Burning Sensation In Stomach Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Home Remedies

Burning Sensation In Stomach Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Home Remedies

A burning sensation in the stomach may not always be a very serious issue, but it gives a lot of discomfort. Also known as dyspepsia, the burning sensation in the stomach is a very common occurrence. Reports show that one out of four people suffer from dyspepsia at least once in their lifetimes.

Burning Sensation In Stomach Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Home Remedies

Dyspepsia symptoms include burning pain or gnawing, heartburn, burping, lack of appetite, vomiting and nausea. The symptoms can either be consistent, occasional, or occur after a meal. The sensation is mostly confined to the upper portion of the abdomen.

This article discusses the causes, diagnosis and treatments of digestive problems that create painful sensations in the stomach. If the sensation is severe or persistent, you will need evaluation followed by treatment from your doctor.

Causes of Burning Sensation in Stomach

Burning stomach is often caused due to inflammation of the stomach lining. Medically, it is referred to as gastritis. It is accompanied by nausea, swelling and painful cramps. Medical history and current symptoms are important elements which physicians use to determine what is causing this painful symptom. Here are some of the most common reasons for a burning sensation in the stomach.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter opens inappropriately or fails to close completely. When reflux occurs, digestive acids rise up into the esophagus causing the common burning sensation known as heartburn.

Known factors that contribute to the development of GERD include the following:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Spicy, citrus, and tomato-based foods
To rule out GERD a physician may need to perform additional tests on patients who report symptoms of heartburn that worsen at night or when lying down. A ph study, barium x-ray, and upper endoscopy are common tests physicians used to diagnose GERD. The diagnosis is confirmed when the medications designed to suppress the production of stomach acid and reduces a patient's symptoms.

Food Allergy

You will know that the burning sensation you feel is caused by food allergy if the sensation comes soon after you have eaten. If you are allergic to some foods, chances are that you feel the burning sensation once you have eaten these foods. Other people will feel this sensation when they eat food that has been contaminated. In such a case, it will be accompanied by fever, vomiting diarrhea etc.

If the allergic reactions are minor then prescribed or OTC antihistamines will ease the symptoms. If it is severe, your doctor may prescribe an emergency epinephrine injection. You can also try oral immunotherapy but consult your doctor first.


When an irritated, damaged, or inflamed area in the lining of the stomach is exposed to gastric juices, gastritis can develop. Pain from gastritis varies in individuals but the most common reported symptoms include the following:

Burning Sensation In Stomach Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Home Remedies

  • A burning feeling in the stomach after meals or when lying down.
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion
  • Abdominal pain
  • Hiccups
  • A loss of appetite
H. pylori bacteria (Helicobacter pylori) cause a form of gastritis that resembles heartburn. Pernicious anemia, smoking, heavy use of alcohol, food intolerance or food allergy, Crohn's disease, celiac disease, and other underlying health conditions can also result in gastritis.

To diagnose gastritis the physician may recommend an additional test called an endoscopy. For an upper endoscopy, the physician inserts a thin, flexible tube that contains a small camera through the patient's mouth or nose to advance the tube to the patient's stomach. The endoscopy allows the physician to check the lining of the esophagus and stomach for inflammation and obtain a tissue sample if needed. 

Stomach Ulcers

This can be open sores found in your stomach's inner lining. Once the stomach acid comes in contact with the sores, it causes a painful burning sensation. Most people with stomach ulcers get pain at night because that is the time when the stomach is empty.

Depending on the type of ulcers, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics and medications that will block production of acid thus promote healing to the open sores. Other than that, you should start eating small meals more frequently, avoid foods that will irritate your stomach, drink moderate alcohol and manage/reduce your stress levels.

Medication Reaction

By frequently taking anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal drugs (NSAIDs) for pain or headaches, you may be unknowingly increasing your chances of developing gastritis, a condition that can cause the burning sensation you feel in your stomach. Ibuprofen and aspirin are such NSAIDs, and as such should be taken only occasionally. If the pain you experience is frequent, consult your doctor for other options for pain-relief.


Different digestive problems have been associated with stress. If you are stressed, your digestive system is unable to function properly. Stress also has the ability to cause the release of acid in your stomach causing the burning sensation.

Try techniques used to relieve stress. Some of them are meditation, exercise and yoga. Adequate sleep, regular exercise and having healthy meals will eventually reduce your stress levels.

