Last reviewed by Dr. Raj MD on January 12th, 2022.
What causes excessive belching?
Before you can get into what causes excessive belching it will help to know what it is. Belching is what takes place when your stomach air moves up your esophagus, which is the portion of our digestive system that leads from your stomach to your mouth, and is released through your mouth. Sometimes when you belch you may make a noise and other times you do not. Belching is a natural body function and is necessary for your body to get rid of air that has accumulated in your stomach. The medical term for belching is eructation. It is also called burping. Most of the time belching is not a cause for concern but when a person has excessive belching it could be related to a gastric condition.
The most common cause of excessive belching is the swallowing of air which everyone does when they drink fluids through a straw and eat too quickly. Swallowing air can also happen when you smoke or chew gum. Excessive belching can also be caused by:
- Indigestion and heartburn. These can be caused by a stomach ulcer, gastritis, hiatal hernia, eating foods that do not agree with your digestive system, etc.
- Eating too much onions and chocolates
- Certain types of vegetables and fruits that contain a kind of starch your digestive system does not digest well. Unfortunately your body needs this starch to control the bacterial population in your stomach. Some of the foods that contain this starch are beans, apricots, cabbage, etc.
- Some may have excessive belching because of the consumption of whole grains and their products.
Some of the gastric and other medical conditions that can cause excessive belching include:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) which is what happens when your esophagus becomes inflamed or irritated because of acid backing up from your stomach. It is also known as acid reflux
- Gastroparesis which happens when foods stay in your stomach for a longer time than usual because of the weakening of your stomach muscles and the inability to push the food to the next step in digestion in the normal amount of time.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – this is when your stomach has too much gas built up in your stomach caused by diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.
- Gallbladder disease – if your gallbladder is the reasons for excessive belching it will usually be accompanied by nausea, chills, heartburn, vomiting, fever, and pain in the chest.
Treatment for Excessive Belching
If the cause of excessive belching is gastroesophageal reflux disease or Gastroparesis you can take over-the-counter anti-gas medication which can include simethicone. For other causes you should also make some simple lifestyle changes like avoiding chewing gum, drinking soda, stop smoking, and eating slower. You can also use over-the-counter medications for heartburn and indigestion. You may also need to see your physician for prescription medication to treat any of these reasons and medical conditions that are causing excessive belching.
There are also many different home remedies that you can try to help with excessive belching. Some of these home remedies include:
- Eat with your mouth closed and more slowly to prevent swallowing air while eating
- For a while stop drinking carbonated drinks
- Avoid drinking fluids using a straw
- Quit smoking
- Eat a cup of yogurt each day.
- Drink a cup of ginger tea each day and try to make ginger a part of your daily diet
- Eat vegetables and fruits in limited amounts
- If you are suffering from chronic excessive belching avoid alcohol
- Watch your intake of sugar and milk as either of these will initiate belching
- Do not eat whole grains and their products if you are experiencing excessive belching
- Soak a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds for six to eight hours in a glass of water. Filter out the water and drink it on an empty stomach. Throw the seeds away. You should drink this every day.
- Mix two to three drops of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of lemon juice in a glass of water. Drink it before you eat to help limit the formation of acids and to smooth the digestive process.