Gassy stomach and chest pains
July 3, 2009 7:38 PM   Subscribe

Gas/Chest Pains??

I've been having chest/gas pains the last several days, I've tried taking ultra strength tums and gas x and nothing has seemed to help. The pain goes up to my breast bone and I feel a really sharp pain behind my breast bone nothing specific brings this on it just comes about suddenly. I've had a very gassy stomach and I can feel it into my back/shoulder, neck as well. No burps, just a very gassy upset stomach feeling. Has anyone else experienced this, if so what helps to relieve this pressure? I also have been having sweaty palms and all of a sudden get hot when this happens. I have anxiety, so I think that explains that. I'm hoping it's nothing to do w/ my heart, I'm young (25 yo) so for the most part I think that's out of the question, I just want to find something to make this less miserable for me.
posted by lwclec072 to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is there a doctor or health line you can call?

They're closed now, but your school has a wellness center, if you're still in the area.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:06 PM on July 3, 2009

Try burping, for one. Drink a carbonated water if that will help. Otherwise try to make a list of what you've eaten in the past 48 hours and when. Chances are it was something you ate but this list will help if you do go to the emergency room.
posted by JJ86 at 8:09 PM on July 3, 2009

Go see a doctor. My friend's mom thought she had a burp sitting in her chest for 2 days, and it was her heart. But if it is just gas, hot tea usually helps me.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 8:18 PM on July 3, 2009

Some health insurances have hotlines staffed by nurses (or some para-health professional) to answer these "should I go to the hospital" type questions. The phone numbers could be on your insurance card. Barring that, you should go see a doctor. No one on the internet is going to be able to diagnose you properly, and chest pain over 3 days is nothing to trifle with.
posted by bluefly at 8:54 PM on July 3, 2009

A few months ago I ate dinner and almost immediately felt strong gas pains. I took Tums and Gas-X over the next few hours, but it couldn't go away. It wasn't in my chest, exactly - lower than that. I kept feeling that if I burped it would be better, but nothing worked. After about six hours of pain, I went to the ER and it turned out I was had gallstones in my gallbladder. Two days later, I was pain (and gallbladder) free.

I remember looking up the symptoms at the time and it was 1) a heart attack 2) burst appendix or 3) cancer. Moral is, soliciting medical advise online will lead you to a variety of conclusions. You should definitely get checked out if the pain is strong enough that you are worrying about it and posting online.
posted by tommccabe at 8:58 PM on July 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

might be pancreatitis, cholecystitis, choledocholecystitis, GERD, peptic ulcer disease, panic attacks, or god forbid, something wrong with your heart.
go see a doctor!
posted by idaniboy at 9:07 PM on July 3, 2009

Yes, go see a doctor. If it really is just gas and you go to the doctor, you'll be slightly embarrassed, but if it's not gas and you don't go, you could be in serious trouble. It's worth risking the embarrassment. Go.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:13 PM on July 3, 2009

Do go see a doctor -- and when you do, ask them to run an EKG. Knowing for certain that there is nothing wrong with your heart will help you cope with the panic attacks.

Are you overeating? Eating until satisfied rather than eating until "full" can make a huge difference with a gassy stomach. Choosing a salad over a pizza should help, too.
posted by katopotato at 9:18 PM on July 3, 2009

Seconding Gallbladder.

My sister (26) went to the hospital 2 months ago with the EXACT symptoms, because of her age and being in decent shape they told her it was gas and sent her home. Over the next two months she got this "gas" pain that would last for about 5 hours at a time. Finally saw a decent doctor who did an ultrasound and yup, gallstones. Last week she had her gallbladder removed. She is thrilled to be pain free.
posted by saradarlin at 9:49 PM on July 3, 2009

"I'm hoping it's nothing to do w/ my heart, I'm young (25 yo) so for the most part I think that's out of the question"

i had my heart attack when I was only a couple years older than you are now. (That said, my heart attack initially felt like heartburn, not gas.)
posted by orthogonality at 11:11 PM on July 3, 2009

I have the exact same thing. It's massive acid reflux and it probably won't go away without some heavy duty heartburn medication, the kind you have to take a two week run of. You might also try some Ranitidine.

That being said you should go get your heart checked out just in case. One easy way my doctor told me to tell the difference is that if you are having a heart attack, your chest should feel worse if you get up and start moving around, and with heartburn, it often feels worse if you lay down.
posted by ryanissuper at 12:32 AM on July 4, 2009

Gaviscon tablets are the best thing for this. Chew them up very well, and drink a glass of water (water required!). If you can't get your hands on that, take a half teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of warm water. Not as good, but it will wash the acid out of your esophagus and neutralize the stuff you our stomach.

If you buy Gaviscon tablets, I highly recommend the ones that are wrapped in foil packets. The big bottle does diminish in quality with exposure to air. Those other, traditional remedies you see on TV are mostly ineffective (Rolaids, Tums, Digel, etc).
posted by Goofyy at 3:50 AM on July 4, 2009

The back/shoulder component really suggests gallbladder. To a doctor!
posted by willpie at 6:16 AM on July 4, 2009

Chest pain = emergency room, right now. Always and forever, amen. Doctors are trained specifically to determine whether what you have is reflux, gallstones, heart attack, or what have you. And they have machines and tests that can tell for sure!

And when you say to the ER admitting person "I have chest pain" you won't even have to wait in the waiting room with all the broken fingers and minor fireworks injuries!

Go. Now!
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 12:10 PM on July 4, 2009

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