Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause a burning sensation in the throat when stomach acid regurgitates up to the throat. Medical treatments and home remedies may help ease symptoms.

A person may find that medications, such as proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), may help manage symptoms of GERD. Keeping a food diary and avoiding foods that worsen symptoms will likely also help.

This article reviews what causes the burning sensation relating to GERD, possible home remedies, complications, and more.

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GERD is a common chronic gastrointestinal disorder relating to the reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus, or food pipe.

The burning sensation in the throat or chest typically occurs due to the stomach’s acid irritating the lining of the throat or esophagus.

People often refer to the burning sensation or discomfort as heartburn.

Learn about the risk factors for GERD.

Although anyone can experience occasional heartburn, a doctor may diagnose GERD when a person experiences symptoms two or more times weekly for several weeks.

GERD is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders and may affect more than 20% of adults in the United States.

A person who experiences a burning sensation in their throat several times a week may want to contact a doctor for evaluation.

Several medical treatments can help with a burning throat due to GERD.

Doctors may start by recommending lifestyle changes, such as weight management, avoiding meals before bedtime, and sleeping in an elevated position.

If these are ineffective at managing symptoms, a doctor may recommend antacid medications, such as histamine receptor antagonists (H2RAs) or PPI therapy.

In the United States, a person can get two forms of H2RAs over the counter: famotidine and cimetidine.

A medical professional may recommend one of six PPIs. Over-the-counter options include:

  • esomeprazole
  • omeprazole
  • lansoprazole

Prescription PPIs include:

  • rabeprazole
  • pantoprazole
  • dexlansoprazole

Learn more about treatments for GERD.

Home remedies may help with GERD.

Some measures that may work include:

  • Avoiding triggers: Keeping a food diary to monitor any foods that trigger or worsen a burning throat sensation with GERD can help a person to know which foods to avoid.
  • Licorice supplements: A 2017 study showed that some herbal supplement formulas that used deglycyrrhizinated licorice helped reduce stomach acid.
  • Ginger: Ginger is a common root in traditional Chinese medicine that may benefit the stomach. However, ginger can also cause heartburn, particularly when a person takes it in large doses, so it may not be beneficial for everybody.
  • Chewing gum: A small 31-person study from 2005 showed that chewing sugar-free gum for 30 minutes following a meal can help reduce acid. However, the small number of participants means that the results are not applicable to a larger population.
  • Apple cider vinegar and lemon juice: Some people try taking apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to treat heartburn symptoms, though this is anecdotal. More research on whether this is effective for GERD is necessary.
  • Baking soda: Some individuals might try baking soda to treat heartburn. Studies investigating the use of baking soda for a burning throat are sparse. However, two older case studies from 2014 and 2013 describe people who developed complications from its continual, self-directed care for heartburn. Many sites suggest speaking with a doctor before starting daily or regular use of baking soda.

Before starting any home remedies, a person needs to consult with a doctor. Some remedies may interfere with medications or worsen other conditions.

Without treatment, GERD can lead to potentially serious complications.

A 2018 study identified esophagitis and Barrett’s esophagus as two possible complications of GERD. Esophagitis is inflammation of the esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus involves damage to the lower esophagus. If Barrett’s esophagus develops, this can increase a person’s risk of esophageal cancer.

Esophageal strictures may also develop due to the formation of scar tissue. This causes the esophagus to narrow.

Contacting a doctor when a person has concerns about GERD can help ensure they can begin treatment as early as possible to reduce the risk of complications.

Lifestyle changes may help prevent a burning throat with GERD.

Steps that may often include:

  • maintaining a moderate weight
  • elevating the head at night
  • getting enough quality sleep
  • avoiding meals for at least 3 hours before bedtime
  • identifying and avoiding foods that may exacerbate symptoms

Learn about foods to eat and avoid with GERD.

Here are some answers to common questions about acid reflux.

What helps throat burning from acid reflux?

Lifestyle changes may help manage a burning throat from acid reflux. This can include avoiding meals before bedtime, improving sleep quality, and weight management.

If these steps do not work, medical professionals may recommend antacid medications to help alleviate acid reflux.

How long can acid reflux burn your throat?

Acid reflux can last for a few minutes to a few hours. It can vary between people and may vary from day to day.

How do you calm a GERD flare-up?

Over-the-counter fast-acting antacids may help a person manage a GERD flare-up when symptoms occur.

Some home remedies and herbal medication may help manage a GERD flare-up, but evidence supporting their use is lacking. Some people claim ginger root, licorice, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda can help.

However, a person needs to discuss their use with a doctor before starting a home remedy, as it may interfere with other treatments or health conditions.

What does GERD burn feel like?

A burning feeling due to GERD can feel like pain or a burning sensation in the chest and throat. It typically occurs within a few minutes of eating. A person can try to avoid lying down following a meal for about 3 hours to help reduce the risk of heartburn.

Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) often causes a burning sensation in the throat. It occurs due to acid from the stomach entering the esophagus.

A doctor may diagnose GERD when symptoms occur several times throughout the week for a few weeks. The doctor can then recommend treatments to help a person manage the burning sensation and other symptoms.

Treatment may involve a combination of lifestyle changes and medications. Some people may find that home remedies help, but it is best to discuss these with a doctor to create a suitable treatment plan.