Burping may be produced by undigested food in the intestine or is due to the extra air one swallows while eating, an unusual case of indigestion or medicines like antibiotics and anti-depressants. Burping is a natural way of removing unwanted gases from the digestive system. Excessive burping usually is nothing to worry about but if it causes too much of discomfort, it could indicate food intolerances, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastritis, peptic ulcer, or even gallstones. One should be aware of other symptoms like bloating, cramping or abdominal pain. The causes of excessive burping and quick remedies are explained below.
13 POSSIBLE CAUSES OF EXCESSIVE BURPING AND REMEDIES
- SWALLOWING TOO MUCH OF AIR WHILE EATING – Since this activity causes air to enter the digestive system, the digestive system removes it with a burp. Chewing gum, hard candy and using a straw to drink or yawning excessively may also cause one to burp.
- A POST NASAL DRIP – A post nasal drip is due to cold or allergies causing one to swallow more air than usual. The air swallowed can cause excessive burping. The only remedy is to treat the root cause of your postnasal drip. A bacterial infection can be treated by antibiotics. Essential oils like teatree or peppermint can be used if it is caused by sinusitis. Steam inhalation can be tried to thin the mucus.
- MEDICATIONS – Some antibiotics can cause an imbalance in the bacterial makeup of the gut, leading to bloating and manifests as burps. Moreover, any medicine that causes heartburn or acid reflux such as painkillers or antidepressants can make you bloat more. If one burps more during medication, one should discuss this with their doctor as soon as possible. It is also useful if one eliminates foods that cause excessive gas and belching during the course of antibiotics.
- EATING CERTAIN FOODS – Vegetables like beans, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower and whole grains consist of a complex carbohydrate called raffinose that the body cannot digest efficiently. A fruit sugar called sorbitol in fruits like apples, peaches, raisins, apricots, prunes, and pears is difficult to digest. Aerated beverages and hard candies trap in more air and result in bloating. There are a few remedies to this issue. One should avoid citrus fruits, spicy foods and aerated beverages. One should soak the beans in fresh water before cooking. Moreover, one should sit in an upright position to make the gas leave the stomach easily and be a quick remedy for burping. One can practice the vajrasana pose which is a yoga pose that reduces the formation and passing of gas.
- GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE (GERD) – The most severe cause of chronic, excessive burping is gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. When the muscle at the end of the esophagus does not close well, the contents of the stomach including acid can rise up into the esophagus again, resulting in a burp. One may experience heartburn due to GERD. One should seek professional medical advice to treat GERD as soon as possible because untreated GERD can rupture the lining of the digestive tract and result in infection causing holes in the intestine.
- INDIGESTION – Indigestion may be the cause of smelly burps. Ginger helps with digestion. A tea made of fennel can aid in reducing the gas and burping.
- FOOD INTOLERANCES – Excessive burping can be a symptom of celiac disease or lactose intolerance. It is more probable for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, or colitis to have food intolerance. Some usual food intolerances are gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance and fructose malabsorption. One should change to gluten-free food options like rice and millets. Yogurt or soy milk or nut milk is a safe option for lactose intolerant persons.
- HPYLORI INFECTION AND GIARDIASIS – An H. pylori infection usually results in stomach ulcers, which are also called peptic ulcers. Giardiasis is an infection of the small intestine, caused by a water-borne parasite called giardia lamblia and symptoms comprise of gas, bloating and burping. Both these infections necessarily require treatment with antibiotics.
- PEPTIC ULCERS – People who consume nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) regularly for chronic pain or fever may be at a greater risk of developing peptic ulcers. Majority of peptic ulcers can be cured using proton pump inhibitors (PPI) which lessen stomach acid production.
- GASTRITIS – Gastritis refers to a condition of an inflamed stomach lining which results in excessive burping. Gastritis should be treated through a restrictive diet that eliminates alcohol, tobacco and acidic beverages. Proton pump inhibitors and antacids may be taken in serious cases.
- GALLSTONES AND HIATAL HERNIA – Symptomatic gallstones are usually treated with surgery. A hiatal hernia requires one to avoid heavy meals and take medications that normalize stomach acid and esophageal muscle strength.
- IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME – It cannot be cured but it can be controlled via dietary changes, psychosocial therapies, probiotics and other medications.
- DEPRESSION – Excessive burping may also be one of the first signs of depression because people swallow excessive air due to nervousness. One can speak to a counselor regarding the problem one is facing. Behavioural therapy can be of great help as well.