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When you vomit, chances are you are not in the ideal state of health at the moment. Vomiting is a natural reaction by your body to expel something that will be noxious to your body to process. Some of the most common reasons for vomiting would be too much alcohol in your stomach, a reaction to some bad food you ingested or because of an illness like the flu. Even if the underlying etiologies may be different, the reason why you throw up is the same. 

An unfortunate thing about vomiting is that you rarely feel much better after you regurgitate your last meals. Chances are, you will experience some type of pain in your chest, throat and upper body that can linger and still keep you in a low state of health. What this pain is and what are some of the possible explanations for why this happens is what I will address next. 

The pain that you are experiencing after a round of vomiting would mostly be caused by the contents of what you are dispelling. When found enters our stomach, it triggers an automatic reaction with the stomach to start producing hydrochloric acid in order to start breaking up your food so you are able to absorb the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in your intestinal tract. This acid is a very powerful product with a low pH level. Just to refresh your memory in case your high Chemistry class was a few years ago, the lower the pH value, the more acidic a liquid is (as a reference, pure water should be 7). Hydrochloric acid is between 1 to 2 usually and it is only in the stomach where this acid is intended to remain. A reason for this is because of the cell tissue of the stomach. Lining the stomach walls are numerous glands that produce mucous to protect the stomach cells from the power acids necessary to break down our foods. Our stomach naturally produces this protective barrier any time we anticipate that we are going to eat so the acid doesn't burn a hole into the cell tissue. This is possible and is the main reason why patients can suffer from stomach ulcers. Patients who drink a lot of alcohol or who take a lot of pain killing medication are especially vulnerable for this. 

If everything is working properly, the acid that we make is not able to escape the stomach but during vomiting or in cases of gastric reflux disease (better known as GERD or heartburn) this acid escapes from the stomach and damages cellular tissue in our esophagus. This can feel like a severe pain in the chest, throat and upper body and if it happens routinely, you have the possibility of developing numerous types of cancers due to this acid damage. 

Conditions like chronic GERD or narrowing of your esophagus could predispose patients to have this lingering burning so it is important that you contact your family doctor to notify him of the signs. Esophageal cancer is quite hard to diagnose in the early stages but if you are able to catch the disease early, you will have a much better prognosis. [1]

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