Burping is a normal body process that helps release air in the stomach. When you swallow air while eating or drinking, you feel the need to release it by burping. It is normal to burp three to four times after a meal or up to 30 times a day.
If you’ve been having excessive belching for an extended period of time, it’s time to find the culprits. Certain foods, activities, and medical conditions can cause frequent burping, and in some cases this can be treated with simple lifestyle changes. For people with underlying conditions that cause excess air in the stomach, it may be necessary to see a doctor to come up with a treatment plan.
What causes belching?
Belching (or burping) is a natural body process that occurs when excess air is expelled from the stomach through the mouth. Excess air is either swallowed while eating or drinking, or produced during the digestion process. When the stomach expands due to air, it triggers the need to burp. Belching usually produces a distinctive sound and may be accompanied by an odorless or malodorous release of air.
While belching is a normal bodily function, excessive or frequent belching may be a sign of an underlying digestive or medical problem. Studies suggest that certain conditions can cause frequent burping:
gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Gastritis or gastric bloating
Lactose or gluten intolerance
Other possible causes of belching include:
Drinking or eating too quickly
Drink soft drinks
Consuming alcoholic beverages, such as beer
Drink with a straw
To chew gum
Sucking hard candy
Talking and eating at the same time
Certain medications, including laxatives and painkillers.
Eat foods that cause gas, such as broccoli, beans, cabbage, cauliflower, raisins, and bananas.
the use of spices for cooking or eating spicy foods.
How to Treat Excessive Belching
Treatment for excessive belching depends on the underlying cause, whether it’s a medical problem, a reaction to certain foods in your diet, or being overweight. If you have a health condition that causes burping, ask your doctor about remedies. Here are some ways to treat excessive burping naturally:
Avoid carbonated drinks, chewing gum and hard candies.
Eat slowly and chew your food well.
Limit or avoid foods known to cause gas, such as broccoli, beans, onions, and cabbage.
Limit or avoid eating spicy foods.
Avoid large meals and eat smaller, more frequent meals instead.
Drink water during meals, rather than before or after.
Lose weight if you are overweight.
When these lifestyle changes do not relieve burping, a doctor may recommend taking an antacid to reduce gas production in the body and neutralize stomach acid. Consult your healthcare professional before taking these over-the-counter medications for burping to make sure they don’t interact with other medications you’re taking or make a health condition worse.
Risks and side effects (when to see a doctor)
Belching after meals is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. If you’re burping frequently for an extended period of time and more than 30 times a day, it’s time to look into the cause and make changes to reduce it. If the frequent burping comes on suddenly and is accompanied by symptoms such as vomiting, sharp pain in the throat, or digestive discomfort, or if the excessive belching lasts more than three days without relief, call your doctor.
It may not be possible to completely prevent belching, as it is a natural bodily function, but there are several strategies to reduce its frequency and intensity, including the following:
Eat and drink slowly: If you eat and drink too quickly, you risk swallowing air, which leads to burping. Be sure to take your time and chew your food well before swallowing it.
Avoid certain foods: Certain foods and drinks can cause excessive belching, especially those that are gassy and high in sugar, starch, and fiber. Foods to avoid or limit include carbonated drinks, beer, dairy products, beans, broccoli, cabbage, onions, and spicy foods.
Avoid using straws: Using a straw to drink can cause you to swallow air, which leads to belching. If you tend to burp, drink from a glass or bottle rather than a straw.
Avoid chewing gum: Chewing gum or sucking on candies and lozenges can also cause you to swallow air and burp, so avoid these actions to prevent belching.
Quit smoking: Smoking can cause you to swallow air, which leads to belching. Research also shows that smoking is significantly associated with medical conditions that cause frequent burping, including GERD.
Manage your stress: Studies indicate that stress and anxiety are linked to belching in some cases. To prevent stress belching, practice anti-stress methods like exercise, meditation, journaling, outdoor activities, and deep breathing.
Wear loose clothing: Clothing that is tight around the waist, such as jeans or tight pants, can put pressure on your stomach and cause you to swallow air, leading to belching.
To avoid belching, opt for loose clothing around your stomach.
Take probiotics: Taking a high-quality probiotic supplement may help relieve digestive issues associated with belching, such as GERD, heartburn, dyspepsia, and regurgitation, research shows.
Speech therapy: Speech therapy promotes awareness of air inhalation when you speak, eat, and exercise. It has been shown to help people with conditions that cause excessive belching. If you’re prone to burping and want to prevent it, see a speech therapist.
Belching is a natural body process that occurs when excess air is expelled from the stomach through the mouth. Lifestyle changes, such as eating and drinking slowly, avoiding certain foods, and managing stress, can help prevent or reduce belching. If you have excessive or frequent belching and lifestyle changes don’t make a difference, talk to your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.