Burping – causes, symptoms and other risk factors


When you are releasing gas from the digestive tract trough the mouth, then this condition is known as burping. This condition is also known as erupt, belching, eructation and ructus. When you have a burping, then you have a typically sound which is coming from your mouth and also in some cases there is an odor. When your stomach expands due to too much swallowed air, then burping is releasing the air because in this way it is reducing the distention.

Burping – Causes and Symptoms

What causes burping? Burping is occurring when your stomach is filled with swallowed air. There are studies in which is shown that there can be many reasons why in the stomach are abnormal air which can be swallowed. [1,2] The main reasons for burping are

  • Anxiety
  • Drinking too quickly
  • Eating too quickly
  • Drinking carbonated drinks

If you have babies or kids, then they can swallow large amounts of the air and they cannot notice it. This is a reason because parents are burping their babies after they have feed them. They should expel the excess air which they swallowed in their feeding [3]. But not just that you can belch when your stomach is full of air, but also you can belch when your stomach is not full of air. This is possible because there are many people who are using belch to reduce their abdominal discomfort and also their belching has become a habit.

Aerophagia: When you have involuntary or voluntary swallowing of air, then this condition is known as aerophagia. [4,5] As we have said previous, swallowing excessive amount of air can be caused by drinking or eating too quickly. Also this situation can occur in other situations when you are

  • Chewing a gum
  • Having an anxiety attack
  • Smoking
  • Breathing through your nose
  • Talking and eating at the same time
  • Sucking on hard candies
  • Drinking through a straw
  • Wearing poorly fitted dentures
  • Hyperventilating

Foods: There some kinds of foods and drinks which can be a reason for the burping such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, beans, onions, cabbage, foods high in sugar, fiber or starch which are causing a gas, bananas, lentils, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, whole-wheat bread and raisins. [6]

Medications: There are many medications which can be a reason for the frequent burping. Here we include medicines which are used for pain such as aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen and laxatives such as sorbitol and lactulose.

Conditions: Also there are some medical conditions which can cause burping. These conditions can be some of the next:

  • When you have disorder which is causing an inflammation of the stomach lining, then you are having gastritis
  • There are also bacteria which can be a reason for GERD, burping, stomach infections, peptic ulcers and gastritis. The most common bacteria for these conditions is H. pylori or Helicobacter pylori
  • When you have sores on your upper part of the small intestine, stomach or esophagus, then you are having peptic ulcers
  • When you have inability to properly digest the sorbitol and carbohydrates fructose, then you have sorbitol or fructose mal-absorption
  • When you have disorder in your stomach where all your muscles are weakened, then you have gastroparesis.
  • When you have disorder which is causing the acids from the flow upward in your food pipe or in the esophagus, then you have gastro-esophageal reflux disease

Also there are other causes which can be reason for the burping such as

  • Pancreatic insufficiency: this is a situation when your pancreas is not able to release enzymes which are needed for the digestion [5]
  • Celiac disease: this is situation when there is intolerance to the gluten. Gluten is ingredient which is found in foods which are rich with flour such as crackers and breads [7]
  • Dumping syndrome: this is disorder when is causing your stomach to empty before the food was properly digested. This situation is happening when you have surgery for removing part of your stomach or when you had gastric bypass surgeries [8]

When to see a doctor? When you have burping as a single syndrome, then you should not be worried about this situation. But if you are feeling that your abdominal pain is less or that your stomach has been relieved of distension, then you should not be worried about it. If burping is not relieving the distention or your stomach has been distended for a long period, then you must visit your doctor.


[1] Zad M, Bredenoord AJ. Chronic burping and belching. Current Treatment Options in Gastroenterology volume. 2020;18:33-42.

[2] Conchillo JM, Selimah M, Bredenoord AJ, et al. Air swallowing, belching, acid and non‐acid reflux in patients with functional dyspepsia. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2007;25(8):965-71.

[3] Kaur R, Bharti B, Saini SK. A randomized controlled trial of burping for the prevention of colic and regurgitation in healthy infants. Child: Care, Health and Development. 2015;41(1):52-6.

[4] Bredenoord AJ, Weusten BLAM, Sifrim D, et al.  Aerophagia, gastric, and supragastric belching: a study using intraluminal electrical impedance monitoring. Gut. 2004;53(11):1561–5.

[5] Bredenoord AJ. Management of belching, hiccups, and aerophagia. Perspectives in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2013;11(1):6-12.

[6] Sethi S. What to know about excessive burping. Medical News Today. 2019. Retrieved from medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325121

[7] Masoodi M, Mokhtare M, Agah S, et al. Frequency of celiac disease in patients with increased intestinal gas (flatulence). Global Journal of Health Science. 2016;8(6):147–53.

[8] Hong S, Park B, Noh H, Choi DJ. Herbal medicine for dumping syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Integrative Cancer Therapies. 2019;18.


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