Belching, also known as burping and eructation, is a natural way of expelling the excess of air from the stomach. Belching is particularly good and essential for babies who are tapped on the back each time they finished their meal. This act reduces chance of gas entering into the intestine and the occurrence of cramps.
It is normal to belch particularly if a certain kind of food is consumed. However, excessive and prolonged belching can be a sign of a medical condition and may require further testing and examination.
Causes of Belching
In majority of cases belching is a simple activity which includes elimination of the air ingested with food. If there is too much air in the stomach it can cause stomach distension, discomfort and sometimes pain. A habit of gulping food or drinks is in many cases associated with increased belching.
Furthermore, certain kinds of food especially drinks (beer, carbonated drinks etc) cause excessive belching. In this case there is a plenty of carbon dioxide which simply needs to be expelled from the stomach.
Apart from being a natural response which bodys make in order to get rid of excess air from the stomach, belching may occur as a sign of certain medical conditions. They include peptic ulcer (both gastric and duodenal peptic ulcers) and hiatus hernia. Even other gastrointestinal conditions such as certain infections, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease and lactose intolerance may cause belching.
How to Manage Belching?
The best way to reduce if not eliminate belching is to consume food which does not lead to flatulence and excessive production of air in the stomach. Even elimination of certain drinks which contain carbon dioxide can be very effective in prevention of belching. Furthermore, even though the food we consume may not be associated with the production of too much gas the way we eat may contribute to the occurrence of belching. This is why we must chew all the food properly and not simply gulp it. The meals should be smaller and one should eat more frequently.
Foods such as baked beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, apples, peaches, pears etc are considered gas-producing foods and one should know that after they are consumed it is normal to belch. However, if belching lasts long and cannot be stopped this is a sign of some other condition which requires further investigation.