One of the classic symptoms of heartburn is the unpleasant feeling of “burning” inside your body. Generally, this feeling is centered around your chest and throat where your stomach acid is most active and can do the most damage.
Heartburn got its name because symptoms tend to start in the chest, with a “burning” sensation right behind the breastbone. However, despite the location of the discomfort, heartburn has nothing to do with your heart.
The discomfort comes from acid in your stomach reaching your esophagus, or swallowing tube. The acid that helps your body break down food can irritate the lining of your lower esophagus.
Burning throat / burning esophagus
While some people only experience heartburn in the chest, many also feel it moving upward into the throat.
You have a lower esophageal sphincter at the base of your esophagus at the opening to your stomach. It opens to let swallowed food down your throat and into your stomach, and then to clench tight so as not to allow food and acid back up.
Often the lower esophageal sphincter isn’t closing as tightly as it should be. This allows acid into the esophagus and can lead to a burning feeling, as well as an unpleasant acidic taste and irritation or swelling in the back of the throat.
If you experience burning in your chest/heartburn two or more days per week, or throat more than two days out of the week, you may have frequent heartburn. Talk to your doctor about treatment options to help find relief and consider taking a Proton Pump Inhibitor like Prilosec OTC.