The entrance to our stomach has a ring of muscle that we know as the gastroesophageal sphincter. The job of this muscle is to close the stomach shut tight after food has been allowed in. This helps prevent food and the stomach’s digestive juices from escaping.
If the gastroesophageal sphincter does not stay tightly closed, though, then the stomach’s contents may be able to escape. This can allow the acidic juices of the stomach to rise up the unprotected soft tissue of the esophagus.
This causes a burning sensation that is often known as acid reflux. It can be very uncomfortable and can also lead to a range of other symptoms.
Symptom #1: Burning Sensation
The juices in our stomachs are corrosive. This is because they help to break down food so that its nutrients can then be absorbed by the body. This is not a problem for us, though, because our digestive system is lined with a protective lining. This helps to protect our soft tissues from the corrosive effects of the stomach’s juices.
Our esophagus does not have such a protective lining, though. This means that the soft tissues lining the esophagus can be burned by the acidic juices of the stomach. This results in a burning sensation when acid reflux occurs. It is perhaps the most typical symptom of acid reflux and it can be very uncomfortable.