October 30, 2021
Although most burping is completely normal, it can sometimes be a sign of a medical problem, according to columnist Anna Sharratt in an article for the site.Reader’s Digest” (Readers Digest).
She explained that according to a gastroenterologist, there are 7 things that burping reveals related to your overall health and life habits. She added that burping is the body’s way of ridding itself of excess air and expelling it into the esophagus to make its way into the mouth.
It quoted Dr. Dan Sadowsky, a professor at the University of Alberta College of Medicine and a gastroenterologist, that there is a common misconception that belching is a product of digestion in the stomach, that is, foods that are digested in some way produce gas. However, this is not the case, “in fact, all the gas we burp is swallowed up,” adding that eating and drinking simply causes you to swallow the air that needs to be expelled.
Here are some causes of excessive burping and how to reduce it:
1- Chewing gum a lot
A 2015 study found that people who chewed gum burped significantly more than those who didn’t, because when you chew gum, you swallow some air with each chew.
This is known as supragastric burping, and it is one of the two forms of burping. The other is gastric burping, which is the exit of air from the stomach that tends to smell stronger than belching, and is usually caused by foods high in fat, chocolate or mint.
2- Drink a lot of soft drinks or soda water
If you’re a fan of soft drinks and find you burp excessively, the carbonation in your drink is likely to blame. Soft drinks, which include mineral water, add a lot of air to the stomach. And if you drink it with a straw, you complicate the problem, as more air is added to the equation. Artificial sweeteners and caffeinated drinks can also lead to frequent burping.
And the solution? Dr. Sadowsky recommends taking it easy with soda if you’re prone to burping. But if you really want to drink a Diet Coke, pour it into a glass instead of drinking it with a straw, it will cut down on carbonation.
3- The speed of eating
If you’re in the habit of devouring your meals in just a few minutes, you’re probably swallowing much more air than if you were eating slowly. And drinking while eating can also lead to more air being swallowed. “People eat alone more often, and they tend to eat more quickly,” Sadowsky says.
Instead, he suggests eating with friends and family where possible. Eating with others encourages you to talk while eating, slowing down how quickly you eat. If you live alone, consider dining with someone using the Zoom or Skype app.
People with anxiety tend to take more breaths per minute than those without anxiety. And inhaling all that extra air means they can end up with a burp problem.
The first line of defense should be an exercise program that can reduce symptoms of anxiety and restrict breathing, and communication with friends and family can also help with this. And if anxiety is interfering with daily life, Sadovsky suggests seeing a therapist, who might recommend cognitive behavioral therapy that can make you aware of correct and incorrect breathing. Another option is to find a physical therapist who can teach you diaphragm breathing or diaphragm breathing. This can retrain you to breathe normally.
Indigestion affects almost everyone at some point, and it can cause excessive belching, as well as stomach pain, heartburn, bloating, feeling full early, or feeling sick after meals. Indigestion can result from a fatty or acidic diet, taking too much ibuprofen, which can irritate the stomach, or smoking.
Indigestion can be treated with over-the-counter medications that relieve gas, or with H2 blockers, which reduce acidity. For severe cases, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a class of medications that reduce stomach acid levels, can help.
6- You have gastroesophageal reflux disease
When burping is accompanied by other symptoms, it may indicate a medical problem. One common condition is gastroesophageal reflux disease, which occurs when the valve that connects the esophagus to the stomach fails to close properly, allowing irritating stomach acid to enter and burn the esophagus.
GERD can cause heartburn, which can be worse at night, chest pain, problems swallowing, food or liquid reflux, or a feeling of a lump in your throat. Sadosky says people burp when they have GERD as they swallow more saliva and air to reduce acid pain in the throat.
If you’ve been diagnosed with GERD, over-the-counter heartburn medications, H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors may be used.
7- Helicobacter pylori infection
H. pylori is a bacterium that is too common to infect the stomach. It is estimated that 50% of the world’s population carries this particular bacteria, which can lead to stomach ulcers and stomach cancer.
In addition to frequent burping, people with H. pylori infection usually experience stomach pain, a burning sensation in the stomach, abdominal pain when not eating, nausea or loss of appetite, burning pain in the abdomen, and bloating. H. pylori can be quickly identified with a blood test or breath test. Treatment is usually with a combination of 3 or 4 medications, including antibiotics, for 14 days.
Most burps are completely normal
The bottom line is if you’re experiencing worrisome symptoms alongside excessive belching, such as unintended weight loss, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, bleeding or severe abdominal pain, seek medical attention, Sadowski says. But he says burping is “mostly a benign condition. It can be annoying, but it usually responds to simple lifestyle measures.”