Although commonly associated with heart attacks, stomach and chest pain can also be related to issues with various areas of your body including your intestines, lungs, muscles, ribs, and/or nerves.
Regardless of the cause, chest and abdominal pain is not something that should be ignored. Though pain or discomfort in these areas is commonly associated with a heart attack, know that there are many other possible causes. Other common causes of chest and abdominal pain could include gas, appendicitis, or even gallstones.
If you are at all worried about your symptoms, don’t wait to head into one of Complete Care’s freestanding ER locations. Our 24/7 walk-in locations are fully equipped with professional medical staff prepared to diagnose and treat your stomach and chest pain symptoms.
Common causes of chest and abdominal pain
When you are having abdominal or chest pain, it is often difficult to find what is causing it. Many different factors including the severity of pain, its location, and other symptoms could guide your doctor to figure out what is causing the pain.
There are two different types of pain or discomfort that you can have in your stomach or chest. The first type of pain is generalized pain, which can happen with many different illnesses. This type of pain is known to go away without any medical treatment. The second type of abdomen pain is localized pain. This is when you only have pain in one part of the abdomen. These pains normally happen suddenly and get worse over time.
Common causes of chest and abdominal pain include:
Gas can cause pain in your chest and esophageal area or may be experienced as pain in the lower left abdomen. These symptoms may be felt after consuming an excess of food or after consuming trigger foods like broccoli, eggs, beans, or fatty foods.
Thankfully, this is an issue you can likely fix at home by passing gas or belching. To help yourself along, try drinking carbonated beverages or diluted apple cider vinegar, taking a walk, or massaging your abdomen.
2. Heart attack
When a blockage prohibits a section of your heart from getting blood, you may experience a heart attack. Heart attacks can be life-threatening, especially when left untreated, as the lack of blood flowing to your heart can cause long-term damage.
If you’re experiencing symptoms including tightness of the chest, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, or pain that spreads through your left arm, DO NOT wait to seek emergency medical care.
3. Acid reflux
Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), occurs when the sphincter (flap) between your stomach and your esophagus relaxes, allowing your stomach acid to flow back into your throat. The most well-known symptoms of acid reflux include a burning sensation in your throat, chronic coughing, or nausea. But it can also cause a pinpointed pain in what feels like your chest.
Over-the-counter treatments like antacids can usually treat the symptoms adequately enough but you’ll want to schedule an appointment with your doctor to get to the root cause.
Appendicitis is the inflammation of your appendix. Appendix pain can be severe and is typically felt in the right side of your abdomen and can spread to your back or chest. Although acute causes of appendicitis can be cured on their own or with antibiotics, most doctors opt to remove your inflamed appendix with surgery.
Your gallbladder is a small organ located below your liver and on the right side of your stomach that releases digestive fluid into your small intestines. When this bile hardens, it can become a gallstone accompanying symptoms like stomach pain, chest pain, or shoulder blade pain.
It is crucially important that you get symptoms checked out by a doctor if you think you may have a gallstone. If left untreated, gallstones can lead to potentially life-threatening conditions such as cholecystitis, sepsis, or gallbladder cancer.
6. Kidney stones
Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and salts that either need to be passed through the urinary system or, in more serious cases, can be broken up/removed by your doctor. Symptoms of a kidney stone include pain on the side of your stomach, painful urination, cloudy, bloody, and/or foul-smelling urine, and fever.
Kidney stone pain can be severe, specifically when the stone is being passed and requires prompt medical attention.
When should I go to the ER for abdominal pain?
How do you know when stomach pain is serious? If you are having any doubt about the type of chest and abdominal pain that you are experiencing or your chest pain includes any of the following symptoms, please call 911 immediately.
- Chest pain that spreads to your jaw, left arm, or back
- A sudden feeling of pressure, squeezing, tightness, or crushing under your breastbone
- Nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate or rapid breathing, confusion, ashen color, or excessive sweating
- Very low blood pressure or very low heart rate
- Sudden sharp chest pain with shortness of breath, especially after a long period of inactivity
Experiencing abnormal stomach and chest pain? Visit Complete Care ER for quality treatment.
Stomach and chest pain can have different variants of pain level and location. Some people have a sharp, stabbing pain while others experience a dull, burning, aching, or tight sensation. Whatever type of pain or discomfort you’re feeling, never hesitate to call your doctor or head into the emergency room. You know your body better than anyone and asking for help may just save you from a life-threatening emergency.
When you’re experiencing pain accompanied by the onset of other abnormal symptoms, don’t wait to head into a Complete Care emergency room. We offer effective ER treatment for chest and abdominal pain without the typical long wait times of your typical ERs when you visit one of our locations in Colorado or Texas today.