Burping, otherwise called belching, is the body’s way of expelling excess air from the stomach through the mouth. Commonly, burping results from swallowing excess air, most of which gets accumulated in the esophagus and does not reach the stomach. Occasional burping is normal, but persistent burping is not only embarrassing but can also be a sign of some underlying digestive disorder.
Most of you might be concerned about the cause of sudden excessive burps and think why others do not seem to burp so much. You might be surprised to read about the potential reasons behind your burps.
1) H. Pylori Infection
H. pylori or Helicobacter pylori is a common bacteria found in the digestive tract. H. pylori tend to attack the stomach lining and result in inflammation and peptic ulcers. Apart from excessive burping, the other common symptoms of this infection are bloating, heartburn, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, and blood in stools. Patients commonly feel full and burp a lot after eating a fatty meal. Treatment involves taking a combination of antibiotics and a drug to reduce stomach acids for a couple of weeks.
2) Meganblase Syndrome
Meganblase syndrome, a rare disorder, causes chronic belching due to severe swallowing of air following heavy meals. The air that gets swallowed results in a big gas bubble in the stomach, causing excessive burping, fullness, and stomach pain. Sometimes, it can result in shortness of breath and symptoms similar to a heart attack.
3) Lactose Intolerance
The small intestine in some individuals does not produce enough enzyme lactase needed to break down the natural sugar in milk called lactose, resulting in lactose intolerance. Undigested lactose interacts with bacteria present in the large intestine, producing hydrogen gas, and causes burping, flatulence, bloating, and diarrhea. Lactose intolerant people should consider staying away from dairy products or consuming lactose-free products. There are also lactase supplements available that help the body digest lactose.
4) Hiatal Hernia
When a part of your stomach gets pushed up through the hiatus, a small hole in the diaphragm, through which the esophagus runs into the chest is called a hiatal hernia. This might make food and acid to regurgitate into the esophagus from the stomach. A hiatal hernia does not commonly cause symptoms, and sometimes, the only indicator might be excessive burping and acid reflux, especially on leaning forward or lying down.
5) Precancerous Changes
Severe and prolonged acid reflux can irritate the lining of the esophagus, resulting in precancerous changes. Excessive burping can also be seen in pancreatic and stomach cancer. These are extreme cases, and most often, belching is caused by less serious and highly treatable conditions.
6) Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, also called IBS, spastic colon, or mucous colitis, is a group of gastrointestinal symptoms, such as belching, abdominal cramps, bloating, gas, and constipation or diarrhea. These symptoms can be controlled by managing diet, lifestyle modification, and relieving stress.