Excessive Intake of Alcohol and Smoking

Other substances that can aggravate this problem are excessive intake of alcohol, smoking or substance abuse.

Chemotherapy and Radiation Sessions:

Sometimes, patients suffering from cancer experience a burning sensation in their stomach after undergoing treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.

Underlying Health Problems:

This can be a symptom of a number of underlying health problems such as Crohn's disease, pernicious anemia, gallbladder diseases, and so on.

Treatments for Burning Sensation in Stomach

The treatment of choice for a burning sensation in the stomach is based on the patient's medical history and current symptoms. Blood test, endoscopies, upper gastrointestinal x-rays, and other procedures help rule out serious underlying medical diseases. Swift treatment of the symptoms can help to prevent potential long-term medical complications. Treatment includes medications, change in lifestyle, or treatment of any underlying diseases. Prompt treatment reduces the risk of formation of ulcers to a great extent. Here are ways of treatment for a burning sensation in the stomach.

Medications for Burning Sensation In Stomach

Antacids are the first medical line of treatment to control the amount of acid. If antacids are not effective then the physician will prescribe H2 blockers, like Tagament, Zantac, and Pepcid. These medications work to reduce the production of stomach acid. If gastritis is believed to be a result of H. pylori bacteria, the physician will prescribe antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection.

Pain Relieving Options for Burning Sensation In Stomach

Those who take pain relieving medicines on a regular basis are advised to minimize its use. If required, they can discuss alternative pain relieving options with their concerned doctor.

Diet for Burning Sensation In Stomach

Avoiding foods that irritate the stomach such as spicy foods, tomato-based foods, citrus foods, chocolate, coffee, mint, garlic and onions may help reduce heartburn symptoms. Snacking on bland foods like crackers, corn, and rice can also help reduce reflux.

Emotion regulation for Burning Sensation In Stomach

Learning to manage stress with techniques like yoga, deep breathing, prayer and meditation can help the person relax his or her body and decrease the build-up of stomach acid.

Change of lifestyle

Losing weight may reduce burning sensations in the stomach in overweight or obese individuals by reducing the pressure on the esophageal sphincter. Regular exercise, eliminating cigarette smoking and reducing alcohol intake also help to improve digestive health.

Home Remedies for Burning Sensation in Stomach

There are few self care measure which may help you to get relief from any stomach problems or may even prevent any such health conditions. Following are some of them.

A change in lifestyle includes limited intake of alcohol. Of course, it is better if you can avoid drinking alcohol altogether as it aggravates the inflammation of the stomach further. Smoking causes damage to the lining of the stomach. So, it is essential to quit smoking in such a condition.

Burning Sensation In Stomach Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Home Remedies

Banana, watermelon, coconut water, etc., soothe the burning sensation. So, try to have either of them everyday.

A hot cup of thyme tea may help relieve the pain. Add 1 tablespoon of dried thyme in a cup of boiling water. Leave it for 10 minutes, strain out and drink. Ginger tea and chamomile tea may also help.

Yogurt/Buttermilk: eases discomfort brought about by the burning sensation in your stomach. Eat and/or drink buttermilk and yogurt twice daily.

Honey is very beneficial in case of ulcers and acidity problems. Mix and consume 1 teaspoon of honey and a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon everyday. This will be very helpful.

You can have a glass of buttermilk twice a day as it eases the burning sensation and the pain that comes with it. It even helps in the digestion process.

Coconut Water: it soothes irritated linings of the intestines giving it instant relief. Also energizes your body. Drink some coconut water two times each day until the symptoms subside.

Ginger: it reduces intestinal inflammation, soothes burning and irritation and also releases any trapped gases. You can drink it in tea or chew it.

If the burning sensation is because of the build up of gas, then just massage your stomach between the belly button and breastbone. This will help release the gas.

Eat in small quantities and increase the number of meals per day. Don't skip your meals.One should ideally consume only easily digestible foods if one is suffering from this problem. Spicy foods, fatty foods, carbonated beverages and caffeine should be avoided, as they may trigger stomach irritation.
As stress may trigger stomach irritation, relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga may help to relieve the stress.

Regular exercise or any physical activity for at least 30 to 40 minutes will keep you fit and free from such problems.

These symptoms should not be neglected, and they need to be treated on time. You may not be able to eat properly if you have an uncomfortable burning feeling inside the stomach. This might also lead to unexpected weight loss.