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Chest Pain: Cardiac Vs Gastric Causes.

Chest pain is a common medical condition that can be caused by a number of underlying issues. For the uninitiated, this can certainly be a cause of concern, with cardiac problems being at the forefront of threats and risks. However, it must be noted that not all chest pains are caused by cardiac issues, but chest pain due to gas turns out to be a potential culprit as well. In this blog, we will delve into the world of chest pain, exploring its different causes and understanding how to differentiate between cardiac-related aches and gas chest pain due to gas.


Understanding Chest Pain


Chest pain that comes and goes, or recurring chest pain, is a serious medical symptom that should never be ignored, as it can indicate threatening underlying conditions. In several cases, we are easily worked up by the occurrence of such aches and agonies, all without ascertaining the exact cause of the problem at hand. It is essential to recognize the potential chest pain reasons and determine the appropriate course of action. Modern medical science has come a long way from what it once was, thereby making effective detection and diagnosis that much easier. 


A quick rundown of Chest Pain


Chest pain that comes and goes refers to discomfort or pain felt in the chest area. It might range from a dull ache to a sharp, stabbing sensation. Although cardіac-related chest pain should be taken seriously, it's also important to bear in mind that chest aches can be caused by gastrointestinal issues as well, a case in which the diagnosis and identification process would be quite a bit different. 


Cardiac-induced chest pain.


Cardiac-related chest pain is primarily associated with medical conditions like angina, heart attacks, etc. Angina is said to occur when the blood flow to the heart muscle gets restricted, thereby leading to chest pain. Heart attacks, on the other hand, involve a complete blockage of blood flow, resulting in severe chest pain and potential damage to the heart muscles. 


The chest pain symptoms typically include tightness, pressure, or a squeezing sensation in the chest. The chest pain that comes and goes could radiate to the arms, neck, jaw, or back. Breathing difficulties, wooziness, nausea, sweating, palpitations, etc. are some of the additional issues that accompany cardiac-induced chest pain.


Chest Pain Due to Gas


Gas chest pain, also known as non-cardiac chest pain, is caused by the presence of trapped air or gas in our digestive systems. The chest pain due to gas can be sharp, stabbing, or cramp-like in nature. Often associated with bloating and excessive belching, Chest pain due to gas tends to be temporary in nature, and typically gets relieved by passing gas or burping. Factors like swallowing air, indigestion, and gastrointestinal disorders like acid reflux or IBS can contribute to chest pain due to gas.


Here's how you can identify the differences between Cardiac Chest Pain and Gas Chest Pain -


Distinguishing between cardiac-related and gas chest pain is crucial for appropriate management and prompt medical intervention. Here, we will be taking a look at some of the primary signs and symptoms that can help you differentiate between the two causes.


Location and Radiation of Pain


Cardiac chest pain is usually felt in the central or left side of the chest, while gas-related pain may be more diffused and concentrated in the upper abdomen or lower chest. Cardiac pain often radiates to the arms, neck, jaw, or back, while gas-related pain tends to be more localized in nature.


Nature and Intensity of Pain


Cardiac chest pain is commonly described as a tight, heavy, or squeezing sensation that increases on extortion. Gas-related pain, on the other hand, is characterized by sharp, stabbing, or cramp-like pain.


Associated Symptoms


Shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, sweating, etc. are some of the common symptoms that go along with cardіac-relatеd chest pain. Gastric pain in the chest, on the other hand, may be associated with bloating, excessive burping, and relief after passing gas.


Chest Pain Reasons and the potential threats of the same


Understanding the underlying chest pain reasons and risk factors associated with each type of chest pain can provide further insight into their origin.


Cardiac Causes


Cardiac chest pain can arise from conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart muscle disorders, or heart valve problems. Age, heart disease in the family, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholеsterol, obesіty, and a sedentary lifestyle are all risk factors for cardiac-related chеst pain.


Gas-related Causes


Gastric pain in the chest can be caused by swallowing air, eating gas-produced foods, indigestion, acid reflux, or gastrointestinal disorders like IBS, etc. Certain lifestyle habits, such as consuming carbonated beverages or eating too quickly can contribute to gastric pain in the chest as well.


Seeking Medical Attention and Diagnosis


Seeking immediate medical attention and receiving a proper diagnosis are some of the most crucial steps that can help us deal with chest pain. While gastric pain in the chest is typically temporary and less concerning than cardiac-related pain, it is essential to rule out any potential cardiac issues.


If you suspect cardiac-related chest pain, it is vital to call emergency services or go to the nearest ER without delay. Time is of the essence when it comes to cardiac events such as heart attacks or angina, and prompt medical intervention can prove to be life-saving.


For gas-related chest pain, having a prompt consultation with a doctor is advisable. The evaluation will be thorough, taking into account your mеdіcal background and a physical exam. To еlimіnate cardіac causes, diagnostic tests like an electrocardiogram (ECG), 2DEcho, stress test, or cardіac еnzymes may be carried out in certain cases as well. 


Additional procedures, such as an endoscopy or abdominal ultrasound, may be considered in certain cases to assess potential gastrointestinal factors contributing to the gas-related chest pain.


Remember, never underestimate the importance of seeking medical attention when experiencing chest pain. A professional evaluation is necessary to determine the cause and provide appropriate treatment.




Chest pain is a medical condition that demands attention and evaluation. Distinguishing between cardiac-related and gas-related chest pain is essential for appropriate health management and peace of mind. 


While cardiac-related chest pain requires urgent medical attention, gas-related pain is often temporary and can be managed through lifestyle modifications or appropriate medical interventions. 


Always seek prompt medical advice if you are experiencing chest pain-related complications. Remember, your health is too important to ignore the gas in chest symptoms your body may throw up from time to time.


If you are experiencing recurrent chest pain, consult an expert cardiologist today!

Medanta Medical Team
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