might be surprised to learn that not all causes of chest pain are connected to the heart or lungs. Yes, you read that correctly; issues with your digestive system may be to blame for the discomfort in your chest.
One of the typical digestive disorders that causes chest discomfort is constipation. Even worse, it could also be accompanied by other digestive problems including bloating and cramping.
The ailment occasionally necessitates a trip to the doctor and might linger for hours to weeks.
Despite the fact that constipation can be a cause (see also “Can Tylenol Cause Constipation?“) of chest pain, there are many ways you could treat the symptoms of both chest pain and constipation.
In this article, we’ll examine the connection among constipation and chest discomfort, as well as how to treat it and whether it’s a sign of a deeper issue.
Constipation And Chest Pain
There are numerous ways in which constipation can result in chest pain. We are aware that chest discomfort is a worrying sign. Most people are concerned about that. When people have chest pain, they consider having a heart attack.
A heart attack is not necessarily the cause of chest pain. There are numerous reasons for chest pain, a few of which are risky and others of which are not. We won’t get into specifics here. We shall instead discuss the connection between chest pain and constipation
The large bowel and rectum become filled with feces when you are constipated. As a result, there is an increase in bacterial activity and wind production.
Intestinal wall stretching brought on by the gas might result in discomfort and bloating. The abdomen is typically where the pain is felt.
You could occasionally get chest pain as well. The cause is that various organs in the chest and abdomen have a common neural supply. Referred pain is the name for this kind of discomfort. It resembles the pain that radiates down the left arm during a heart attack.
Acid reflux may worsen as a result of the increased intra-abdominal pressure brought on by the fecal buildup.
In this circumstance, the stomach’s acid leaks into the throat (esophagus). As a result, the throat becomes inflamed and you experience chest pain.
Intervertebral disc bulging can be brought on by excessive strain. Typically, the lower back is the location.
Lower back pain results from prolonged constipation for this reason. The thoracic vertebra can experience slipped discs in a manner similar to that. It might result in nerve pinching and your chest will then hurt.
In patients with unstable cardiac function, excessive strain may lead to a heart attack. Researchers discovered a link between postmenopausal women’s severe, chronic constipation and an uptick in heart attacks.
If severe constipation and heart disease coexist, using a stool softener is advised. So, if you have severe constipation and serious cardiac problems, you should consult a doctor.
Can Chest Pain Be Caused By Constipation?
As mentioned earlier – yes it can. Long-term constipation causes (see also “Can Antibiotics Cause Constipation?”) bloating and may also be the cause of unexpected chest discomfort.
Constipation may be present if you have trouble passing stools or have few bowel movements – less than three times per week. The main factor causing pain in your lower chest is having too much gas in the stomach, which is a result of this medical condition.
Stomach acid reacting with retained feces will cause them to continue generating gas. And when the gas pushes against your abdominal organs, this can result in unexplained chest pain.
Is My Chest Pain Due To Gas?
When you move, you may have stinging twinges, a burning feeling in your chest, or you may experience gas pain quickly after eating.
When intestinal gas moves suddenly and presses against the muscles, stomach, and internal organs, it can cause chest pain that spreads quickly throughout your abdomen and chest.
Additionally to being a sign of inflammatory bowel illness, acid reflux, or heartburn, gas pain in the chest and stomach can also occur.
Similar reasons for intestinal gas include consuming too much of a certain food and swallowing a lot of air when you’re eating or drinking.
The gas pressure created by the food might occasionally cause chest and stomach pain quickly after eating. Your eating habits and how your stomach reacts to the meal will determine how much gas is created.
So your stomach will typically produce more gas when you consume food you are sensitive to or drink carbonated beverages. It might occasionally cause stomach and chest pain.
Additionally, you often swallow more air than other people if you eat quickly and chew bubblegum for a long time. Another consequence of too much intestinal gas is that you’re more likely to develop chest aches.
Constipation And Breathlessness
Shortness of breath may occasionally result from the gas created by particular dietary habits, gut flora, and constipation. Your stomach swells and distends when it is inflated by gas, making your stomach appear bigger and bringing on lower chest pain and stomach gas pain.
