Burping (or belching) is one of the most frequent symptoms of acid reflux.
This is an annoying symptom, and we’re going to discover that it also may have some serious consequences.
Or, better, it may be a sign of a worsening of the situation.
We want to focus your attention on acid reflux burping because of its importance in people who also present heartburn and other symptoms of reflux.
The key to everything is “gas”.
In fact, despite what we may think about it, everyone has gas.
And this gas is produced, then eliminated, by the digestive tract in various forms, such as belching (via the mouth) or flatulence (via the rectum).
According to evidence, we can say that the “average” person emits gas from 13 up to 21 times per day.
This number is important because it’s what makes the difference when compared to the condition of “excessive burping”, that is a more serious situation.
In general, burping once in a while, especially during and after meals, is normal.
This gas is mostly composed of the following:
- Carbon dioxide
When things are normal, gas is introduced by swallowing air
But the presence of this gas inside the digestive tract is also due to the breakdown of foods by bacteria in the colon.
In the presence of acid reflux, there are additional factors that play a role in this symptom.
That’s why we want to start our in-depth analysis of the different sensations that can accompany burps in people who suffer from reflux (and heartburn).
Acid Reflux Burping: A Common Symptom
First of all, not all people are the same.
This means that foods that cause gas in one person may not do so in another.
This is due to a variety of factors, such as the pattern of intestinal bacteria.
Another important cause for this difference among people is due to the fact that some people cannot digest certain foods and substances.
One of the most famous examples is lactose: this happens because of the absence of certain enzymes that help digestion.
When dealing with reflux, there are some foods to eat, because of their beneficial actions.
However, a few of them also can cause gas, and this happens for (among others):
- Whole Grains (some)
Just remember them in case you experience some excessive gas, especially in the intestine, and you are following natural treatment for acid reflux.
Now, the question is whether reflux can be a factor for burping.
Does acid reflux cause gas?
To be 100% honest, there’s not a certain answer to this question.
In other words, this may be possible, or not, depending on the specific case.
As a direct consequence, making some lifestyle changes could also help you relieving this symptom.
Fizzy beverages or large meals, when eliminated by the diet, have a great potential in reducing burping as well.
And this also is valid for many other eating habits.
This is not enough, for sure, however, by doing so you can start making things a bit better.
Similarly, the opposite can be true.
When belching during or after meals, with a full stomach, is a normal process.
Things are different when you have frequent burps and swallow a lot of air.
This air is released before it enters the stomach, through belching.
Acid Burps: What They Are
Belching tends to bring up the contents of the stomach, and this may lead to “acid burps”.
This happens when the acidity is felt clearly on top of the digestive tract.
In the image below (from Josh Gitalis) we can find a representation of this mechanism.
In a similar way to what happens for the disgusting taste in the throat, acid burps are a sign that the acidic content of the stomach is reaching the upper digestive tract.
There’s a thing to point out: the presence of this acidic content may harm the throat, as well as the esophagus.
Things are even worse and more difficult to bear when there is the sensation of a belch that stops in the throat or along the esophagus
Burp stuck in throat
This happens when your burp seems to stay in the throat for a longer than normal time.
A very annoying situation, especially if that burp comes along with the acid content of the stomach.
In these cases, you have a sensation of burning, with difficulty to swallow and this may last for a quite long time.
Not to mention the typical risks related to the presence of acid content in the upper respiratory tract.
The aspiration of this content can lead to other symptoms (starting from a cough) and the overall situation tends to worsen progressively.
Coughing and burping
Cough and burping are two very common symptoms of reflux.
There is not so much to say about their simultaneous presence in people who suffer from heartburn and reflux.
An interesting fact is related to the “reflex theory” which according to some studies is one of the two mechanisms for the cough to occur in association with reflux.
If a reflex is to blame for the onset of cough, there’s another “reflex” that may help to swallow air in the people who suffer from reflux.
It seems that a person with reflux may force air down their esophagus, and this may also happen unconsciously.
