There it is again: That painful, fiery sensation rising up into your chest and throat. Your mind jumps to that greasy piece of pizza you instantly regret eating—and you know the acid reflux it spurred is about to burn. National Library of Medicine. Those powerful stomach acids are pretty necessary, as they help break down the foods you eat, setting off the digestion process.
10 Signs You Have Acid Reflux - Throat, Stomach, Chest Symptoms
GERD occurs when the muscle that connects the esophagus to the stomach fails to do its job. This muscle is called the lower esophageal sphincter. Normally, it opens to allow food to pass into the stomach, then closes to keep food and acidic stomach juices from flowing back into the esophagus. When the sphincter relaxes too much, irritating stomach fluids surge up into the esophagus, sometimes causing inflammation and the painful burning sensation behind the breastbone known as heartburn. Heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD. The burning sensation is usually felt in the chest just behind the breastbone.