When the valve (lower esophageal sphincter) that normally opens to allow food to pass from the oesophagus into the stomach does not function properly, acid and stomach juices escape back into the oesophagus causing burning stomach pain. If this pain occurs occasionally, it is usually considered heartburn, but when it happens two or more times a week, it is most likely gastro-oseophageal reflux disease (GERD), as stated by Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers. There are several options available for relief of this problem, including over the counter medications and home remedies.
Diet and Medications
Burning stomach pain can be relieved by changes in diet. Try eliminating specific foods like coffee, chocolate, spicy foods, and alcohol. Smoking also aggravates stomach pain, soquitting may offer needed relief from the symptoms. Over-the-counter medications such as antacids (Tums or Rolaids), or H2 blockers like Pepcid or Tagamet, medications that reduce acid, offer an additional means of finding relief. Obesity is known to be a factor in burning stomach pain. Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers states reducing weight by 5 or 10 pounds can help to alleviate the problem. Wear clothing that fits comfortably around the stomach area because smug clothing will increase your pain.
Proton pump inhibitors, like Nexium or Prilosec, also reduce acid, but you must consult a physician because they are prescribed medications. As per Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, these medications are given to patients when over-the-counter medications do not work to relieve symptoms. For more severe cases, surgery may be required.
One remedy that does not require taking medication, but helps to relieve burning stomach pain that occurs at night, is elevating the head of the bed about 6 to 8 inches. You can do this one of two ways; raise the head of the mattress by placing pillows or a wedge beneath it, or place the bed frame---only at the head of the bed---on blocks. This remedy does not work if you try using pillows under your head and upper body because you will not be on the right angle. The mattress or bed must be raised to place the entire body on an angle sloping downward from the head.
Stomach pain can be caused by something as simple as lactose intolerance, caused by an insufficient amount of the digestive enzyme lactase, as per the Seton Family of Hospitals. This condition, which interferes in the digestion of the sugar in milk, can be treated by taking lactase tablets. However, stomach pain can also indicate a severe medical condition. If the pain lasts more than a couple of weeks when taking medication, if it worsens or is accompanied by sweating, nausea, or dizziness, if you are vomiting blood, or have blood in your stool, see a doctor immediately. The problem can be related to ulcers, a cardiac condition, cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease such as colitis.