The reason is the idea (or deep conviction) that ingested air can be a way of relieving their symptoms.
Burp stuck in esophagus
This happens when your burp seems to stay along the esophagus without going up or down, with a feeling of “blockage”.
In some cases, pain can be present, even though this is not really “pain”, in fact, everything is due to the compressive action of gas on the esophageal mucosa.
This specific situation may be a significant cause of concern, because of that feeling of difficult passage for the gas.
When the burp helps acidic content of the stomach get back in the esophagus, this may cause irritation to the esophagus linen.
In other words, burps can (in this case) promote reflux.
We considered that a “pain like” sensation may be present.
However, stomach pain is typical in other cases.
Excessive burping and stomach pain
This condition needs more attention, because it may be a sign of worsening things for hiatal hernia (see image below from Everyday Health).
This is particularly important for the people who suffer from reflux and they do have hiatal hernia, as the cause for their reflux disease.
Experiencing pain in the stomach and chest area may be a sign of “strangulation” for hiatal hernia.
This happens when the hernia cuts off blood supply to the rest of the abdomen.
This is an urgency that deserves surgery. Not so common, but important to remember especailly for people whose reflux is the consequence of a hiatal hernia.
In other cases, strong/excessive burps can lead to chest pain, also because of the acidic content of the stomach that determines aggression to the esophagus linen.
But there’s more to consider.
Persistent hiccups deserve a special mention because they can be present together with burps.
When this happens, and hiccups are very frequent (so that they impair the quality of life) a more in-depth evaluation is required.
In fact, this can be the first presentation of a serious disorder that requires a special intervention.
Excessive burping after eating
Belching after eating is a common thing.
It’s important to distinguish two types of burps:
- Supragastric belch
- Gastric belch
Supragastric belch happens when pharyngeal air is sucked or injected into the esophagus, after which it is immediately expulsed before it has reached the stomach.
This is a behavioral peculiarity.
Gastric belch is the result of a vagally mediated reflex leading to relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter and venting of gastric air.
This distinction is important because it has been noted that people who belch excessively invariably exhibit an increased incidence of supragastric, not of gastric belches.
With more details, supragastric belches contribute to up to 1/3 of the total esophageal acid exposure.
This means that behavior (and lifestyle, stress, eating habits and so on) is the factor to work on when it comes to relieving burping.
With more details, the correct diaphragmatic breathing technique is the most valuable solution.
In addition, the occurrence of supragastric belches can lead to reflux episodes, meaning that the relationship between burping and reflux is dual (in both directions, one may become the cause for the other).
Excessive burping is not so easy to relieve when associated with acid reflux and GERD.
However, working well on behavioral therapy can reduce the number of supragastric belches and also improve social and daily activities
Anyway, the best thing to do is targeting the root cause of reflux, to improve all symptoms, including belching.
Does Burping Help With Heartburn?
This is a widely debated topic.
Better, burping (especially when frequent) can make things worse.
Swallowing air increases stretching of the stomach, and this stretch lead to a relaxing of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
When the pressure of LES is lower, acid reflux is much more likely to occur.
The presence of gas is more like a “pulling” force that puts pressure on the stomach and creates the conditions for the content to flow back (in the esophagus).
Continuous burping for hours: what this does mean?
To correctly answer this question, it is necessary to establish the timing with precision.
We can assume what follows (directly quoted from Dr. Rabia De Latour, MD, NYU School of Medicine).
Air swallowing is the likely most common reason for that, however, people who suffer from reflux should implement better eating/lifestyle habits as soon as they can.
This because, if not treated, reflux symptoms (burping, in this case), can lead to further worsening of the situation.
The same is valid when vomiting is present along with burping episodes.
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Burping Up Vomit: A Serious Condition
Vomiting always is a worrisome symptom and deserves the greatest attention and investigation.
When it happens with excessive belching, this generally means that there is something important to be detected and fixed as soon as possible.
