Excessive burping can occur from swallowing too much, which can happen with mouth-breathing, speaking while eating, chewing gum and drinking fizzy drinks. It is a natural process and is the body’s way of releasing accumulated air in the stomach.
Some health conditions can also cause excessive burping however, like gastroesophageal reflux disease, gastric ulcers, and hiatal hernias. These conditions will usually present with other symptoms, like stomach pain or burning and reflux.
If is generally possible to reduce burping frequency with lifestyle changes, like avoiding fizzy drinks. However, if burping persists or if you do notice other symptoms, you should consult a doctor for assesmsent and possible treatment.
What causes excessive burping?
Excessive burping can occur for the following reasons:
1. Gastroesophageal reflux disease
GERD is a disease that occurs when stomach content backflows into the esophagus and mouth. It causes stomach burning, heartburn, thoracic pain and a bitter taste in the mouth, all which are related to the stomach acid coming back up. Many times, patients will also notice constant burping, as the backflow of acid produces a lot of air.
What to do: Stomach acid is very acidic and can even wound the and damage the esophagus when regurgitated. This is what causes symptoms. It is important to see a gastroenterologist, who can confirm GERD with tests like an endoscopy or x-ray. Treatment involves the use of medications that inhibit stomach acid production, regulate stomach motility and protect the digestive tract. Maintaining a GERD diet can also help to reduce symptoms and flare-ups.
2. Hiatal hernia
A hiatal hernia causes symptoms like heartburn, bitter taste in the mouth and frequent burping. This condition is associated with obesity, chronic coughing or excessive physical activity. Hiatal hernias occur due to dilation of the stomach opening, which leads to the backflow of stomach content into the esophagus, causing symptoms.
What to do: Symptoms of hiatal hernias are very similar to other health condition, therefore you should see a doctor to confirm the underlying cause of symptoms. Treatment for a hiatal hernia may involve medications to relieve symptoms (like antacids and stomach protectors), or even surgery to repair the hernia. Learn more about hiatal hernias and the other treatment options available.
3. Some types of foods
Eating certain types of food lead to more burping or intestinal gas. These foods tend to produce more air in the stomach and intestines during digestion. Examples include peas, beans, and green veggies, like broccoli, cabbage and kale.
Chewing on gum can also lead to constant burping, as these lead to increased swallowed air.
What to do: If you feel discomfort from excessive burping, try reducing you intake of foods that produce more gas and avoid chewing gum. Learn more about the foods that cause gas and bloating.
4. Gastric ulcer
A gastric ulcer, or a stomach ulcer, is a type of wound that forms on the stomach wall. It is associated with symptoms like pain, burning, nausea and frequent burping. This type of condition can be caused by excessive medication use (like anti-inflammatories or antibiotics) or excessive intake of acidic food or alcohol.
There are many stages of this disease. Therefore, if you notice any mild symptoms, you should see a gastroenterologist to perform an endoscopy. This test can confirm the presence of H. pylori bacteria and bleeding in the stomach. Read more about what can cause stomach ulcers and the symptoms associated with them.
What to do: To relieve gastric ulcer symptoms, you should maintain a balanced diet, as recommended by a registered dietitian. It should be rich in fruits, vegetables, skim milk and lean meat. Check out which foods to include in an the ulcer diet, with a sample meal plan that you can reference. You should also avoid long periods between meals and snacks, as this can cause more stomach irritation. The doctor may prescribe medications that reduce stomach acid production.
5. Fizzy and fermented drinks
Drinking fizzy and fermented drinks, like soda and beer, particularly through a straw, can lead to air in the stomach. This can cause constant burping. These drinks are also high in sugar and carbon gas, which can increase air in the stomach. They are generally not recommended, as regular consumption of sugary drinks can increase your risk for diabetes.
What to do: Consuming soda should be avoided altogether to reduce frequent burping and reduce the risk of developing other diseases.
6. Lactose intolerance
Lactose intolerance is when the body is incapable of digestive the sugar present in milk and dairy products. Generally, symptoms of this condition emerge right after eating these products. Common symptoms include abdominal cramping, excessive burping, bloating and intestinal gas.
To confirm a diagnosis, the doctor may order blood or stool testing as well as an ultrasound. More severe cases may require an intestinal biopsy.
In addition to lactose, some people may also have issues digesting casein, which is a protein present in milk and dairy products.
What to do: Once a diagnosis is confirmed, the doctor may prescribe medication with the lactase enzyme to aid milk digestion. Patients are also advised to see a registered dietitian to establish a diet and provide recommendations for dairy-free food options.
Aerophagia is the act of swallowing air, which occurs when chewing food, speaking or mouth-breathing. Excessive burping can occur when air is frequently swallowed. More air can be swallowed from chewing gum, using ill-fitting dentures or from a prolonged stuffy nose.
In addition, people who eat too quickly or have a breathing condition (like a deviated septum) can also swallow more air than normal.
What to do: It is important to determine the cause of aerophagia, as this will guide any treatment or adjustments needed. A speech therapist, for example, can help to improve breathing and chewing movements for severe cases.
How to treat constant burping
Most people who burp excessively may not have any health conditions. In these cases, certain lifestyle changes can help to resolve burping, like avoiding chewing gum, speaking with your mouth full and drinking soda. Some hone remedies may help to reduce burping, like boldo tea. Check out these other home remedies for gas that you can try to reduce burping and intestinal gas.
When excessive burping occurs with other symptoms, however, like stomach pain, heartburn, nausea and vomiting, you should see a doctor for assessment and treatment as necessary. If you additionally experience blood in the stool, unexplained weight loss and fever with burping, you should see a doctor promptly, as these can be signs of a more serious health condition.