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Should I worry about a burning throat?

The burning throat can happen for a variety of different reasons. Many people experience a burning sensation and since it does not happen very often they might not realize what is causing it. If it happens frequently and is starting to create anxiety and disrupt your daily life, it might be a good idea to visit the doctor and receive a diagnosis.

There is a difference between having a burning throat and a sore throat. When you catch a flu or a cold, one of the symptoms of the illness might be a sore throat. It might last for a couple days and during those you may be coughing up green or yellow mucous, have a difficulty swallowing your meals and also be accompanied by high fever. A sore throat and cough is rarely dangerous but always keep an eye out for strep throat as it has known to create complications. Many things such as a bacterial infections, chemotherapy, tonsillitis or dry air may cause the symptoms of a sore throat. However, none of these should cause any burning.

A burning sensation in throat is very often a sign of the acid reflux disease or heartburn. You will often feel it more in the morning as most of the damage that is done due to this acid reflux symptom occurs during the night, as your esophagus is very vulnerable when laying down. Check your pillow for any drool marks as the stomach acid irritating the throat causes the release of tons of saliva in order to try and neutralize the acid. This is a natural response of the body in order to prevent any long lasting damage to the throat area as the saliva will coat your throat.

acid reflux symptomsYou might also feel stomach pains and the need to vomit when you first wake up. If you actually do, you will feel a burning sour taste in the back of your throat and a dark green type of fluid coming out. This is the stomach acid which is causing the problem in the first place.

Although some people recommend this, do not drink milk right before going to sleep as it is heavy and also induces acidity in the stomach.

Additional signs of this illness will come as a persistent cough, dysphagia, bad breath, scratchy throat, voice changes, gas, mouth pain, post nasal drip, inflammation in the throat, feeling of food stuck in the back of your throat as well as a sour taste in your mouth. If you are having one or more of these symptoms it is very important to contact a doctor and get some tests done. There is no other way to find out if this is really the cause of your burning, but a long term effect of this can be pretty bad. You might completely lose your voice, develop throat polyps or throat ulcers and even cancer.

The problem with this disease is that it can easily get confused with something else especially if you have another condition present such as allergies. These both cause post nasal drip and can easily create an infection within the sinuses which leads down to the throat. That is exactly why it is virtually impossible to correctly diagnose it by yourself. Some people never feel the actual heart burn or any of these other symptoms other than a burning throat as their illness likes to act during the night.

You might always have something more serious though and if you experience respiratory problems, wheezing, bleeding or lung pain get yourself to the emergency room.

My friend's mom, for example, had this going on for years without even knowing what is happening as all she went through is a slow voice change. Her family and friends thought that this was due to her age or simply something genetic. One morning, she woke up and her husband asked her what that thing is in the back of her throat upon her smiling. There was a huge lump which has grown and develop due to the continual attack by the acid which even caused some of her teeth in the back to start rotting.

There are many ways to keep this disease under control but do not expect a simple miracle pill or surgery to do the trick. I would only recommend surgery as a last option out, as many people who undertake it have complications and have to get it done again and again. Each time the results are less beneficial and by the end you might end up only able to eat soft baby food out of a jar.

Some of the most common ways to help and curb reflux are the introduction of dietary and lifestyle changes. Forget the spicy foods, fried foods, citrus fruits, caffeine, alcohol, tomatoes and other fatty meals. All of these do nothing but create the problem and create an acidic environment within the stomach.

No one understands exactly why some people are more prone to reflux  than others. There are so many factors involved, but by looking at your past and your lifestyle/eating habits you might be able to pinpoint where this could have started. There are cases with infants and kids which are very hard to deal with and these need constant medical supervision.

There are over the counter and prescription pills which help and control the symptoms or the actual acid production. Most people with GERD will have to take these at some point in their lives but it is very important to keep them to a minimum and find one which comes with the least side effects. My body works well with Nexium, as all of the other pills make me feel sicker and that outweighs any of the benefits that they bring.

Try to start an exercise routine and by that I do not mean that you should be a weekend warrior. A simple 30 minute of moving around every day will work. I have purchased a stationary bike which is really comfortable and allows me to get the 30-60 minutes in every night as I watch some TV. If you prefer to run, swim or do aerobics that is fine as well, basically anything that works for you. If you haven't been able walk up the stairs without getting tired for the last couple of years, do see a doctor before starting anything and get some advice on the best way to proceed.

Although a burning throat does not seem dangerous, if it lasts longer than a few days it should get checked out.