Additionally, the bloating may restrict the mobility of your diaphragm, which is the main breathing muscle. also limiting the speed at which air gets sucked into and expelled from the lungs.
As a result, when you are bloated, you have shortness of breath, which rapidly goes away after gas and belches when the abdomen relaxes. After that, if you still experience breathing difficulties, get emergency medical help.
Is It My Heart, Or Is It Constipation?
Many people worry when they experience chest pain since it can mimic heart symptoms. Misdiagnosis of heart discomfort can sometimes result in further problems and even fatalities.
Therefore, it is advised that you get medical attention right once if you are experiencing chest pain and seem to be uncertain of whether it is cardiac or noncardiac in nature.
If you feel bloated or if you make rapid movements, you may experience intense, fast, and intermittent chest pain.
Heart pain occurs more frequently and is worse over longer periods of time, lasting longer than a few minutes.
Chronic constipation and severe chest discomfort are sometimes signs of serious health issues such as colorectal cancer and heart attacks.
When constipation causes non cardiac chest pain, the pain is brief but intense and doesn’t get worse. It typically happens after eating a large, heavy meal, when you feel bloated, and when you find it difficult to pass stool.
If your chest pain and discomfort are persistent, heavy, and occur even when you are not eating or bloated, in addition to the other symptoms mentioned, it may be an early sign of heart problems and other underlying issues.
How Can You Treat Constipation?
The following are the best ways to treat chest aches brought on by bloating and constipation:
Drink plenty of decarbonated water to stay hydrated – This will help with digestion and cut down on any extra gas from carbonated beverages. Even if you dislike water, combine it with juice extracts and continue to drink it.
Exercise to maintain a healthy metabolism – this will minimize bloating and keep your bowels flowing in cases of persistent constipation.
Eat a healthy diet – Maintaining a low-acid diet and practicing clean eating will keep your gut healthy.
Increase the number of glasses of water you drink each day by two to four. Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages to one or two glasses at most; it is far better to abstain entirely.
To improve your bowel transit, include more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet and consume more high-fiber foods like oats and cereal. However, consuming too much fibre can result in constipation.
Keep an eye on your dairy intake and steer clear of any potentially dangerous dairy products.
Steer clear of oily animal fibers like beef, mutton, etc.
You could use a commercial laxative like milk of magnesia, fleet, mineral oil enemas, etc. for extremely bad circumstances. Before taking any drugs, seek the advice of your physician.
There are several medications that have been linked to constipation. Several of these medications are:
- Codeine, oxycodone, and hydromorphone-containing narcotics.
- NSAIDS such as Ibuprofen and naproxen.
- Iron Tablets
Be aware of the adverse effects of such medications while taking them and act accordingly.
Check For Certain Nutrition And Health Issues
Constipation can be brought on by specific health and dietary issues.
- Consuming insufficient fiber
- Dehydration or inadequate hydration
- Getting insufficient exercise
- Illnesses like Parkinson’s disease that impact your spine and brain such as celiac disease
- Brain or spinal cord injuries
- Disorders that interfere with hormones, such as hypothyroidism, and interfere with your metabolism
- Proctitis or diverticular disease-related inflammation intestinal obstructions, such as tumors and anorectal blockage
- Anatomical issues with your gut system
Avoid Stressful Situations
The release of certain chemicals in the body that have been discovered to cause constipation has been linked to stress and worry.
Although it is uncommon, your doctor can advise surgery in extreme situations where constipation is brought on by a structural issue with the colon.
Intestinal blockage, anal fissure, etc. are a few examples. Additionally, surgery can be needed if an intestinal lesion develops that is malignant.
Chest discomfort and constipation may both be present. Constipation and costochondritis are two conditions that can coexist, for instance. These two, however, are unconnected.
Chest pain is sometimes a symptom of persistent constipation and is a warning sign that you must not ignore.
The best approach to prevent constipation symptoms from occurring is to closely monitor your diet, make sure you’re getting enough activity, and make sure you’re getting plenty of water. However, if you do feel chest pain, don’t wait to call your doctor.