We all burp and belch occasionally and it is quite normal. Gas is generated from the stomach leading to burping and belching. It is purely a voluntary action and you can do nothing to control it. You can take efforts to hide it, if possible. It is true that belching in public is embarrassing and uncomfortable. Even though you are belching it is not because of too much of gas in the stomach. It can be due to what you ate for last meal or dinner. Burping 4-5 times daily is quite normal and mostly it is because of swallowing air accidentally while eating. Burping can also be caused due to nervous problem or any disorders in the stomach.
Belching/burping can be defined as expelling air/gas from the stomach through the mouth. After belching one get relaxed as the stomach contracts to its normal position. Bloating is the feeling of fullness in the stomach. The stomach gets expanded too much after a meal and the person feels “full”. This can be due to circulation of gas inside the stomach.
Causes Of Burping and Bloating :
The main cause for excessive burping and bloating is the diet. Food is the primary source that decides the condition of stomach and nature of stool. Bowel movements largely depend on what you eat. Many people eat fast (without knowing) and they swallow excess of air along with food. This air is expelled in the form of burping and bloating. Gas cannot be retained in the stomach for long since it can cause complication inside and hence it has to be sent out either through mouth (burping) or through anus (flatus).
An individual can burp in excess if he takes plenty of beverages like carbonated drinks. Again amount of gas produced in the stomach will not be the same for each person though food consumed is the same. Too much of lactose in the stomach caused by dairy products can cause belching and bloating. For some people certain medications like dietary supplement can increase gas formation resulting in burping. Certain diseases like Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome can cause burping.
Any imbalance in hormone levels would lead to excessive gas formation resulting in bloating and burping. Women are likely to burp more before the onset of monthly menstruation. An individual with GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease) would burp more than others. Some medical conditions like dyspepsia can cause feeling of fullness in the stomach and would cause burning feeling in the chest due to expulsion of gas.
Almost all of us would indulge in burping each day, but the sound produced by some people would be noisy catching the attention of others. Burping can be detected by noisy sound released from the mouth after eating heavy meal. For some people burping occurs all through the day even long time after eating. Often a man/woman who burps in excess would also indulge in flatus or passing gas through anus. Flatus is called by other names like passing wind/air, flatulence, making noise from the anus. It is the process of expelling air from the digestive system through anus. There can be symptoms of fullness in the stomach shortly after eating. Burping is considered a sign to indicate consuming “full meal” in some cultures.
No medical treatment is needed for bloating and burping. Often it goes away without any treatment. You can try changing the food you eat to check whether burping has reduced. If you still feel there is excess of gas in your stomach you can use antacids like Mylanta or Maalox. It can help in clearing off the gas from the digestive system. Drink plenty of water since it helps in reducing air from the stomach. Charcoal tablets can be effective in removing the odor from gas.
- You can reduce burping and bloating by changing your food habits.
- Don’t skip breakfast or lunch since it can aggravate the symptoms if the stomach is kept empty for long time.
- You can check with your GP to detect any other medical condition like GERD or ulcer.
- Identify foods that cause excess of gas (cabbage, beans and broccoli) and avoid them.
- Eat slowly and drink slowly. Avoid having carbonated drinks and too much of coffee/tea.
- Take time to swallow the food and don’t talk while eating. Chewing food properly helps in easy digestion.
- Avoid eating chewing gum often.
- Quit smoking/drinking or using tobacco in any form.
- Do exercises regularly since brisk walking can cut down the gas content.
- Stay calm. Practice meditation or yoga to overcome anxiety.
- Over-eating can cause excess of gas in the stomach. Instead of taking large meals 3 times, you can take 6 meals frequently.