Occasional belching or burping is normal and nothing to worry about. But persistent belching and burping could indicate underlying digestive system disorders.
“In most instances, burping is due to excess air intake. By making simple lifestyle changes, you can help control stomach wind and alleviate the discomfort of belching,” say doctors from the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Sing apore General Hospital(SGH), a member of the SingHealth group.
There are two main causes of belching and burping:
Eating or drinking too quickly can cause you to swallow too much air. Belching or burping is the body’s way of releasing that excess air. Sucking on sweets, drinking through straws, chewing gum and wearing loose dentures may all trigger swallowing of excess air.
Belching is common in people with heartburn or acid reflux. When stomach acids rise up the oesophagus, it’s natural to swallow more to lessen the discomfort. Belching helps to release the excess air associated with constant swallowing.
Persistent belching could be a sign of digestive conditions that require medical treatment. Some examples are delayed gastric emptying (gastroparesis) and peptic ulcer disease (painful sores in the stomach lining). Gallstones and gallbladder problems can, in some cases, cause symptoms such as belching. Even more rarely, cancer of the stomach or the oesophagus can explain the severe burping.
If the burping is persistent and accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, pain, bloody stools, weight loss or fever, you should consult a doctor.