Belching

Alternative names 
Burping; Eructation; Gas - belching

Definition
Belching is the act of bringing up air from the stomach with a typical sound.

Considerations
Depending on the cause, belching may change in duration and intensity.

Symptoms such as nausea, dyspepsia, and heartburn may be relieved by belching.

Common Causes

     
  • Pressure caused by the unconscious swallowing of air  
  • Consumption of gas-producing foods or drinks, such as carbonated beverages  
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Home Care
Relief may be obtained by lying on the side or in a knee-chest position until the gas passes.

Avoid chewing gum, eating quickly, and eating gas-producing foods and beverages.

Call your health care provider if

Call a health care provider if the belching is persistent and unexplained, or if it is accompanied by other symptoms.
Note: This is usually a minor symptom, and often quite insignificant.

What to expect at your health care provider’s office
The medical history will be obtained and a physical examination will be performed.

Medical history questions may include:

     
  • Is this the first time that this has occurred?  
  • Is there a pattern to occurrences?       o Does it occur when the person is nervous?       o Does it occur after certain foods or beverages?  
  • What other symptoms are present?       o Is there vomiting?       o Is there abdominal pain?       o Is there heartburn or a sour taste in the mouth?

Diagnostic tests will be determined by the findings of physical examination and by what additional signs or symptoms, if any, accompany the belching.

After seeing your health care provider:
If a diagnosis was made by your health care provider of the cause of persistent belching, you may want to note that diagnosis in your personal medical record.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 6, 2012
by Dave R. Roger, M.D.

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All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.