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26 Medical Reasons Why Your Chest Hurts

Photo by Dragana Gordic from Shutterstock

Digestive cause: PEMDs

Primary esophageal motility disorders, also known as PEMDs, refer to many different disorders related to the esophagus. The pain that comes from them is usually mild; people say that it feels like heartburn.

If you have PEMDs, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • difficulty swallowing
  • an unusual sensation that what you’re eating is stuck in your esophagus

See your doctor if you experience any of these. Medications can ease swallowing; however, a surgical procedure may also be required.

Digestive cause: Dysphagia

Dysphagia is referred to as an unpleasant sensation that happens every single time when swallowing. It is a condition in which the esophagus is affected, causing coughing and chest pain.

So, if you notice any swallowing issues, call your doctor, as dysphagia has a wide range of root causes. Usually, it is treated by taking certain meds or by going to physical therapy.

Digestive cause: Gallstones

If the other digestive causes often come with mild chest pain, that’s not the case of gallstones. People with gallstones experience intense pain in their chests that usually starts from the upper abdomen, migrating to the chest area.

The pain is the result of blocked gallstones in the bile duct and is often mentioned by doctors as a gallbladder attack. The symptoms tend to occur after eating large-sized portions, and they include:

  • fever
  • vomiting
  • color changes in the urine and/or stools

So, if you’re used to associating a heavy meal with chest pain, note that it’s not normal at all, and you should seek medical help.


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