What causes burning sensation in the stomach?« Back to Questions List

To understand what causes a burning sensation or acid reflux as it is called otherwise, we must understand how our digestive system works. When food enters the body, the saliva in the mouth breaks down the starch in the food. Then the food particles that were broken down enter the esophagus. Esophagus is a long tube that carries the food from the mouth to the stomach. It is generally 10 inches long in an adult.




We know that the stomach produces acid that digests the food. Cells in the lining of the stomach also produce mucus which protects them from damage from the acid. The lining in the esophagus have little protection from acid. There is ring of muscle called sphincter or lower esophagus sphincter (LES) at the lower end of the esophagus.


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This LES acts like a valve letting food inside the stomach and then tightening up to stop prevent food and acid moving up into the esophagus. For some unknown reason, this LES does not work the way it is supposed to. That’s why acid from the stomach moves up the esophagus. This leakage of acid from the stomach into the esophagus is called acid reflux which causes a burning sensation after having a meal.



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