ZocdocAnswersWhat's the cause for burning sensation in upper chest?

Question

What's the cause for burning sensation in upper chest?

When I inhale it feels/tastes like I am inhaling air that is tainted with the odor/taste of gun powder. I had a stress test today and there were no alarming findings.

Answer

The most common cause of a burning sensation in the upper chest is acid reflux. This occurs when acid within the stomach abnormally moves up into the esophagus. Since the esophagus is not equipped to be around acid, it causes a burning sensation that can be quite uncomfortable. Other associated symptoms include nausea, sometimes the cough, and also a sour taste in your mouth. The symptoms can be particularly worse after drinking coffee, eating chocolate, or eating spicy food. Symptoms also tend to be worse at night when you are laying down and it is easier for the acid to move up into your chest. People don't typically feel like they are inhaling tainted air, but certainly this is possible as acid can really change your sense of taste. I recommend that you speak with your doctor about this concern. The best test we have for acid reflux is a trial of medication called a PPI. The most commonly used PPI is a medication called omeprazole. If your symptoms are relieved from this medication, a doctor will diagnose you with acid reflux. If you have the symptoms ongoing for a long time, then you will need a referral to a gastroenterologist to have a look down into the esophagus to see if any damage as occurred. There are other possibilities, but based on your description this is the most likely.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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