Chest pain after eating too fast

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Although fast-eating, when you are busy seems like the best option, it does more harm than good.

Some people develop a habit of eating too fast when growing up, whereas others only do it occasionally. Irrespective of which category you fall under, you should stop this habit immediately after you start noticing symptoms like chest pain or stomach pain after eating too fast.

Chest pain by itself can be a symptom of many conditions. However, if you only experience it after eating too fast then you could be suffering from acid reflux, which we will discuss in detail below.

Recent studies have shown that people who eat too quickly have a higher chance of developing esophageal spasms which can last anywhere between a couple of minutes to hours.

Symptoms of eating too fast

In most cases, fast eating is usually part of an overall fast-paced lifestyle. If you are always working tirelessly, driving, and walking fast, chances are, you end up falling into the habit of eating fast.

And from your point of view, you may not know that you are a fast eater. Here are the main symptoms of eating too fast:

  • Chest pain after eating: Because this habit leads to acid reflux, the acid from your stomach may cause discomfort in your chest.
  • Painful digestion: A stomach ache might develop due to overworking your digestive tract.
  • You won’t feel full: It takes up to 20 minutes for the human brain to register feelings of fullness. Therefore, gulping your entire dinner in 5 minutes will make you feel hungry and you might overeat as well.
  • Bloating: You may also get bloated because of eating too fast.
  • Gas: Fast eating is often characterized by swallowing excess air which can make you gassy.
  • Pain in other body parts: Pain in the stomach or chest caused by eating too fast might radiate to other parts of your body, e.g. shoulders and back.
A great and short video about eating too fast. Duration: 1:25.

Chest pain after eating too fast

One of the main health conditions caused by eating too fast is acid reflux or – in more serious cases – medically known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

This condition occurs when acids wash up into the esophagus. Its main symptoms are heartburn and chest pain.

Acid reflux is the leading cause of chest pain after eating too fast. If you experience these symptoms at least twice per week then you may have reflux and you should seek medical help and change your diet.

Failure to do so might lead to the development of severe complications.

Stomach pain after eating too fast

Eating too fast often causes indigestion and stomach pain. This usually happens because:

  1. You don’t chew your food well, which makes digestion harder.
  2. It is easy to eat too much when eating too fast, which puts further pressure on your digestion system.
  3. When we eat fast, we tend to consume junk food – fatty, spicy, fried, sugary food – that is hard to digest.

The result of this can easily be an upset stomach even if you are completely healthy.

However, if you have an existing health problem in your digestive system, it might make to pain worse.

Sharp stomach pain after eating too fast is never a good sign, especially if it lasts for hours or if you are experiencing other symptoms, like nausea or fever. In such cases, you might want to talk to a doctor right away!

These are some of the common diseases that could cause stomach pain after eating too fast:

  • Gallbladder problems: Inflammation and gallstones. Usually triggered by fatty food, tend to cause pain in the right side of the abdomen.
  • Pancreatitis: The inflammation of the pancreas can cause stomach pain during or shortly after eating. Often triggered by fatty or sugary food. Pain often occurs on the left side.
  • Liver disease: Problems with the liver can also cause stomach pain. Usually triggered by fatty food, pain is felt in the upper right part of the abdomen.
  • Stomach ulcers: Spicy foods can irritate existing stomach ulcers, pain often happens in the middle and upper part of the stomach.


A short video about eating too fast and obesity. Duration: 1:49.

When you eat too fast, as mentioned earlier, you won’t feel full. As a result, you end up eating more food than you should have.

In the long run, fat will accumulate in your body and you risk becoming obese.

Some studies have shown that people who eat fast feel hungrier than those who eat leisurely.

The reason for this is that this habit may alter hormones that control appetite and feelings of fullness.

How to relieve stomach pain after eating too fast?

Since all the above complications are caused by eating too fast, the best prevention is to do the exact opposite – slow down, chew your food well.

However, if you are already suffering from any of the symptoms of eating too fast, here is how to relieve them:

  • Take a short walk. This can help your body digest food faster.
  • Easy physical activities, like some yoga poses, might also be beneficial.
  • Avoid hard exercises, especially bending over.
  • Do not lie down shortly after eating.
  • Try probiotics. Probiotics like buttermilk or yogurt can speed up the digestion process.
  • Small sips of water might also help, but don’t drink too much, as that can make your symptoms worse.

You should cut calories, train your mind to feel full on less food. Try crafting a healthy diet which you should adhere to strictly.

Making these changes will put your weight back on track and can make chest and stomach pain go away.

Final thoughts

As you can see, eating too fast can have a negative impact on your health. Learning how to eat leisurely can help prevent all these complications and ensure that you enjoy every bite.

The typical symptoms of eating too fast are chest and stomach pain. The pain is usually not sharp and goes away with time.

However, if you have an underlying health problem, like heart disease, gallstones, pancreatitis, etc., the pain might be sharp and severe. You might require immediate medical help in such cases.

So slow down, chew your food well all the problems you read about in this article are less likely to develop!

Frequently asked questions

Can you get heartburn from eating too fast?

Yes, eating too fast might trigger acid reflux symptoms, like heartburn.

Not chewing your food well, eating too much makes it more likely that stomach acids can flow back into the food pipe, irritating its lining. You’ll feel this as a burning sensation in your chest, called heartburn.

Can eating too fast make your stomach hurt?

Yes, even if you are completely healthy. Too much food, especially if it was not chewed properly forces your digestive system to work very hard and might cause indigestion.

If you have a disease or inflammation somewhere in your digestive tract, it might make the symptoms more likely and more severe.

Does eating too fast make you fat?

Eating too fast can make you fat. This study found that children who ate rapidly had three times the risk of being overweight.

The two main reasons are: fast eaters tend to overeat and they tend to eat junk food with high calorie and low fiber content.

Does eating fast make you full?

Eating enough food will make you full, no matter how fast you are eating.

The problem here is that your brain needs time (about 20 minutes) to realize that your stomach is full. So if you eat fast, your stomach might be full but your brain still tells you to eat more.

This leads to overeating and weight gain.

Can eating too fast cause a heart attack?

According to this study: “Eating speed was associated with obesity and future prevalence of Metabolic syndrome”. This means eating too fast can lead to heart problems in the long term.