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What can cause trapped gas in the esophagus and chest pain?

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Quick Answer

Some people who suffer from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) may also suffer from trapped gas in the esophagus. This may be because some of the causes of GERD also cause trapped gas.

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Full Answer

GERD is a condition characterized by the sphincter between the stomach and the esophagus failing to close properly. When this happens, the stomach's contents regurgitate upwards. As the esophagus is not equipped to handle stomach acids, it causes a burning sensation.

Doctors do not fully understand the causes of GERD. However, it is more likely to occur in pregnant women, people with a hiatal hernia, individuals who drink and smoke, obese people and people with scleroderma. Certain medications contribute to the condition, including beta blockers and bronchodilators.

As many of the lifestyle changes that contribute to GERD cause gas, there is a chance the two are connected. For example, people who eat spicy foods experience bad GERD symptoms, and spicy foods cause gas. In addition, some people with GERD may belch to relieve their symptoms. While some belching is effective, doing it too often can cause air to enter the esophagus, which in turn causes trapped gas. Some patients who have fundoplication surgery to treat GERD may experience gas-bloat syndrome for up to four weeks following the procedure.

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