What are the Most Common Causes of Indigestion and Chest Pain?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 13 October 2019
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Some common causes of indigestion and chest pain are gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and hiatal hernia. Consuming fatty or fried foods may be another common cause of indigestion and chest pain. Some individuals may suffer from symptoms of indigestion and chest pain due to eating food too quickly or not thoroughly chewing their food. Stress may also provoke such symptoms. Lying down soon after eating may cause these symptoms in some individuals.

If a person suffers from frequent indigestion and chest pain, he will typically visit his physician for an evaluation and proper diagnosis. Chest pain or pressure sometimes accompanied with heartburn may be a sign of an impending heart attack, so tests may be conducted to determine a diagnosis. After ruling out any type of heart-related issue, the doctor will try to determine the cause of his patient's symptoms.

A diagnosis of acid reflux disease or GERD may indicate the patient is regurgitating stomach acid that has accumulated in the esophageal area. This caustic liquid is known to cause the discomfort associated with indigestion and chest pain. There are medications a medical care provider may prescribe to control the symptoms of GERD, however, the results may not be immediate.


Eating certain foods with a high acidic content may cause heartburn and indigestion or chest pain for certain individuals. These foods may include citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons. Products containing tomatoes, such as tomato juice or tomato soup may cause indigestion and bloating for some individuals, which, in turn, may cause mild chest pain. Many people suffer from indigestion when eating very hot and spicy foods as well.

Drinking alcohol may have the same effect on certain individuals. Even cigarette smoking has been known to cause indigestion, especially when smoking after consuming a large or heavy meal. Individuals who suffer from frequent bouts of heartburn may be advised to reduce alcohol consumption and refrain from smoking.

Other miscellaneous causes of heartburn or indigestion with occasional chest pain may be obesity and stress. Being overweight can lead to many health issues, and gastrointestinal disorders may be one common problem. Stress also plays a factor, as acid production may be increased during periods of stress and anxiety.

A more serious cause of heartburn and chest pain is esophageal cancer. This is not as common as most other causes, however. A common cause of esophageal cancer is cigarette smoking.


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