Q. What tests can be done to differentiate angina pain from gas pain?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Majid Hanif
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 06, 2018

Hello doctor,

I am 38 years old and my weight is 97 kg and height is 5 feet 7 inches. I had been having heaviness on the chest and pain on my shoulder and left arm since few days. I went for ECG twice but it was normal and even echo at rest was normal. My blood pressure was high around 160/100. Maybe due to anxiety. I shall be having a TMT test tomorrow. What other tests I can take to know if this pain is angina pain or gas pain? Should I try Sorbitrate when I have pain and see if the pain has gone or not? Is TMT final test to know if there is any blockage or not?



Welcome to

I have reviewed your health query and can well understand your worries and want to add that, TMT (treadmill test) is not the only test to rule out if this pain is cardiac in origin or not. Although it is a very sophisticated screening test and we can find out if there is any change in electrical activity of heart when we put heart under stress to see how it behaves under stress. If there is any blockage in heart's arteries, heart would definitely change its behavior and under stress (at any point during TMT) heart's activity would not be as expected.

Here would be our next strategy to start at. There are two possibilities. Normal or abnormal TMT. Normal TMT- Usually there is no need to further investigate. Abnormal TMT- Your cardiologist may go for further investigation including but not limited to coronary CTA, coronary angiography, etc.

No, you should not take any medications to test by yourself if this is cardiac pain or not. Discuss the matter with your cardiologist and if he feels appropriate, he may advise you accordingly. Ask your physician to get your blood pressure under control. This is high blood pressure and I think you should go for a proper work-up for hypertension. Your cardiologist would also help you in this regards.

Thank you doctor,

I got a TMT test and it is absolutely normal. The doctor told me to have Ecospirin and Crocin to check if this pain is muscular or heart-related. Now, after having these two medicines my pain is almost gone. Maybe it was muscle pain as I started exercising. Can TMT really rule out any blockage in the heart?



Welcome back to

Congratulations on getting an absolutely normal TMT. It is a very good news here. It may be muscular pain and you are not the only one to have such a pain after the start of an exercise. I would preferably tell you not to start vigorous exercise in the beginning. Do not go to the gym with a statement in mind, "oh I have to lose 10 pounds in a week". I would suggest, start the exercise at a very low pace. The main thing is that do not get any muscular spasm or injury. Do not do any exercise that can cause you long-lasting pain in the muscles. Be consistent and a regular exerciser, not a body-builder. Every exercise is not made for you. Start with stretch exercises and try to crate a stamina. Jogging, running, cycling is best. If you plan to join a gym, consult the gym instructor to avoid muscular spasm and pains. Take the medications advised by your physician and ask him before you stop taking any medications.

Yes, TMT is really a sophisticated and helpful tool to screen if there is any heart issue like coronary artery disease. Believe your physician that you have no possible heart issues.

Thank you doctor,

Since I have some anxiety related issues, can anxiety along with gas cause some symptoms like chest pain or heaviness with little shoulder pain? Can anxiety actually make me feel these weird things?



Welcome back to

Yes, anxiety can mimic as if there is something wrong with your heart by causing a feeling of racing heart, pain in the chest, shoulders, back or in the abdomen. And, combined with digestion issues, it may cause serious issues to health. Although the patient may have no big heart problem, it may still cause fast heartbeats along with pain and may panic the patient. You need to adopt a healthy lifestyle and very soon you would overcome this troublesome situation.

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