Chest Pain May Be Caused By Digestive Problems

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Having pain in your chest can be very scary, but it may not signal a heart attack or other cardiac problems. In fact, chest pain can be caused by a number of different digestive issues.

In many cases, a pain in your chest is caused by a problem with your esophagus, the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. This tube is located very close to the heart in your body, so problems here may mimic cardiac pain.

Some digestive problems that can cause chest pain include:

  • GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). This is a condition in which acid reflux occurs two or more times per week. Stomach acid flows back into the esophagus from the stomach, causing irritation to the esophagus. In some cases, this irritation can result in chest pain commonly known as heartburn.
  • Achalasia. This is an esophageal contraction disorder that can cause chest pain, difficulty swallowing, and regurgitation. These problems occur because something is disrupting the normal rhythmic contraction of the esophagus that moves food into the stomach.
  • Esophageal Hypersensitivity. Some people have an increased sensitivity to stomach acid in the esophagus and may experience severe heartburn or chest pain any time reflux occurs.

These conditions can often be treated with lifestyle changes or prescription medication. You should contact your doctor if you have chest pain. If your chest pain is accompanied by shortness of breath or pain in your arm or jaw, it may be the result of a cardiac problem and you should seek medical attention immediately.

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