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Burning Sensation in Your Stomach: 5 Reasons That Trigger It

Do you frequently experience a burning sensation in your stomach?

Digestion is one of the most important bodily functions, but feeling a burning sensation in your stomach is unpleasant. While this symptom isn’t necessarily a cause for urgent concern, you shouldn’t ignore it either.

Experts say that one of the most common reasons why you have this uncomfortable feeling is acid reflux, which can be a result of a heavily spiced meal or a milder health issue. If you suspect there’s more to your symptoms than just a burning sensation in your stomach, it’s important to consult a gastrointestinal specialist to prevent potential complications.

But before visiting the doctor and discussing everything that upsets your stomach, you have to pay more attention to how your body reacts to particular things, such as eating or drinking. We’ve talked to experts about all the reasons why you experience a burning sensation in your stomach, and we’ll share everything with you. Keep reading!

burning sensation in your stomach
Photo by Doucefleur from shutterstock.com

1. Eating spicy food

We know that spicy food tastes amazing and makes your taste buds happy, but it might not have the same effect on your digestion. Eating spicy ingredients is one of the most common reasons you experience a burning sensation in your stomach.

Spicy things, such as chili peppers, contain capsaicin, which can cause an irritant effect in your stomach. It can also make you feel heated, and in more severe cases, it can even cause pain.

Suppose you constantly deal with a burning sensation in your stomach after consuming particular meals. In that case, you should pay attention to more likely ingredients to cause discomfort, such as cayenne pepper, hot sauce, chili, and hot peppers. Sichuan peppercorns, ginger, and curry.

Keep in mind that you won’t feel discomfort right away. Experts say that these foods can take several minutes to an hour to “burn” your stomach, so be careful with the things you put in your body.

… Did you know that people who eat spicy foods but don’t tolerate them will eliminate capsaicin by vomiting?

2. Indigestion

Medically known as dyspepsia, ingestion can be caused by many things, such as eating too fast, anxiety, gastritis, stomach cancer, peptic ulcer disease, pancreatitis, lactose intolerance, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), pregnancy, hiatal hernia, and cholecystitis.

If you have indigestion, you might experience different symptoms besides feeling a burning sensation in your stomach, like heartburn, upper abdominal discomfort or pain, nausea, bloating, feeling full even after eating a tiny amount of food, and feeling uncomfortably full after consuming an entire meal.

While indigestion is rather common, especially after eating something too fast, you should immediately seek medical help if you experience symptoms like difficulty swallowing, blood or black stool, sudden and unexplainable weight loss, or vomiting with blood.

If you suffer from indigestion, you could try some simple remedies, such as paying attention to the foods that trigger an unpleasant sensation and eliminating them in case you don’t feel good, consuming smaller food portions, reducing alcohol and caffeine, and trying to eliminate stress and anxiety sources.

However, experts say that certain medications, such as pain relievers, can also be at fault for indigestion. If you sense that this is the reason you experience a burning sensation in your stomach, you should have a chat with your doctor to find alternatives that won’t put much pressure on your body.

burning sensation in your stomach
Photo by eggeegg from shutterstock.com

3. Acid reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or acid reflux, as it is commonly known, happens when gastric acid (the acid found in your stomach) leaves your stomach and re-enters your esophagus.

This typically happens when your stomach sphincter isn’t strong enough or doesn’t properly relax, which therefore allows your stomach acid to irritate your esophagus. While feeling a burning sensation in your stomach is often described as an acid reflux symptom, it can also cause other side effects, such as chest pain, difficulty swallowing, chronic coughing, and regurgitation of food or sour-tasting saliva.

While acid reflux can seem like a mild condition, you shouldn’t ignore it, especially if you constantly experience symptoms like the ones we’ve previously mentioned. If you leave this problem untreated, it could develop into major changes in your esophagus, and you also put yourself at risk of developing esophageal precancer, also known as Barrett’s esophagus.

Your healthcare provider will know which tests to conduct for further evaluation and they’ll recommend lifestyle changes and potential medications to help you feel better. If you want to implement dietary changes to relieve these symptoms, you can try to eliminate foods that are spiced, salty, and fatty, and you can also try to eliminate your alcohol intake.

4. Gastritis

Gastritis is a term used to describe an inflammation of your stomach lining, which can happen in several digestive disorders and isn’t a singular condition. This might cause a burning or “gnawing” feeling that worsens when you eat. Moreover, it might be accompanied by nausea, an upset stomach after eating, or an early sense of fullness.

According to experts, gastritis is mainly caused by drinking too much alcohol, aging, stress, bacterial infection, particularly with Helicobacter pylori, and excessive use of pain relievers, especially nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and NSAIDs.

Another thing you should know about gastritis is that it can be acute or chronic, and most cases can be resolved with the right treatment. However, if you neglect these symptoms, your chronic gastritis can turn into an ulcer or stomach cancer, so seek medical help if you need it.

burning sensation in your stomach
Photo by Andrii Iemelianenko from shutterstock.com

5. Peptic ulcers (stomach ulcers)

Another reason you feel a burning sensation in your stomach is that you might have a peptic ulcer, also known as a gastric ulcer. This happens when gastric acid weakens the lining of your stomach, and it can cause pain, bleeding, sores on your stomach lining, bloating, dyspepsia, vomiting, and nausea.

Just like gastritis, ulcers can also be triggered by a bacterial infection (H. pylori, especially if you leave it untreated for longer periods) and the constant use of NSAIDs over long periods. If you don’t feel good and your stomach is constantly upset, you should seek professional help as soon as you can, because it can lead to severe health issues in the long run.

If you want to be healthy and prevent any burning sensation in your stomach as well as other potential health issues, you should be mindful of the things you feed your body with. Make sure you eat things that nourish your muscles and your brain, make you feel good, and give you lots of energy.

What you can do is keep a food journal where you write down everything you eat and make notes regarding how those foods make you feel. This will help you be more mindful regarding the things you consume and also keep track of what makes you feel good and what triggers a burning sensation in your stomach or any other uncomfortable symptoms. Here’s a food journal that might be useful!

What do you think about this article? Did you find it useful? Have you ever experienced a burning sensation in your stomach? How did you treat it? Let us know in the comments below!

If you liked reading this article and you want to check out something else from The Lasting Health, here’s a good post for you:
6 Vaccines Every Senior Should Get

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