July 11, 2020
Burping and Belching: How the Hell Do You Make it Stop!?
BURP!Source: The Burgundy Zine
Listen, we all get gas trapped in our stomachs or upper gastrointestinal tract from time to time. Burping is simply a part of the human experience.
But if your conversations are regularly interrupted by little squeaks or ogrish growls that rattle around your rib cage before flinging themselves of your mouth, it may be time to change up your lifestyle habits.
Excess burping could also be a sign of an underlying condition, like a gastrointestinal disorder.
Why Do We Burp
“Why Do We Burp and Fart (So Much)!?” by SciShowSource: Why Do We Burp and Fart (So Much!?) | SciShow
There are many reasons behind this somewhat comedic (and sometimes disruptive) common phenomenon.
Often times, there’s an obvious cause behind a case of the burps:
- Chugging carbonated beverages
- Chewing gum
- Eating or drinking too quickly
These actions cause you to swallow more air than usual — and what goes in must come out. Thus, a burp or a toot is produced!
There are other culprits behind burping, as well. For example, stress and anxiety can cause gastrointestinal distress that may manifest as excess gas.
Certain foods may also cause excess gas to build up in the small intestines. Particularly, beans, legumes, raisins, and cruciferous vegetables.
Medical Causes For Excess Burping and Belching
Sometimes the answer isn’t as simple as “I drank too much soda and now I’m burping.” If your burping is accompanied by other symptoms of gastrointestinal distress, you may have a functional GI disorder.
Other common symptoms of GI disorders include:
- Abdominal cramping
- Acid or bile reflux — a.k.a. heartburn
- Difficulty swallowing
- Excess or foul-smelling flatulence
- Feeling “full” after eating a small amount of food
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight gain or loss
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders estimates between 60 to 70 million Americans are affected by GI disorders.
GI disorders aren’t always the culprit for tummy troubles, either. Autoimmune diseases, hernias, viral infections, and food allergies or intolerances may cause the aforementioned symptoms, as well.
How the Hell Do I Stop Burping and Belching!?
Talk to Your Doctor
If burping and belching have wreaked havoc on your life, talk to your doctor. It’s important to rule out any potential medical conditions, as they could lead to more serious symptoms down the road.
Take Your Time While Eating
Chewing a tad slower doesn’t just help you savor the flavor; it can also reduce the amount of air you swallow while eating. Talk about a win-win!
Wait Before Laying Down
Laying down after eating can cause stomach acid to rise into your esophagus, thereby increasing your risk for reflux or heartburn, according to a 2005 American Journal of Gastroenterology study.
Participants who went to bed less than three hours after dinner were significantly more likely to experience gastroesophageal reflux during the study.
The University of Michigan recommends waiting at least two to three hours before laying down, adding, “Late night snacks aren’t a good idea.”
However, everyone is different. Some individuals may experience relief from laying down during an intense bout of gas.
Laying in certain positions — particularly, laying on your side with your knees drawn toward your chest — may provide relief by helping you release excess gas.
Pay Attention to What You Put in Your Mouth
As mentioned above, certain foods cause gas to build up as your body digests them. Food allergies and intolerances may also cause gas.
You don’t have to eradicate cruciferous vegetables or beans from your life. By all means, enjoy your beans. Just eat less of them and incorporate other alternatives, instead.
The same could be said for food intolerances, depending on the severity of your symptoms. However, if the intolerance is causing diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting, it’s best to avoid it altogether.
If you’re unsure of what foods are giving you the burps, try keeping a food diary. Write down what you eat and a sentence or two about how you feel after eating it.
This will help you identify the culprit and other foods with similar enzymes or ingredients that may cause your symptoms to flare up, as well.
Additionally, you may find it helpful to cut back on carbonated beverages, chewing gum, or smokes.
If you simply can’t get through your day without knocking back a few cans of soda, try to balance it out by drinking more water. You could also replace soda with another lightly-caffeinated beverage, like green tea.
Go For a Walk
No one is expecting you to run a mile while you’re bloated to the gills and burping after every other breath. But a light stroll around the neighborhood can help alleviate your symptoms.
Physical activity is a natural digestive aid. Exercise aids gastrointestinal motility, which is the movement of food throughout your GI tract, according to a 2018 World Journal of Clinical Cases study.
Regular exercise may also improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, according to a 2018 University of Gothenburg study.
What If My Burps Are Inducing My Social Distress?
Regardless of whether your burping is related to a medical condition or not, you don’t have to explain yourself to anybody. While it’s considered “rude” in some cultures to burp in front of others, it’s a normal bodily function.
If your friends can’t exercise a little empathy or burp along with you, cut them out of your life. You don’t need anyone putting you down for experiencing GI distress.
The same goes for significant others. If they can’t love every part of you — including your burps — they don’t deserve any part of you.
After all, what good is a soulmate if you can’t belch “I love you” to each other or let one rip in front of one another?
Shrek and Princess Fiona burpingSource: Shrek and Princess Fiona burping in the forest | Rocky Savannah
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