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Can Constipation Cause Chest Pain? Leading Causes and Home Remedies 
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Can Constipation Cause Chest Pain? Leading Causes and Home Remedies 

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 July 14
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4 min

If you are suffering from chest pain, you may wonder whether or not constipation has a role to play. Could there be a connection?

can constipation cause chest pain

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Did you know that there are many causes of the pain in your chest, and not all of them are heart-related? Yes, you read it right, the pain in your chest could actually be caused by problems related to your digestive system. 

Constipation, in particular, is one of the common digestive ailments that cause chest discomfort. Even worse – it might come with other gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating and cramping. The condition can last from hours to weeks and sometimes requires a visit to the doctor.

In this piece, we explore the relationship between constipation and chest pain, including how you can deal with constipation and if it’s a marker of an underlying problem.

Can Constipation Cause Chest Pain?

Yes. Prolonged constipation leads to bloating and can also be the reason why you have chest pains out of nowhere. 

If you have difficulty passing stool or have infrequent bowel movements fewer than three times a week, you might be dealing with constipation. This health condition contributes to having excess gas in your stomach, which is the primary cause of pain in the lower chest.

Feces retained will keep producing gas due to stomach acid acting on them. And this can cause unexplained chest pain when the gas presses against your abdominal organs.

Is gas causing my chest pain?

Feeling sharp twinges and a burning sensation in the chest when you move or having gas pain shortly after eating could indicate excess intestinal gas. 

Chest pain occurs due to sudden movements from intestinal gas that press against your muscles, stomach, and organs, sending a sharp sensation across your chest and abdomen. 

Gas pain in the stomach and chest can also be a symptom of inflammatory bowel disease, acid reflux, or heartburn. While related causes of intestinal gas could be caused by overeating a specific type of food and swallowing unusual amounts of air while eating or drinking. 

What Can Cause Chest and Abdominal Pain After Eating?

Sometimes, chest and abdominal gas pain can occur shortly after eating due to the gas pressure produced from the meal. The gas produced depends on your gut reaction to the food and your eating habits.

So most times, when you eat foods you are intolerant to or take carbonated drinks, your gut will produce more gas. Which, in some cases, leads to chest and stomach pain. 

Also, if you eat fast and chew gum for long, you swallow more air on average than other people. You are more likely to experience chest pains from intestinal gas, leading to another effect of excess intestinal gas.

Constipation and Shortness of Breath

In some cases, the gas produced due to certain eating habits, gut bacteria, and constipation can temporarily lead to shortness of breath. When your stomach is bloated from gas, your abdomen swells and distends – making your stomach bigger and causing discomfort in pain in the lower chest and abdominal gas pain. 

This bloating can also press against your diaphragm, limiting the movement of the primary muscle of respiration. And restricting the rate at which air is sent in and out of the lungs. 

As a result, you feel shortness of breath when bloated, but it quickly disappears when the abdomen relaxes after flatulence and belching. If you continue to have shortness of breath afterward, please seek emergency medical attention.

Is It Constipation, or Is It My Heart?

Chest pain is a cause of worry for many because it may seem like cardiac pain. And misdiagnosis of cardiac pain can lead to more complications and even result in death. 

So if you are dealing with chest pain and are unsure if it is noncardiac chest pain or cardiac pain, it is recommended to seek a doctor’s help immediately. Pain in the chest is sharp, quick, and occurs intermittently when you are bloated and gassed or if you make sudden movements. 

Pain from the heart is more frequent and severe, happening in durations that last more than a few minutes and increasing severity. 

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Accompanying symptoms of cardiac pain

Accompanying heart pain but not related to constipation or bloating are other signs listed below. If you notice any of these other symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Nausea
  • Pressure
  • Tightness in the left arm, back, jaw, or neck
  • Fatigue
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cold sweat

How to Deal With Constipation? 3 Home Remedies 

To best way to relieve constipation and bloating that causes chest pains are as follows: 

  • Stay hydrated with decarbonated water: This aids digestion and reduces any additional gas from carbonated drinks. Even if you don’t like water, mix it with natural juice extracts and keep chugging it down.
  • Exercise to keep your metabolism going: This will reduce bloating to the bare minimum and keep your bowel moving in cases of chronic constipation. Jog, run, and stretch indoors and outdoors.
  • Keep your gut healthy: Stick to foods with low acidity by clean eating and a natural light diet. To ensure smooth bowel movements, you can consider ColonBroom, which is an effective dietary supplement enriched with psyllium husk, a type of natural dietary fiber. 

It works effectively in cleaning your digestive system and removing obstructions in your intestine, making it easy to eliminate waste products quickly without taking too much effort.

A Word From MD

Severe chest pain and constipation are often symptoms of more significant health complications like heart attacks and colorectal cancer. It is helpful to quickly identify the other symptoms of chest pain so you can instantly contact a medical professional in the event of an emergency.

Where constipation leads to noncardiac chest pain, it is quick yet sharp and does not increase intensity. It mainly occurs when you are unable to pass stool, are bloated, and after eating a large and intolerant meal.

If, however, the chest discomfort and pain you feel is prolonged, heavy, and occurs even in the absence of a meal or bloating along with other highlighted symptoms, it can be warning signs of a heart attack or other underlying complications. Contact your doctor immediately and seek medical attention.

Conclusion

For many with chronic constipation, chest pain is simply a telltale sign of a larger problem and one that you should not ignore.

The best way to avoid experiencing the symptoms of constipation is to keep a close eye on your diet and make sure you’re getting enough exercise and drinking plenty of water. If you do experience chest pain, however, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.

Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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