Written by Lisa Allen, MD
Before finding out how to get rid of gas in your chest, it is a good idea to identify which type of chest pain you have.
Aside from gas, you can have chest pain if you have been doing exercises such as chest press.
Once you rule out other culprits such as injuries and muscles aches, you can proceed to identify the problem.
There are two main types chest pain due to gas:
- The slow burn is the common type healthy people experience. If you have been overindulging on food and alcohol, this will be the slow burning and feeling of bloatedness. The suffering of gas building up in your gut and travelling towards your chest, waiting to be released.
- The sharp burning pain that requires immediate attention. Typically known as gastric pain, gastro- oesophageal reflux disease is the medical term for stomach acid bubbling up with the gas, and burning everything on its way.
Beware Of The Other Chest Pain
If you are experiencing slow pain that radiates from the center of left side of the chest, to the limbs or jaw, and the pain comes and goes.
A heart attack can feel like something is squeezing or pressing against your chest, it does not always manifest as pain.
Hence, if you are sure that it is not your normal chest pain bubble feeling, you should go to the emergency department.
Gas and Chest Pain – How It Happens?
Gas is a common byproduct of digestion. Certain foods can trigger more gas build up than others, particularly high fiber foods with complex carbohydrates.
But there are a few more reasons why gas can accumulate in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Constipation is a common cause of gas buildup, as the gas is unable to escape via the rectum, it travels upwards. The air bubble in chest will accumulate and leave via the mouth, as a burp
- Carbonated drinks are also common culprits. Swallowing dissolved gas can cause bloating, as the body digests the drinks, the carbon dioxide becomes free.
- General food intolerance can generate more gas than usual, as the body struggles to cope with the stress of digesting food that it cannot tolerate. Food that usually cause bloating include dairy and gluten.
- Medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or ulcerative colitis. One of the symptoms of bowel diseases is bloating and flatulence, also due to the body’s reduced efficiency in removing gas buildup.
How to Get Rid of Gas In Your Chest
Sometimes, you may forget and start to eat quickly, or indulge in food that triggers gas in your stomach. More often, it is a rude reminder that you have crossed the line when you have that bubbly ache in your chest.
Here are some home remedies to get rid of gas bubble in chest.
- Avoiding offensive foods is a good way to get rid of the feeling of having gas in your chest. Carbonated drinks, beans and whole grains are common culprits, either limit them in your diet or remove them from the list altogether.
- Posture is an important remedy, as a tiny change in posture can improve the gas removal from your gut. Good sitting posture or lying on the side helps alleviate the situation by making it easier for the gas to move out.
- Smaller meals helps the stomach cope with the gas build up, most health practitioners also stress on eating slower and chewing food well before swallowing. Instead of three large meals, some recommend five smaller meals throughout the day.
- Probiotics to increase the amount of healthy bacteria in the gut, so that the food does not ferment too long and cause more gas to accumulate. Opt for sugar free and dairy free formulations, as they might contribute to the problem if you are intolerant.
- Drinking warm water relaxes the gut muscles enough to help pass gas out as a fart. Once the gas escapes, your chest will feel lighter.
- Apple cider vinegar is a popular remedy for gas, as it helps digestion and stops the fermentation process that produces gas.
- Peppermint tea contains active ingredients that help increase gut motility, moving the gas out faster than letting it sit in the chest. Drinking the tea hot or warm will help the situation.
- Ginger is a well known calmative that warms the body, it is a traditional method the Chinese use to treat bloating and flatulence. While tea is a popular choice, gingerbread or adding ginger to food is also an acceptable way to introduce the herb into the body.
Other Causes and Remedies
There are couple other things you should be aware of. Take a look below:
- Weight can be a contributing factor to gastro- oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), losing weight can help reduce the pressure on the sphincter and stop acid and gas from escaping to the chest. Coincidentally, low impact exercise such as walking can help move the gas out of the body.
- Smoking can cause the sphincter muscles that separates the stomach from the chest to relax. Smokers are more likely to experience chest pains, as they inhale gas, and is unable to keep the gas from travelling upwards.
- Certain medications can cause bloating and trigger GORD. Fortunately, there are medications to help reduce it, or stop acid reflux. Medications that help get rid of the problem are proton pump inhibitors and antihistamines. For acid related gas production, antacids work a charm.
- Pregnancy is also a common cause for this ailment, as the fetus pushes up against the stomach, causing less space to accommodate food and gas. The situation will resolve on the birth of the baby, meanwhile you should eat less but more frequently.
Usually the remedies are effective in getting rid of chest pains due to gas build up, but when it does not help, things can get frustrating.
Nissen Fundoplication is the last option you can consider as an anti- reflux surgical procedure. The doctor will reinforce the oesophageal sphincter by wrapping the upper part of stomach around the oesophagus, thus effectively stopping the gas from travelling upwards too often.
While the surgery is effective as a last ditch effort to stop GORD and chest pains, it has its risks. Like all major surgeries, there are risk of failure and infection, hence doctors will always recommend trying all other options before proceeding.