Belching occurs when the body brings out air from the stomach through the mouth. Also called burping and eructation, belching is caused by the expansion of the stomach due to excessive air intake. The body automatically belches to release tension or pressure caused by distention.
Belching is a normal body process, and may last longer and be more forceful compared to others. For babies, burping regularly happens after drinking milk. Children may also swallow excessive amount of air without even being aware especially during eating and drinking. In addition, some people may belch even if their stomach is not full of air. This commonly happens for people who have made belching a regular habit when trying to releases discomfort or pain in the abdominal area.
Aerophagia is the intentional or unintentional swallowing of air that most commonly happens when eating or drinking. However, there are other instances when Aerophagia occurs such as chewing gum, eating while talking, breathing through the nose, smoking, anxiety attacks, and drinking through a straw.
As stated, one of the most common causes of belching is improper eating habits. In fact, there are foods that can increase chance of belching such a beans, broccoli, onions, peas, cabbage, bananas, bread, and a lot more. Foods that are rich in fiber and have high sugar ad starch content often lead to belching. In addition, carbonated drinks like soda and alcohol can also produce excessive air in the stomach.
Some medicines can also cause belching, including acarbose (a type 2 diabetes medicine), laxatives, and pain tablets like ibuprofen, paracetamol and aspirin. Furthermore, the air that is swallowed while drinking these medicines can also add to the probability of belching.
Certain medical conditions can lead to belching. One of the most common is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is a disorder that causes acids formed in the stomach to travel upward into the food pipe. Another condition is gastritis, which is the inflammation of the stomach linings. Lactose intolerance, or the inability to digest dairy products like milk and cheese, often lead to belching.
Belching is not a serious issue and does not really require medical treatment unless the frequency increases and brings discomfort. Serious belching issues that require immediate medical supervision include extreme pain in the abdominal area and when the air in the stomach cannot pass through the mouth. Below are other symptoms of belching:
- Heartburn – a burning sensation felt in the chest area that often comes with a bitter taste in the mouth
- Indigestion – may occur due to poor eating habits
- Peptic ulcers
- Anxiety – includes unstable mood changes
- Hyperventilation occurs when your normal breathing pattern is interrupted, exhaling more than inhaling
- Gallstone – occurs when hard substances are digested in the bladder, causing improper bladder functions
Natural Home Remedies for Belching
Belching is a natural occurrence of the body to release excessive air. It is considered a normal phenomenon that does not usually require medication. However, it is considered impolite to belch especially when you are surrounded by people during meals. Fortunately, there are natural methods to prevent and minimize the chance of belching that you can conveniently do at home. Below are the most common and effective natural home treatments for belching.
A popular herb regarded for its soothing and relaxing properties, peppermint is also an effective anti-belching ingredient. Peppermint decreases the spasmodic movements of the bowel, which results to a minimized gas release from the stomach trough the mouth. Aside from belching, it can also provide soothing effect on irritated stomach lining or give temporary comfort during indigestion and LBM.
Get 2 to 3 pieces of clean peppermint and start chewing. Make sure to consume all the essences of the leaves for maximum effect. Spit any leftover after chewing for 5 to 10 minutes. When feeling bloated or experiencing regular belching, prepare a peppermint tea by mixing 3 medium leaves with hot water. Leave for 2 to 3 minutes and add 1 tablespoon of honey. Drink once a day during breakfast or before going to bed. You can also drink this tea after a large meal to promote digestion.
Like peppermint, Chamomile is also an effective treatment for belching due to its soothing and relaxing properties. Prepare as a tea by mixing chamomile leaves with hot water and 1 teaspoon of honey. You can also add milk to improve taste. Drink this tea slowly after a meal or before going to bed.
Ginger is loaded with carminative properties which effectively prevent gas formation and relax gastrointestinal muscles to minimize the probability of belching and bloating. Ginger also provides soothing properties whenever gastric pain is experienced.
To prepare ginger tea, get large ginger and cut into thin pieces. Mix with hot water in a cup and let it steep for 15 minutes. To add flavor, put 1 teaspoon of honey and 5 teaspoons of milk. Drink during breakfast or before going to bed. There are also garlic capsules available in drugstores which can be taken orally. Consult your doctor for the proper dosage to prevent any side effects.
4. Probiotic foods
When there is not enough good bacteria in your digestive system, belching and bloating are likely to occur. Probiotic foods such as yogurt provide enough supply of good bacteria and effectively prevent gas from accumulating in the stomach. Probiotic also gives soothing effect on stressed muscles during stomach pain and acid reflux.
To get proper supply of good bacteria in your digestive system, regularly eat foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, buttermilk and sour pickles. Aside from these foods, you can also take probiotic supplements available in drugstores. Like garlic supplements, probiotic capsules and tablets must be taken after consulting a doctor.
Papaya is loaded with vitamins c and e, both prevent burps and hiccups. Aside from these essential vitamins, green and yellow papayas contain a special enzyme that prevents gas formation and improves digestion.
Eat yellow papaya regularly after meals. Another option is to make a papaya shake by blending 1 medium size banana with 1 cup milk, crushed ice and 1 teaspoon of honey until the mixture liquefies. Drink during meals especially breakfast and lunch. There are also papaya juices available in supermarkets which can replace unhealthy drinks like sodas and artificial juices.
6. Proper Eating habits
Aside from consuming foods that prevent gas formation in the stomach, a basic technique to avoid burping is to eat slowly and chew food with your mouth closed to minimize air intake. During gatherings when you can’t avoid talking to other people while having meals, the trick is to chew and swallow your food before opening your mouth. Follow it up with water to make sure that the food goes directly to your stomach.
7. Stop Smoking
Smoking is another common cause of belching. Aside from weakening the lungs, inhaling air from this unhealthy stick also promotes gas formation.
Quitting this habit is easier said than done. Fortunately, there are many groups that offer help to stop nicotine addiction. Support of the family and loved ones is also crucial to avoid relapse.
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