Digestion

Top 10 Causes of Belching

Belching

synonymous with burping, ructus or eructation is the process of expelling gas from the digestive tract through the mouth. This involuntary reflux is generally accompanied with a sound and sometimes, odor. It is considered to be socially impolite even though it is one of the defenses of the body.

The top 10 causes of belching are as follows:

  1. Intake of excess air

    – Swallowing air is one of the primary causes. A lot of air is swallowed when we eat or drink too fast. Drinking sodas and carbonated beverages is often followed with burps. Drinking through a straw can cause it. Breathing through the mouth in case of nasal congestion is also a reason.

  2. Psychological factor

    – Emotional stress and nervousness can bring in its onset.

  3. Gastroparesis

    – Also known as the weak stomach, it is a condition which reduces the ability of the stomach to completely empty its contents without any functional abnormalities like intestinal blockages. The food stays in the stomach and pressurizes the stomach muscles which are unable to pass the food on to the next step of digestion. Undigested fermented food stays in the stomach causing gas, nausea and burping.

  4. Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease (GERD

    ) – It is a condition in which the gastric juices and stomach acids flow backwards up into the esophagus and produce the sensation of heart burn. This is called acid reflux and can cause expulsion of accompanying intestinal gas. It could be a byproduct of indigestion also.

  5. Gastritis

    – It is an infection in the stomach lining. The stomach walls get inflammed and irritated. Gastritis could be medication (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen) induced. It could be due to bacterial infection, alcohol or substance abuse or auto immune disorders. Burping is often an associated condition in gastritis.

  6. Pyloric Obstruction

    – Also known as gastric outlet obstruction, this happens when there is a blockage between the outlet of the stomach and the small intestine. The food gets accumulated in the stomach without being able to be passed on to the small intestine. The stomach dilates to accommodate the food. This condition is accompanied with vomiting and excessive belching.

  7. Hiatal Hernia

    – It is a condition in which the stomach protrudes or sticks out into the chest through an opening in the diaphragm. It is accompanied with extreme acid reflux, heart burn and swallowing difficulty. The bile and other gastric juices finds its way into esophagus from the stomach causing all the symptoms. Excessive burping is very common in this condition.

  8. Pancreatitis

    – This is characterised by the inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreas is an exocrine gland secreting enzymes which help to break the food down and aids in digestion. The pancreas in this condition would not be able to secrete these enzymes in sufficient amounts. The metabolism of the body is severely hampered. Excessive burping along with other digestive symptoms is a common occurence in this state.

  9. Pregnancy

    – High levels of the hormone progesterone in pregnancy causes the body tissues to be softened including that of the digestive tract. This is because the body has to absorb more nutrients from food. As the enzymes and gastric juices take more time to break the food down, the undigested food remains in the stomach for a longer time and produces gas from fermentation. This explains the increased flatulence and burping in pregnancy.

  10. Heart Attack

    – The onset of chest pain in heart attacks has been widely reported to be accompanied with excessive

    belching

    . However, heart attacks are often associated with non specific symptoms like nausea, dizziness, burping, chills and non severe chest pain. Sometimes these symptoms would also be found to be associated with problems of the digestive tract. Though non indicative, patients having symptoms of only mild chest pain and burping have been found to have undergone an attack.

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