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Can smoking and alcohol consumption cause chest pressure?

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Posted on Mon, 14 Dec 2015
Question: I have chest pressure and when I eat I can feel the food moving down my chest and it feel like it is stretching my ribs apart. I also have really bad heart burn every day .... I take 4-6 Zantac daily. I always have a loose stool. And it has been like this for about a year. I also am a smoker and a drinker
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Answered by Dr. Matt Wachsman (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Not quite sure of the question

Detailed Answer:
Certainly smoking and drinking can cause irritation of the stomach lining and this is often felt as chest pressure. Relief by something IN the GI tract (zantac, antacid, burping, etc.) implies but does not PROVE that it is gi and not heart.

However, the risk of heart disease in a 29 yr old female....
XXXX

is not high
XXXX

so... if the risk of the test is higher than the risk of the disease, it gets tricky to do the test. EKG is a simple slightly useful test.

THen there are several issues that ARE important.
scary thoughts about a condition if you definitley do not have it, is a disorder that cognitive behavioral therapy helps
XXXX

and there can be ulcer, irritation, bleeding, structural problems like stricture, even tumor (although very very unlikely at at 20's) that a GI scoping could evaluate.

But, there was no question in the original post so I'm not sure I've answered it.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Matt Wachsman (4 minutes later)
Every time I eat something I feel like it is stuck in my chest. Why is that
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Answered by Dr. Matt Wachsman (21 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
either it IS stuck or it is not

Detailed Answer:
I cannot diagnose/treat/prescribe without being there, but can give general info.
A psychological condition can give symptom of food being stuck. This has almost ZERO of the attributes you mention:
it is at adam's apple
it is with stress
it doesn't fit with the type of food (bigger. tougher doesn't matter, cold water is often a trigger)
doesn't fit with ulcer / stomach medicines affecting it

Then.. it can be from irritaiton
the food isn't actually stuck; it doesn't pop back up.
irritating foods are worse than bulking/tough foods
varies day to day, week to week

Irritaiton can cause the muscle in the esophagus to spasm. But the character is like irritaiton because they are virtually the same

Not much is found on looking down in any of these. Doesn't mean there isn't a problem and measureing pressures with manometry (tire gauge like pressure measurement) or barium swallowing and xrays usually shows the problme

THen.. there can be a REAL blockage. Possible. Scar tissue from just reflux often causes this. It is findable. It is fixable with looking down with a scope.

Kind of implies a need for looking down with a scope.
There can be other causes (yeast infection, cancer) these are not likely at all BUT scoping would show even the weird ones like foreign body or tuberculosis. (these are incredibly rare and very very unlikely but would still be findable on scoping).
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Matt Wachsman

Addiction Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1985

Answered : 4201 Questions

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Can smoking and alcohol consumption cause chest pressure?

Brief Answer: Not quite sure of the question Detailed Answer: Certainly smoking and drinking can cause irritation of the stomach lining and this is often felt as chest pressure. Relief by something IN the GI tract (zantac, antacid, burping, etc.) implies but does not PROVE that it is gi and not heart. However, the risk of heart disease in a 29 yr old female.... XXXX is not high XXXX so... if the risk of the test is higher than the risk of the disease, it gets tricky to do the test. EKG is a simple slightly useful test. THen there are several issues that ARE important. scary thoughts about a condition if you definitley do not have it, is a disorder that cognitive behavioral therapy helps XXXX and there can be ulcer, irritation, bleeding, structural problems like stricture, even tumor (although very very unlikely at at 20's) that a GI scoping could evaluate. But, there was no question in the original post so I'm not sure I've answered it.