Hunger can cause heartburns. Heartburn occurs when the esophagus is exposed to stomach acid. The valve between the esophagus and the stomach is designed to allow food and liquid to pass downward from the esophagus into the stomach as well as to prevent the backwash of acid into the esophagus. Occasionally, the valve relaxes and allows stomach acid to reflux backwards into the esophagus.
The acid stimulates nerve endings in the esophagus and causes the symptoms commonly referred to as heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD can be associated with a burning sensation in the chest, belching, a bitter taste in our mouth, coughing and wheezing.