Chest pain can have various digestive tract-related reasons, mainly in the esophagus and the muscle tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. Esophageal pain can be felt in the center of the chest, from the epigastrium (top of the soft region of the abdomen, below the breastbone) up to the throat.
Additionally, esophageal pain might spread to either side of the chest. It is commonly mistaken for a heart attack or angina when chest discomfort radiates to the lower left side of the chest.
Inflammatory Causes Of Gastric Pain – GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
This digestive problem is brought on by a buildup of stomach acid that rushes back into the esophagus with other acidic compounds, such as the digesting enzyme pepsin and bile from the duodenum (early section of the small intestine).
The lower esophageal lining becomes irritated and inflamed when these chemicals pass over the gastro-esophageal junction, a physiological valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach.
A scratchy throat and a foul aftertaste might result from the regurgitation of an acidic stomach. It may also hurt the lower esophagus, causing everything from minor inflammation or redness to serious erosions and ulcerations, bleeding, scarring, and esophageal stricture (tightening). Pain and difficulty swallowing may result from this.
Eosinophilia Esophagitis (EOE)
An esophageal inflammation known as eosinophilia esophagitis, a form of GERD, is suspected to be connected to allergies to different food groups or other environmental allergens. White blood cells called eosinophils invade the esophagus lining as part of the body’s allergic response.
Medication And Other Causes Of Gastric Chest Pain
No steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
These drugs, like ibuprofen, can inflame the esophagus and harm the lining of the entire digestive tract.
Failure To Swallow Medicine Properly
Acidic substances in medications can potentially harm the esophagus if you take them while lying down or if you don’t drink enough water along with the medication. Chest pain in these circumstances typically appears several hours after taking the drug.
When To See The Doctor For Gastric Chest Pain?
A doctor should generally address chest discomfort if it is severe, chronic, or both. This will enable a cardiac cause, such as a heart attack, to be swiftly identified, treated, or ruled out.
There is no need to seek immediate medical attention if chest pain is minor, connected to eating, and readily eased by antacids (medicine that reduces stomach acidity).
However, you should contact a doctor immediately if quick fixes like antacids don’t work or if the discomfort worsens or persists. Generally speaking, the more necessary it is to consult a doctor or even go to the emergency department, the worse the pain is.
Diagnosing Gastric Chest Pain
To determine whether a digestive issue is the cause of your chest pains, your gastroenterologist may do an endoscopy to look inside your stomach, small intestine, or esophagus. This non-surgical method involves inserting an endoscope, a flexible tube with a light and camera, into the esophagus through the mouth and neck.
Today’s endoscopic technology allows for diagnosing upper digestive tract ailment sources. Numerous techniques are easily accessible if therapeutic treatments are necessary.
There are currently sophisticated types of equipment for monitoring pressure in various sections of the esophagus, acid reflux into the esophagus, and the movement of fluids up the esophagus to detect motility disorders where visual findings by endoscopy may not offer enough information.
By analyzing these measurements, Doctors can learn more about the specific sort of motility condition causing your symptoms.