Chest Pain after Eating

By John Pope

As the old saying goes, "Health is wealth". As a matter of fact, our well-being is one the greatest possessions we can have in our lifetime. But how come most people nowadays tend to forget this mantra, especially when they are eating? Perhaps they think that everything is fine and healthy until, that is, they experience discomfort or pain in their body. One of the common pains that most people will feel at some point is chest pain after eating. If you have already experienced a very unusual chest pain after having a meal then maybe you want to switch off that bad eating habit of yours. Chest pain after eating is one of the first signs of unhealthy eating.

What is Chest Pain?

Chest pain is a typical symptom experienced when you feel discomfort or pain in the frontal area of your body between your upper abdomen and your neck. It could be illustrated by any kind of pain or discomfort in your neck or abdomen and may occur at anytime. This pain or discomfort is mostly experienced by middle-aged people who may be dealing with unhealthy diet, lack of exercise or heart or lung problems.

Causes of Chest Pain after Eating

Experiencing chest pain after eating is a good sign that you have either eaten too much or you have eaten the wrong kind of food. However, according to clinical studies, there are many reasons to consider why a person is experiencing chest pain after eating. Here are some of the common causes of chest pain after eating:

1. Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is mucosal damage suffered through chest pain when the acid from the stomach goes up to the esophagus. This is most often experienced when the barrier between the stomach and the esophagus weakens and the esophageal sphincter is at an abnormal state. This may cause heartburn, regurgitation, stomach bloating, mild nausea and occasional water brash. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (or GERD) is caused by a chronic case of acid reflux. In GERD, the pain may be constant and may worsen, especially at night when sleeping. Other causes of gastrointestinal that cause chest pain after eating are as follows:

  • Esophageal Ulcer
  • Achalasia
  • Esophageal Tear
  • Gastritis and Peptic Ulcer
  • Hiatal Hernia
  • Intestinal Obstruction
  • Biliary Tract and Gallbladder Disease
  • Pancreatitis

2. Ulcers

Ulcer is a crater-like sore which forms in the lining of the stomach just below the stomach area at the beginning of small intestine in the duodenum. It is well described as an open wound which develops inside the lining of the digestive tract due to bacterial infection, causing a person to experience chest pain soon after eating. Anyone who suffers chest pain due to an ulcer must seek professional medical assistance.

3. Heart problem

In most cases, a pain experienced in the middle area of chest is perceived as a heart problem. Although heart problems can be very vague, it could be Angina or a heart attack which is causing the pain. A lack of blood and oxygen flowing to the heart will produce a chest pain that may spread to the arm, shoulder, jaw or back. Another heart problem that causes chest pain is when there is a tear in the wall of the aorta; the large blood vessel that takes the blood from the heart to the rest of the body. This can result in severe pain in the upper back and in the chest area of the body. Also, an inflammation in the sac that surrounds the heart causes pain in the middle area of the chest.

4. Extreme Indigestion

Extreme Indigestion usually happens when we experience a difficulty to masticate or swallow the food that we eat. This happens when the food we eat does not travel properly from the esophagus down to the stomach. Overeating, gas and fatigue may cause extreme indigestion as well, along with excessive intake of oily foods, caffeine, tea and alcohol, and all possibly leading to severe chest

5. Unhealthy diet

Eating the wrong kinds of food is a sure cause of chest pain. By letting unhealthy food get into your body like junk food, oily food, alcohol and the like, you could absorb the wrong nutrients, which are then distributed all over your body and possibly causing you to experience chest pain. Unhealthy diet and improper eating habits can lead to gastritis and burning chest pain.

Other common causes of chest pain after eating are:

  • Lung problems like Pneumonia and Pulmonary Embolism
  • Panic Attack
  • Inflammation when the ribs join the breast bone
  • Shingles
  • Inflammation of muscles and tendons between the ribs
  • Spasm of the oesophagus
  • Gallstone

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