Belching and Gas

Abdomen | Gastroenterology | Belching and Gas (Symptom)


Belching, also known by the terms of burping, ructus, or eructation, represents the release of gas from the digestive tract, mainly esophagus and stomach, through the mouth. It is usually accompanied by a typical sound and, at times, an odor.


Swallowing air is usually an unconscious habit, which may result from eating or drinking too much too quickly. Burps can also be caused by drinking carbonated drinks such as beer, soft drinks or energy drinks. Sometimes, belching alleviates discomfort caused by indigestion.

Upper abdominal discomfort associated with excessive swallowed air may extend into the lower chest, producing symptoms that suggest heart or lung disease. Belching combined with other symptoms such as dyspepsia, nausea and heartburn may be a sign of an ulcer or hiatal hernia. Other causes of belching could also be: food allergy, gallbladder problems, acid reflux disease, hiatal hernia, H. pylori, gastritis.

Babies are particularly subject to accumulation of gas in the stomach while feeding, and this can cause considerable agitation and/or discomfort unless the child is burped.

Diagnosis and Treatment

To reduce bloating, it may help to avoid or reduce the amount of gas-producing foods you eat. Many carbohydrates cause gas, and the following items are common culprits: baked beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carbonated drinks, cauliflower, and chewing gum, fruits such as apples, peaches and pears, hard candy, lettuce.

Belching can also be reduces by eating and drinking slowly, avoiding carbonated drinks and beer, skipping the gum and hard candies, eliminating smoking, checking dentures, treating heartburn.