In fact, the stomach content that flows back can be involved in vomiting episodes.
At the same time, burps (especially strong burps) can help stomach acid ascend the esophagus quickly.
But there are other cases that deserve to be investigated whenever there are episodes of vomiting with excessive belching.
In fact, this could also be a sign of obstruction either in the stomach or small intestine.
This may happen in the presence of ulcers.
The worst condition is made by the appearance of the following:
- Sudden and frequent burping
- Presence of nausea
- Immediate vomiting
When these three signs and symptoms are present together, you have to talk to a doctor ASAP.
Acid Reflux Burping Cure
In some cases, burping (as it is) doesn’t need a specific cure.
However, people who suffer from reflux need to work on the root cause of the disease.
This means that they have to change lifestyle, dietary habits and, above all else, get rid of stress and anxiety.
We recommend you check the final paragraph “What To Do Next” for specific guidance on the currently best natural strategies you can rely on to this end.
Despite the level of your burping symptom, you have to work on the root cause of your reflux.
There’s no need to add more.
However, there are some situations that require immediate attention.
In such cases, you must talk to your doctor as soon as you can, because these signs are indicating a rapid worsening of the situation.
You must pay attention to the possible occurrence of:
- Gas symptoms that are bothering you with persistence (with significant impairment of your quality of life)
- Sudden changes in your symptoms
- Presence of additional symptoms, like weight loss, as well as diarrhea and also constipation
The presence of the above-listed signs and symptoms has to be taken into the highest consideration.
In any case, the best thing to do is to avoid reaching these situations, and this can be done by using natural solutions and home remedies.
In the following section, you’re going to find useful information to implement.
How to stop burping
We want to group solutions to burping in three categories:
- Lifestyle changes
- Dietary approach
The first category is made of changes to your habits that can lead to a reduction of belching frequency.
Among them, there are:
The second category is made of changes to dietary habits (very important, when you have reflux and heartburn).
Low-sugar fruits are also good for controlling burping.
The final category is made of real “remedies” to take for countering your belching.
As you can see, natural remedies are the best option to work on both the root cause and symptoms.
There’s no need to rely on medications unless the situation is much serious than normally found.
Now it’s time to make a “recap” about acid reflux burping and its importance as a symptom of acid reflux.
There are at least 23 takeaways to consider and to remember.
The list is below.
Once again, we want to point out the most important thing.
Belching is a symptom, and when working well on the root cause of the disease, it will improve significantly, without the need to consider it separately than other symptoms.
What To Do Next
We suggest checking the recommended resources below, because they have been proven very effective to relieve symptoms of reflux, and burping is not an exception.
This is possible because they act on the root cause of the disease.
Working on symptoms alone is not effective in the long run, because of their dependence on the root causes.
That’s why you have to prefer a complete, comprehensive approach.
The Proven Holistic 5-Step System
One of the best strategies. Its strength point is the holistic approach, which means that you're going to care about all aspects that may affect your organism, in 5 steps. Also known as "Heartburn No More".
The Three Everyday Ingredients
This strategy works on underestimated aspects, such as food combinations that are much more important than avoiding certain types of foods. Also known as "The Acid Reflux Strategy".
The Double Protocol For Reflux
It targets two conditions at the same time: acid reflux and infection by H. pylori. Quick warning: this book is not suitable for all reflux sufferers. Also known as "Rapid Reflux Relief".
The Reflux Remedy Kit
This is a book + kit that presents some little known and creative natural remedies for heartburn and acid reflux. A good integration. Also known as "Heartburn & Acid Reflux Remedy Report".
As you can see, there are three different options to start working on your reflux.
Talking about burping, as well as any other annoying symptom, we suggest taking a look at the first strategy or the “holistic approach”.
In case you have already done it or you want other alternatives, you can consider the other two or even the last one.
This option is very little discussed, but it may positively surprise you.
For the moment, thank you for your attention.
And stay tuned for more!