Why Do I Get a Burning Sensation When I Eat?

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Heartburn is a digestive symptom commonly experienced by men and women of all ages. Characterized by a burning or fiery sensation in the mid-chest and/or throat, heartburn is usually a sign of poor dietary choices that can lead to high acidity levels in the stomach. Obesity is one reason for frequent heartburn, but other causes include:

  • Overeating
  • Consuming spicy foods, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol in excess
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Lying down while eating
  • Smoking
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Certain medications
  • Exercises that put pressure on the abdomen

While occasional bouts of heartburn are fairly normal, a frequent burning sensation felt several times throughout the week can be indicative of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. This condition is considered a severe form of acid reflux, a digestive problem that causes stomach acid to rise into the esophagus. Both GERD and heartburn are not life-threatening, but exposure to stomach acid can cause corrosion and damage to the esophageal lining over time that results in painful inflammation and difficulty swallowing. Fortunately, over-the-counter acid reflux medication and/or a simple change in diet is often all it takes to improve heartburn and other symptoms of GERD. In many cases, replacing spicy or high-cholesterol meals with fruits, vegetables, salads, and other low-acid, unprocessed foods can minimize or even eliminate burning sensations felt in the chest or throat. If at-home remedies do not improve your condition, our board-certified bariatric physician offers numerous GERD and acid reflux treatments, such as fundoplication and the LINX® device, to effectively address your symptoms.

If you experience regular heartburn or recurring acid reflux, please contact our practice to learn about your at-home and in-office treatment options.

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