Chest Tightness after Eating – Causes

Tightness in chest and shortness of breath are the common problems experienced by everyone. It generally happens after eating heavily or taking meals at improper time. There are many factors that result in feeling of tightness in the chest. This problem can only be combated through improving eating habits, chewing the food properly and eating regular meals. Some of the medical conditions cause chest tightening after eating. This article would give a brief gist of those medical conditions, their causes and symptoms.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is the main cause for chest tightness.

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It is the condition in which excess stomach acids are secreted by the gastric glands that would cause chest tightening. It also results in heartburn and gas. Acid reflux followed by chest tightening may result from the following factors. They are:

  • Skipping meals, especially breakfast and staying on an empty stomach
  • Malfunctioning of digestive system
  • Obesity
  • Excessive smoking
  • Consuming fried and fat-content foods
  • Excessive secretion of hydrochloric acids in stomach
  • Avoiding having meals at fixed and regular intervals.
  • Being pregnant


It is a condition in which the food is abnormally digested resulting in an uncomfortable feeling in the stomach. A person with dyspepsia would experience chest tightness after eating. Signs of dyspepsia that could arise along with chest tightening include:

  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • Upset stomach
  • Stomach inflammation
  • Ulcers


It is a condition in which the heartbeat is slow, skipped and irregular. It also leads to tightening of chest after eating. It is generally observed in middle-aged people. Arrhythmia followed by chest tightening could result from following factors.

  • Prior heart diseases
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Heart block
  • If some other part apart from sinus node acts as the pacemaker


Chest tightening could also result from over-eating. If a person eats food beyond the capability, a pressure develops on the stomach and the entire digestive tract leading to chest tightness. Following the below steps would help a person from chest tightening:

  • Avoid drinking water during the meals.
  • Have 5 small meals a day than having 3 heavy meals a day.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes during eating. This would not constrict your breathing.
  • After a meal, wait for half an hour to drink water.


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