Gases – an embarrassing subject that hardly anyone wants to talk about. Even though it’s an inevitable part of the digestion process and every single person has to deal with gases at some point, we still don’t feel comfortable to discuss it even with our doctor. This common subject of many jokes is no laughing matter when it turns into an everyday problem and leads to pain. Not everyone knows that while it’s normally associated with the abdominal area, gas pain may also cause serious discomfort in the chest.
Doctors often deal with patients that report recurrent pains in the chest area. Many of those patients are convinced that they suffer from a heart condition. They get confused and surprised when the doctor asks them if they have problems with excess gases. Thankfully, the majority of patients that hear the diagnosis – gas pain in chest – can go back home without any medication prescribed, since the best way to alleviate this kind of pain are natural, home remedies and appropriate exercise.
What causes gas pain in chest?
Excess gas may directly or indirectly cause pain in the chest. The occurrence of gas pain in this area doesn’t always mean that it’s literally trapped in the thorax. Gases accumulate in the abdominal region and as they build up, they start pressing on internal organs. That is why the pain that they cause does not occur always in the same place, often being mistaken for various health conditions, like appendicitis, liver malfunction or even a heart attack.
Gas can be trapped in the chest when it gets artificially introduced into the abdominal area, e.g. during a laparoscopy surgery. In order to have access to certain organs, surgeons insert carbon dioxide through a small cut in the skin of the patient. This allows them to reach the areas they operate on. Some of the carbon dioxide gets released immediately after the surgery, but it may take up to 24 hours for the remaining gas to pass naturally. Some of it, unfortunately, can get trapped in chest and cause serious discomfort.
Malfunction of digestive system
If you haven’t just recently had a surgery, but you suffer from trapped gas, the reason is probably in your digestive system. The formation of gases takes place in the colon and is the result of the fermentation of the carbohydrates. This mostly happens when we consume products that are high in fibre. The more vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grain foods you eat, the more you will be prone to excess gases.
That doesn’t mean, obviously, that we should avoid this type of food. Fibre is known for its beneficiary influence on the digestive tract since it helps control the levels of cholesterol and sugar in blood. It also removes toxins from our bodies. In order to avoid gas build-up when you follow a high-fibre diet, you should make sure you increase your intake of fluids.
Avoid drinking gas
Among other common reasons of gas build up are: drinking carbonated beverages, intolerance of certain types of gluten or simply swallowing air while you smoke a cigarette or eat too fast. A combination of excess gas with constipation that causes bloating and impairs the passage of gases may result in gas pains that occur not only in the abdomen but also in the chest area.
How to recognize gas pain in chest?
As we mentioned before, the symptoms of gas pain may be misleading. That is why you should observe your body closely so that you do not overreact in case of a sudden pain. First and foremost, remember that not every stabbing pain and tightness in chest means a heart attack. If you are not simultaneously experiencing a pain radiating into the left arm, you’re more than likely suffering from a gas pain. Sharp pain in the abdominal area can be a symptom of many health problems, but indigestion is claimed to be the most common cause. Before you rush to the doctor, try to alleviate the symptoms by using some of the home remedies we describe below.
Home remedies for gas pain in chest
Not Always Coca-Cola
It’s no secret that carbonated beverages are far from healthy due to the extremely high level of sugar they contain. But have you ever thought about the amount of gas you swallow just in one can of soda or a small beer? While one drink with bubbles every now and then won’t hurt, a regular consumption of beer, coke etc. has a huge impact on your body. If you suffer from chest and abdominal pains that may be related to excess gas, just try to exclude the carbonated drinks from your menu for a week. A major shift in health guaranteed.
Drink a lot of water
It may seem like there is no need to remind anyone about the importance of keeping the body hydrated. Yet, we will leave a kind reminder one more time. In order to allow all the organs work properly, you need to drink between 1,5 and 2 litres of liquids a day, preferably water. An increased intake of liquids assures an easier digestion of fibres, which – as we mentioned above – cause the formation of gases when they reach the colon undigested. By drinking plenty of water you also reduce constipation and facilitate the elimination of toxins from your body, including the ones accumulated in your digestive tract.
Five O’Clock Medicine
A cup of hot tea can do miracles and has become one of the most common remedies for various everyday ailments. It can also provide a relief from gas pain in chest and abdomen. The most recommended types of teas in this case are the ones made of peppermint, chamomile or fennel. All of them reduce the feeling of bloating due to their anti-flatulent properties. Find a flavour that appeals to your taste buds and make it a routine to drink at least one cup of hot herbal tea a day.