Dealing With Constant Burping
Constant burping, while in itself usually not harmless, can be irritating, and at times, socially embarrassing. Some adults who suffer from bouts of constant burping will tell you they just "swallow too much air". In many, if not most cases, this may be true. Swallowing air is a common cause of burping and one that is often treatable.
Swallowing Air - If we eat or drink too fast, we may have a tendency to swallow air along with the food or liquid. As food is digested, gas is produced. If there is already a significant amount of air in the stomach, the walls of the stomach will be under greater than normal pressure, and the result can be a burp, or several burps. Those who chew gum have a tendency to swallow air, as do those who eat while wearing ill-fitting dentures. People who have a tendency to breathe through the mouth instead of through the nose will generally swallow more air, and have a greater tendency towards constant burping. This is one instance in which one can often treat the condition through a change in breathing habits. Breathing through the nose is much healthier, that being one of the things the nose is there for, and should be encouraged. A personal fitness trainer or yoga instructor will tell you to always breathe in through your nose. Breathing out through the mouth is OK.
What You Eat Or Drink - Constant burping may simply be a result of one's dietary choices or habits. Carbonated drinks are high on the list of those things that can cause one to burp, if not necessarily constantly. Certain gas-producing foods, such as beans or cabbage, will do the same, though burping is more apt to occur during or just after a meal, and is not usually a constant or chronic condition.
Diseases Or Disorders - Hiatal Hernia - With the exception of simply swallowing air, say by constantly breathing through the mouth, constant burping often indicates the existence of another problem. Constant burping is often a symptom of a disorder that probably should be looked into. A leading candidate is heartburn, and a sometimes underlying cause of heartburn, a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia is said to occur when a portion of the stomach protrudes upwards into the chest cavity. This protrusion causes that portion of the stomach to become compressed, which can lead to a range of problems, one of them heartburn coupled with constant burping. This condition can sometimes be treated through dietary measures, avoiding foods which tend to cause heartburn or burping. This can be a highly individual thing, but spicy foods, carbonated drinks, and coffee are often among the foods to be avoided. Sometimes surgery is needed to correct the problem and eliminate the symptoms.
Bacterial Infections - A particular strain of bacteria, called H. pylori can sometimes cause a stomach infection. The bacteria responsible for the infection can cause chronic burping as a significant amount of carbon dioxide is released by the bacteria as it metabolizes urea, creating ammonia. Just as in the case of swallowing air, the amount of carbon dioxide produced contributes to pressure on the stomach walls which is relieved by burping.
Other Disorders - There are a number of diseases and disorders which can contribute to gastrointestinal problems, and indirectly, to constant burping. Thyroid disorders, anorexia nervosa, diabetes, and pancreatitis, among other disorders, can sometimes halt peristalsis, the action of the muscles which channel food through the digestive system. If the stomach muscles are paralyzed, even temporarily, a condition known as gastroparesis, the emptying of the content of the stomach into the intestine may be delayed, causing among other things a buildup of gases, and consequent burping.
Another disorder, biliary stasis, also known as biliary reflux, is a lack of bile production or secretion into the intestine. Bile may back up into the stomach and even into the esophagus, causing not only burping but usually an unpleasant taste as well. There are a number of things that can affect normal bile production and secretion.
Burping can often be controlled through proper eating habits, dietary choices, and not swallowing air. In the case of constant burping however, there's a good chance that a gastrointestinal disorder of one kind or another is present, something that should probably be looked into.
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