Besides causing abdominal discomfort, constipation can link to many other ailments you might not see a direct link to, including serious, unexplained chest pain.
The connection between your gut being in distress and sharp pain in the chest happens more often than you think it does, and if you’ve been undergoing both constipation and mild chest pain recently, chances are that they’re connected.
If you've had chronic constipation for an unbearably long time, it can translate into mildly consistent chest pain for some time.
However, chest pain occurs due to many other gastrointestinal symptoms beyond chronic constipation, which we’ll discuss in today’s piece.
Despite constipation being among the biggest trail-blazers of chest pain, there are other symptoms you need to look out for in your chest discomfort, and as you read more, we'll explain every single one!
So with that being said, put on your reading glasses, and let’s take a crack at it.
Common Reasons For Your Chest Pain
Before diving into the connection between constipation and your imminent chest pain, it's important to understand what should be categorized as chest pain.
Only after that can you fully know whether your constipation is causing it or some issues that you need to look into.
Chest pain is a feeling of tightness, pressure, or discomfort in the chest area.
A common symptom of chest pain is often acid reflux or bad digestion. Beyond this, causes can get as serious as heart attack and pulmonary embolism.
Other common symptoms that cause chest pain might include:
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Studies reveal that between 2006 and 2016, there have been more than 42 million visits to the ER because of chest pain-related cases.
That's why we say that whether it's coming from your constipation or not, severe chest pain isn't something to ignore, especially if it's a consistent feeling of tightness in the chest.
Make sure to seek medical assistance when you think your chest pain is getting out of hand, and get professional advice regarding its underlying causes.
Can Constipation Cause Chest Pain?
Coming back to the original reason why you're here. There's a definite correlation between chest pains and constipation, and while that may not always be the case, it's good to know all the base reasons.
The logic is simple: when stool gets stuck in the colon, it creates pressure in the gut and could cause the diaphragm to push up towards the chest.
This results in stomach pain and tightness, mimicking the symptoms of a heart attack. It’s also why constipation-induced chest pain often goes unnoticed, as it’s hard to differentiate the root cause.
So, the next time you feel uneasy in your chest and straining in the loo, it may be a good idea to look to the root cause – constipation. And if that is the case, getting rid of your constipation will remove your chest pain too, and we've talked about how to do that as you read on.
Can Gas Pain Cause Chest Pain
Constipation isn't the only digestive disorder you must blame when you must blame something for your chest pain. It can be due to gas pains and bloating too, and it happens more than often, though it largely depends on your diet.
Eating foods difficult for our bodies to digest, such as beans, broccoli, or soda, can ferment in our gut, causing an overgrowth of gas-producing bacteria.
This excess gas can lead to a build-up of pressure in the intestines, slowing down digestive movement and increasing the risk of constipation.
So next time you feel the bloat, look at your diet and try reducing your intake of food items that can cause gas. A common list of these foods includes, but isn't limited to:
Lactose-based products (milk, cheese)
Foods high in soluble fiber (fruits, oats, bran)
Lentils and beans
Constipation Or Heart Problems - What's The Cause Of Chest Pain In Your Case
Chest pain, originating from constipation or other factors, is still a source of great worry. We recommend getting professional advice on this matter as soon as possible, though it’s possible to differentiate, in some cases, if the root cause is constipation.
In many cases, some key indicators can help you differentiate between the two.
Heart-related chest pains are typically described as a tightness, pressure, or squeezing sensation in the chest that may spread to the arms, neck, or jaw. It can also be accompanied by shortness of breath, dizziness, and nausea.
On the other hand, noncardiac chest pain is often described as a dull ache or discomfort localized in the center of the chest. You'll feel this if your chest pain originates from constipation, bloating, and excess gas.
If you're unsure or experiencing severe symptoms, it's important to seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor can conduct tests and review your medical history to determine the cause of your chest pain and provide the best treatment options for you.
How To Get Rid Of Constipation & Stomach Pain
Great, so you’ve identified what’s causing your chest pain, and it turns out your lifelong constipation is a weighting factor. That means you can strike two birds with one stone and solve both problems when you eliminate your constipation.
Constipation is a common health issue for many people, but the good news is that numerous effective ways exist to relieve it.
You can achieve relief by understanding what causes constipation-related chest pain and incorporating easy lifestyle modifications into your daily routine.
We've put together some integral constipation relief remedies you can try at home, start feeling a lot better, and eventually get rid of that consistent pain in the chest.
We’ve talked about probiotics a lot on our blog, considering their recent bloom in the industry. Probiotic supplements might be the solution you're looking for!
These little guys are packed with "good" bacteria that work to promote healthy digestion, which can help alleviate constipation. Essentially, probiotics help to balance out the bacteria in your gut, making it easier for you to go with the flow (see what we did there?).
And if you're not a fan of taking pills, don't worry - probiotics come in various forms, from yogurt to kefir to sauerkraut. Both of our probiotic supplements, Restore Probiotic and IBSupport, have a high CFU count and various probiotic strains, the likes of which target constipation instantly. These supplements can also help treat other problems like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), IBD, Irregular Bowel Movements, and noncardiac chest pain.
Make Your Diet Fiber Rich
We recommend adding more fiber to your diet can help with constipation and abdominal pain, especially if it’s causing chest pain.
Fiber is the undigested part of plants that helps move food through your digestive system. It adds bulk to your stool and makes it easier to pass.
Eating various fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes can ensure you get enough fiber in your diet. So next time you feel backed up, try adding fiber-rich foods to your plate and see if it helps get things moving. Your gut will thank you!
Up Your Water Intake
If you're feeling sluggish in the bathroom department, increasing your water intake may be what the doctor ordered. Water is essential for keeping things moving smoothly through your digestive system, and when you're dehydrated, your stool can become hard and difficult to pass.
Drinking more water throughout the day can help soften your stool and make it easier to go. Try carrying a water bottle to ensure you're staying hydrated and help relieve abdominal pain.
And remember, while other beverages like coffee and tea may contain water, they can also have a dehydrating effect. So stick to plain old H2O for the best results!
Regular physical activity helps stimulate the muscles in your digestive system, encouraging food to move more efficiently through your gut.
Studies explain that blood flow to the intestines increases as the heart rate increases, helping to loosen things up and ease those uncomfortable feelings. Light exercises are often recommended to maintain blood flow when treating chest pain.
Don’t worry about becoming a professional yoga practitioner or marathon runner overnight - even a short walk or gentle yoga session can do wonders.
When To Seek Help When Chest Pain Occurs
If you struggle with constipation and chest pain, it may be time to seek medical attention. While constipation is a common issue and can often be resolved with simple lifestyle changes, chest pain can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, and so is prolonged constipation that doesn't seem to go away.
So don't hesitate to contact your healthcare provider if you're experiencing both symptoms. They can help diagnose the root cause of your discomfort and recommend the appropriate course of treatment.
Remember, seeking early help can prevent potential complications and lead to a speedier recovery.
As you can see, it's difficult to say definitively that constipation only leads to chest pain in certain situations. The issue is complex, and it's easy for someone to get confused about what's causing the problem when trying to self-diagnose at home.
Getting rid of constipation on your own can typically be done easily with a change in diet, an increase in fiber intake, or some light exercise. However, if these things don’t alleviate your chest pain and other symptoms soon enough, you should seek medical assistance immediately.
Constipation can mask underlying problems, such as heart issues, that need to be attended to by a professional. Take control of your health and determine the most beneficial steps before the issue worsens.
We’ve got many similar blogs about maintaining the best of your gut health, so check them out today and get the best of your health!