Burping is also referred to as eructation, ructus or belching. It may be described as the expulsion of air or gas from the stomach through the esophagus to the mouth. In some cultures, this is acceptable and is taken to mean that one is appreciating the good meal he or she has just had. However, the natural process can become excessive. Excessive burping is frequent, inconvenient, loud and a bother to those next to you. In this case, you will need to understand what causes the condition and how you can possibly remedy it.
What Causes Excessive Burping?
1. Swallowing Air
Swallowing large amounts of air within a short time can lead to frequent belching. This happens when you either drink carbonated beverages like beer and soda or eat too quickly. Additionally, chewing gum may also cause this condition. Smoking can also make someone burp more frequently than usual. In addition to burping, swallowing excessive gas can also cause gas pains in the stomach.
Excessive burping may also be caused by a heartburn or indigestion. Heartburn may be caused by various things. For instance, it may be a symptom of a peptic ulcer, a spicy meal that irritates your stomach or just as a result of acid reflux. When acid refluxes from the stomach to the esophagus, the patient will swallow frequently in a bid to ease the burning sensation associated with the condition. This frequent swallowing makes him or her swallow a lot of air, leading to excessive belching.
Also known as delayed gastric emptying, gastroparesis is a condition in which food remains in the stomach for a longer period than it is supposed to. This condition is mainly caused by damaged stomach muscles. If the undigested food remains in the stomach for a long period, it can lead to nausea and vomiting. Additionally, this can also lead to frequent burping.
4. Certain Foods
There are various drinks and foods that may lead to frequent burping. Some of such foods include alcohol and carbonated drinks and foods high in sugar, starch or fiber, such as lentils, beans, onions, broccoli, cabbage, peas, raisins, cauliflower, raisins, whole-wheat bread and bananas.
5. Drug Reaction
Some medications can lead to burping or cause belching themselves. Such drugs include acarbose, a drug that is commonly used by diabetes type II patients. Others are laxatives, such as sorbitol and lactulose. Additionally, pain medications, like ibuprofen, aspirin and ibuprofen, can also cause excessive burping.
6. Underlying Conditions
Belching can also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. However, belching alone cannot be used as a conclusive indicator of any condition. Some of the conditions that may manifest in form of belching include:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Lactose intolerance
- Sorbitol or lactose malabsorption
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)
There are also other conditions that can lead to belching, but to a very small extend. Such underlying conditions include:
- Celiac disease
- Dumping syndrome
- Pancreatic insufficiency
While pregnant, excessive burping is a natural and normal phenomenon because digestion is quite slow during pregnancy. This slow digestion is caused by the relaxation of the digestive tract muscles, owing to the increased levels of progesterone hormone in the body. Inactivity during pregnancy can worsen the condition leading to bloating, flatulence as well as excessive belching.
How to Deal With Excessive Burping
Being a natural process, burping does not need any treatment and does not have any consequences. However, if left unattended to, it may cause many embarrassments and lead to more adverse symptoms. Here are 7 ways to reduce excessive burping.
1. Take Your Time to Eat and Drink
One way to avoid belching is to simple eat and drink at a slower pace. Consider having your food and drinks in a relaxing environment. This will reduce the amount of flatulence and burping you experience significantly.
2. Reduce Gas-Producing Food in Diet
The other way to reduce belching is to include fewer gas-producing foods in your diet. Except for the above mentioned foods, there are many other foods that should be avoided, like Brussels sprouts, lettuce, chocolate onions. Additionally, you should also avoid certain fruits, such as peaches, apples and pears. You should also avoid foods that contain large volumes of air, including soufflés, mousses as well as whipped cream.
3. Drink Peppermint Tea
In addition to soothing the body, peppermint herb also reduces the spasmodic movements of the bowel and the digestive tract. As such, it reduces the gas production in the digestive tract. You can drink peppermint tea or eat peppermint candy to help you ease excessive burping and other stomach problems.
4. Increase Probiotic Intake
Probiotics are considered to be an effective remedy in treating various digestive health issues, including belching. Probiotics contain essential, healthy bacteria that help with our digestion and belching. They are available in various forms, including capsule-like supplements, yogurt, soymilk and other fortified foods.
5. Try Chamomile Tea
When introduced into the body, chamomile tea helps relieve the gas in the body naturally. As such, the remedy is very effective in relieving burping. The tea should be taken after every meal and at a slow pace.
6. Use Ginger
Research findings have revealed that ginger is another great excessive burping remedy. It promotes digestion in the body, thus reducing accumulation of gases. Additionally, ginger also calms the stomach and relieves pain. Ginger supplement should be taken after every meal. Alternatively, you can take a cup of warm ginger tea every morning.
7. Do Exercises
Burping is a common occurrence during pregnancy, but how can you minimize it? Actually, pregnant or not, exercise is a great way to reduce excessive burping. But for pregnant women, exercising by engaging in activities like walking is the best way to relieve burping and improve overall health conditions.
When to See a Doctor
While burping is natural, it is advisable to seek treatment if the symptoms persist or you experience the following:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Recurrent, severe and prolonged abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Chest pain
- Blood stains on stools
Tips for Avoiding Excessive Burping
- Avoid habits that can lead to burping, such as smoking, sucking hard candy and chewing gum.
- Try to avoid swallowing frequently when nervous.
- Have your dentures checked because poorly fitting dentures may lead to belching.
- To prevent abdominal discomfort, you should wear loose clothing.