Chronic or burning chest pains that come and go are likely due to heartburn induced by acid reflux. Reflux occurs when stomach acid escapes the stomach and settles in the oesophagus. There are numerous ways to control acid reflux and stop chest pains. The key is recognising triggers and taking steps to neutralise acid.
Pinpointing the cause of burning chest pains requires medical attention. Your doctor will conduct a series of tests, such as a Barium swallow or an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, to see whether reflux or another condition is causing your discomfort.
Effects of Diet
Certain foods can increase the production of stomach acid and cause burning chest pains or heartburn. Culprits include acidic foods, citrus foods, caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, fatty foods and sodas.
Burning chest pains due to reflux or heartburn are typical after meals. Reduce your risk of a flare-up by eating smaller meals to decrease stomach acid, and by staying in an upright position for at least two hours after eating.
OTC products such as antacids provide quick relief. These medications keep stomach acid in the stomach, and relieve symptoms of reflux such as heartburn or burning in the chest. Prescription medications are also available.
Other factors such as smoking or being obese also increase your risk of reflux and burning chest pains. Resolve to quit smoking to slow the production of stomach acid, and lose weight to reduce pressure on your stomach.