Why does your chest hurt when you swallow

When food passes through the esophagus, you may feel discomfort. Chest pain when swallowing occurs for a variety of reasons. Most likely, you chewed food poorly or felt the first symptoms of a cold. Be sure to find out why your chest hurts when swallowing, because this may indicate serious illness.

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Food allergies

When intolerance to certain foods, there is discomfort in the throat and chest. Food allergy is a dangerous condition that can cause throat swelling and, in severe cases, can be fatal. Food allergies are not accompanied by high fever and body aches.

Symptoms are caused only by contact with the allergen, and if not, they subside. Allergic reactions to food are harmless (runny nose, itching, rash), but they can also be life-threatening (anaphylactic shock). Knowledge of the products that cause such symptoms, the ability to provide emergency assistance, the availability of antihistamines and glucocorticoid drugs in the medicine cabinet will help to avoid misfortune.

Taking medications

It is not uncommon for pain on swallowing to occur during medication. This side effect occurs when treated with hormonal or anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs. Patients often complain of chest pains after Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Doxycycline, iron supplements.

Their long-term use can negatively affect the condition of the esophagus. When swallowing, muscle spasm occurs. It may feel like something is stuck in the throat. If you are taking any medication and have chest pain, see your doctor.

Esophageal spasms

In a hurry, you may swallow food that is too hot or not chewed enough. Because of this, the smooth muscles of the esophagus are injured, contracting in waves for better advancement of large parts of the food. Over time, the organ ceases to function normally. Spasm of the esophagus develops. Symptoms of the disease: pain when swallowing food, difficulty in peristalsis. To get rid of a pathological condition, you should establish a diet.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

When the lining of the esophagus becomes inflamed, doctors call the condition esophagitis. The most common cause is esophageal reflux (GERD). It occurs with a chemical burn of the esophagus due to the backflow of acid. Due to the violation, the tissues become inflamed. Heartburn, bitter taste in the mouth, chronic pain in the esophagus appear.

Esophagitis is often a secondary disorder associated with bulimia, esophageal candidiasis, alcoholism, oncology of the digestive system, and other diseases. Reflux pain is acute, burning. It is worse after eating and when lying down. In order for the symptoms to completely disappear, it is necessary to find the cause of the esophagitis, to prescribe the correct treatment. The therapy can take several months. If the immune system is weakened, then GERD is more difficult to cure.

Perforation of the esophagus

If there is pain in the chest when swallowing food, then perhaps a perforation has occurred - a violation of the integrity of the alimentary canal. With perforation of the esophagus, there is also vomiting with an admixture of blood, a strong burning sensation behind the breastbone, shortness of breath, signs of intoxication. The rupture can happen on its own or manifest itself as a complication of other diseases (ulcers, oncology, aortic aneurysms, and others). If you experience similar symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor.

Fungal infections

A sore throat occurs with candidiasis. Candida is present in all people, but with normal immunity it does not manifest itself in any way. Candidiasis (thrush) of the esophagus develops with a decrease in the body's defenses. This happens after prolonged use of antibiotics, surgery, and for other reasons. The risk group is made up of patients with diabetes mellitus and HIV-infected. Complex treatment will help get rid of the pathogenic fungus.

Eating disorder

This disorder includes diseases such as bulimia, anorexia nervosa. Symptoms are different - from a complete refusal to eat to gluttony. Overeating provokes vomiting. Because of this, reflux esophagitis develops. The passage of stomach acid through the esophagus is accompanied by a burning sensation behind the sternum, a sensation of a foreign body in the throat. Treatment for an eating disorder is based on psychotherapy.

Viral infections

Other intracellular parasites are present in the mouth and esophagus. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) are common. If the immune system is healthy, then they rarely spread through the esophagus. With weak protection, viral infections cause diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular disorders.

When they become active, symptoms similar to those of colds appear: sore throat, muscle weakness, high fever. To detect herpes or cytomegalovirus, it is necessary to exclude ARVI and influenza. The patient needs to consult an infectious disease doctor.

Cancer of the esophagus

Chest pain can be caused by cancer. You feel discomfort when swallowing, when the tumor grows, the lumen becomes smaller. In this case, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. Some cancer treatments also cause pain when swallowing food. Radiation to the head or chemotherapy causes inflammation of the lining of the throat, esophagus, or mouth. These symptoms will go away after treatment ends.