Burping is a normal bodily function that allows the release of excess air from the digestive tract. While there is no exact definition of what “excessive” burping means, there are some medical and lifestyle factors that can cause more burping than what is normal for a person.
Certain Food & Drinks Can Cause Burping
Diet plays one of the biggest roles in burping, excessive or not. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the worst offenders for causing air in the digestive tract are gum, hard candy and fizzy beverages. Chewing gum and sucking on hard candy increases the chances of swallowing air, and fizzy drinks release carbon dioxide in the form of bubbles that need to escape.
Eating or drinking quickly, smoking and wearing loose-fitting clothing can also cause people to swallow more air than they otherwise would.
If you feel that you are burping excessively, write down the foods and drinks you consume and whether or not you experience burping or gas afterward. Try to limit intake of substances that worsen symptoms.
Aerophagia or Supragastric Belching
Aerophagia or supragastric belching occur when a person moves air into their esophagus, either consciously or unconsciously.
An article published in Case Reports in Gastroenterology explained that aerophagia occurs when a person frequently swallows air; the air enters the stomach and is either released as a burp or moves into the intestines.
Conversely, supragastic belching occurs when the esophagus releases air before a person swallows and it enters the stomach.
The causes of aerophagia and supragastric belching are unclear; they may occur to relieve a bloated stomach or be related to psychological factors. Speech or behavioral therapy may help a person stop behaviors that cause excess air to enter the esophagus.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may be another cause of excessive burping. When the sphincter at the top of the stomach becomes weak, stomach acid can pass into the esophagus and cause burping.
Some experts believe that people with GERD may force air down their esophagus, consciously or unconsciously, to relieve symptoms.
Treating GERD may help a person burp less frequently. Strategies include losing weight, stopping smoking and taking antacids.
For more information about excessive burping or to schedule an appointment, call Topeka ENT today.