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Pressure in the chest after eating: causes

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

A symptom such as pressure in the chest has been commonly linked to suffering from cardiovascular diseases such as, for example, an acute myocardial infarction. The pressure on the chest is described as a sensation that is generated around it as if there were a heavy object resting on top of it.

It is likely that the pressure in the chest after eating is related to the intake of some foods, the way you have eaten them or a specific medical condition that we will describe next in this FastlyHealarticle. Here are the most common causes of chest pressure after eating.

Chest pressure after eating from angina pectoris

Angina pectoris or angina pectoris is a condition in which there is a transient pain or a sensation of suffocation or pressure on the chest (as if it were pressing hard).

This occurs when the heart does not receive enough oxygenated blood, especially in situations that are related to exertion such as, for example, performing physical exercises in extreme temperatures, experiencing intense emotions or after eating heavy foods. Anemia is also related to the presence of angina pectoris, due to low hemoglobin levels.

Specifically, angina is caused when the coronary artery does not supply sufficiently oxygenated blood to the heart muscle. In addition to manifesting with a characteristic chest pain , this can radiate to the left arm, neck or jaw and there may also be decreased sensation in the arms.

The prevalence of angina in different studies shows an increase with age in both sexes from 0.1 – 1% in women aged between 45 and 54 years and 10-15% in women aged between 65 and 74 years. In men, the increase is 2-5% between 45 and 55 years of age and 10-20% between 65 and 74 years of age. The Spanish journal of cardiology estimates that in European countries between 20,000 and 40,000 individuals per million inhabitants suffer from angina pectoris between 2 and 4% [1] .

Pressure in the chest after eating from gastroesophageal reflux

Another common cause of chest pain but not related to the heart and that can occur after eating is gastroesophageal reflux.

Gastroesophageal reflux is frequent in the population and its origin is due to the imbalance between the defensive and aggressor factors of the layer that internally covers the esophagus, generating an increase in acidity.

This increase in acidity generates a burning sensation or pain in the chest that is exacerbated or increased after eating copious or abundant meals, in addition to this, there may be a sour taste in the mouth and difficulty swallowing.

The common triggers of chest pressure in relation to digestive problems are the consumption of acidic foods, such as tomato sauce, orange juice, coffee, and gastro-injury, such as alcohol. Also, the consumption of mint, chocolate, carbonated drinks, French fries, fatty meats and dairy.

In the following article you can learn in more detail about the causes, symptoms and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux .

Gas in the chest

One of the causes of chest pain is excess gas , in fact, this is a common reason for chest pain with no direct relationship to heart problems. The presence of this discomfort is common in people who suffer from constipation.

This occurs after excess gas in the intestines that pushes the abdominal organs generating pain that spreads to the chest. This pain is stabbing in nature and appears and disappears repeatedly, especially when performing movements. Favorably, it does not extend in time.

Likewise, it is usually accompanied by discomfort and pain in the stomach or intestine, such as nausea and vomiting. This discomfort can also be exacerbated after the consumption of legumes or foods that generate gases.

Chest pressure from other heart conditions

There are other cardiac causes that can cause pressure in the chest, such as:

  • Cardiac arrhythmia .
  • Heart failure.
  • Inflammation of the heart muscle.
  • Coronary heart disease after intense exercise.

All of them are usually accompanied by tachycardia, fatigue and rapid breathing .

Finally, acute myocardial infarction is usually the first concern of the person who experiences chest pain, it is more frequent in those who suffer from high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia, those over 45 years of age and smokers.

Faced with any of these symptoms, you should go to the emergency room immediately.

Other causes of chest pressure after eating

Stomach ulcer

There are many other causes that can cause chest pain or pressure after eating. One of them is the presence of a stomach ulcer which, due to the proximity of both organs, can be easily confused. The presence of the ulcer in the stomach generates localized pain in the center of the chest that can extend to the right side, depending on the location of the injury in the stomach. The confusion is that chest pain occurs after meals but this can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and a feeling of fullness.

Gallbladder problems

Likewise, gallbladder problems can cause chest pain that worsens after eating, generally after eating high-fat foods and sausages. Remember that the gallbladder is an organ that is located on the right side of the stomach and that it can be affected by excessive fat consumption. The pain initially occurs on the right side of the chest, but can spread to the left side.

Chest pressure from anxiety

The pressure in the chest can appear when we are with anxiety and excess stress. Both situations generate increased pressure on the ribs and, consequently, increase the heart rate. This combination generates the typical chest pain, but without any precise organic cause.

Muscle injury

Muscle injuries are more common in people who play sports in which the muscles contract excessively, causing inflammation and pain in the chest. It can also occur during basic activities such as carrying objects, coughing, breathing, or eating.

Lung problems

Finally, chest pain is also common when there are problems in the respiratory system, that is, with diseases such as bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, etc. The pain can be similar to that of heart problems due to its location, but its origin is properly respiratory. This discomfort worsens when you breathe deeply and also feel short of breath.

When to see a doctor for chest pressure

It is important that you see your doctor immediately if you feel pressure in your chest and any of the following circumstances occur:

  • The chest pain does not stop for the next 20 minutes.
  • If the pain spreads to the throat, jaw and arms.
  • If the pain is burning.
  • If there is heaviness or stiffness in the chest.
  • If they also appear dizziness.
  • If you start a cold sweat.
  • If there is also difficulty breathing.
  • If a severe headache appears suddenly.
  • If there are palpitations at the place of pain.
  • If it spreads to the stomach like indigestion.
  • If there is unusual fatigue.
  • If there is unwarranted stun.
  • If you suffer from any cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure or heart failure.

If you have doubts in relation to the cause that is generating the pressure in the chest, do not hesitate to go to the doctor for the pertinent evaluation. Depending on the cause, one treatment or another will be required, avoid self-medicating and be vigilant for all warning signs.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Chest pressure after eating: causes , we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints and Muscles category .

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