Belching – Causes, Treatment


Burping or, colloquially, belching (Röbsen, Röpsen, Burpsen, Rölbsen, Latin Ructus, English eructation) refers to the bringing up of air from the digestive tract or the respiratory organs. Mainly the esophagus and the stomach are used as sources of belching. The air then escapes through the mouth and is usually accompanied by a noise with the typical sound of belching or belching.

What is burping?

Burping or belching is a completely natural process. When you belch, air escapes from the stomach and makes its way noisily upwards. In today’s society, belching is considered extremely indelicate and is seen as an expression of poor upbringing. But that was not always so. In the Middle Ages, belching was a sign that you were full and that the food was tasty.

Burping is now considered socially acceptable only in babies. After drinking, the baby is encouraged to ‘burp’. This is nothing more than belching, the escape of air swallowed while drinking.


Usually, the burping is provoked by fast drinking or eating. Air is swallowed either intentionally or unintentionally. However, belching can also be triggered by aerated beverages. Especially with mineral water, sparkling wine or beer. The rising gas is carbon dioxide. Rarely, gastroesophageal reflux can also be the cause of belching.

Other causes of gas development in the stomach and subsequent belching can be eating too much and too hastily or flatulent foods such as legumes, which produce gas in the stomach. Fizzy drinks and stress are also triggers for frequent burping.

The escape of air from the stomach, belching, is a natural process that has health benefits and should not be suppressed. It is better to let the air out in a suitable place than to suppress the belching.

If the stomach is filled with too much air and bloated, it pushes the diaphragm up. As a result, it presses against the heart and palpitations can occur. Since the chest cavity is severely constricted by the bloated stomach, this can also lead to obstruction of breathing with shortness of breath and even dizzy spells .

diseases with this symptom

burping in babies

A lot of gas accumulates during feeding, especially in babies. This gas is very unpleasant for the toddler and gets rid of it with the so-called “burp”. A favorable position for the child is beneficial here, for example over the shoulder of the parent or when it is massaged in the lower back area to stimulate it.

It is not uncommon for babies to vomit small amounts of food when they burp, so a towel would be useful for cleaning.


Belching, especially acid reflux, can lead to a number of complications. Possible side effects include nausea , chest pain and severe scratching in the throat area , but sleeping and eating disorders may also be aggravated by frequent belching. Constant belching can also lead to accidental swallowing of gastric juice. This also irritates the airways and makes them sensitive to symptoms such as nausea and vomiting . Although there is no high health risk here, the burden on those affected is usually very high.

If heartburn occurs over a longer period of time, it can lead to inflammation of the esophagus and pharynx and also to esophageal cancer and comparable diseases. The gastric acid changes the mucous membrane of the esophagus and thus also the structure of the cells, which can lead to either malignant changes such as cancer or inflammation. One of the most common complications of acid regurgitation is diaphragmatic hernia .

Achalasia is not triggered directly by burping, but it can be massively favored by it People with previous illnesses are particularly at risk and should not delay treatment due to possible secondary diseases. The first signs of complications from belching are bleeding , pain in the throat area and inflammation of the mucous membrane, as well as ulcers, constrictions and severe dysphagia in the lungs and throat area.

When should you go to the doctor?

Belching air or gas is generally not a problem as long as it is not excessive. A doctor should be consulted if the symptoms appear suddenly or increase sharply, if there are accompanying symptoms such as indigestion or pain in the trachea , or if there are accompanying breathing difficulties .

Also when the belched air smells foul or is belched with undigested food. Stool odor when belching indicates an intestinal obstruction and must be clarified by a doctor as soon as possible. Foul smells are also a warning sign: a malignant tumor is often the cause, which requires rapid treatment. If the symptoms are accompanied by stomach pain and a reduced appetite , a specialist should also be consulted, as there is a risk of gastritis or a similar disease.

If heartburn is suspected, the symptoms can often be treated with over-the-counter medicines, but a professional diagnosis should be carried out to be on the safe side. If the medication does not bring about the desired success or if the symptoms even increase, you need to go to the gastroenterologist . Especially when there are accompanying difficulties in swallowing , repeated vomiting and swelling in the abdomen. Severe and unintentional weight loss, black-colored stools and bloody vomiting are also warning signs that those affected should refrain from self-treatment and instead consult a doctor.

Treatment & Therapy

By taking a few precautions, you can reduce the build up of gas in your stomach and the associated belching and belching. For example, fast and hasty swallowing leads to swallowing excessive amounts of air, while slow and deliberate eating and thorough chewing are optimal. If you talk a lot while eating, too much air gets into the stomach, which is later pushed out again by belching. Changing your diet and avoiding foods that cause gas and fizzy drinks can also help.

However, frequent belching can also be an indication of a serious illness or dysfunction of the stomach, such as inflammation of the gastric mucosa or an infestation of the stomach with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. Sometimes food intolerances are also to blame for excessive gas production in the stomach and subsequent belching. For example, many people are sensitive to milk and fructose, gluten or certain proteins.

Another possibility for frequent burping is a leaky upper stomach obstruction, which can be caused by certain medical conditions or medications. Frequent belching in connection with heartburn can also be an indication of reflux disease, in which stomach acid and food particles rise up into the esophagus. Frequent belching should be clarified by a doctor if possible. The treatment depends on the respective diagnosis ( gastritis , diseases and bulges in the esophagus, malfunction of the upper gastric seal).

↳ More information: Home remedies for burping

Outlook & Forecast

In the event of burping, it is not absolutely necessary to consult a doctor. It often occurs after eating or after drinking fizzy drinks and does not necessarily require treatment.

In many cases, belching is accompanied by a burning sensation. This is the well-known heartburn. This disease can develop if the burping is not treated. The esophagus is permanently damaged by the belching stomach acid. This damage is irreversible. The burping can also occur as a result of certain medications causing the muscle on the stomach not to close tightly. A change of medication is recommended here.

If left untreated, gastric mucosal inflammation can also occur, which is a common cause of severe belching. If the belching is very strong and undigested chyme gets into the mouth, a doctor must be consulted. A doctor must also be consulted urgently if there is a bad odor from burping. Treatment is with medication, in a few cases surgery is required. A gastroscopy is performed before the treatment .

In most cases, the cause of the burping can be cured, resulting in a positive course of the disease.


A cup of stomach-soothing chamomile tea or healing earth, which is intended for internal use, helps with occasional belching. Cumin, aniseed, and fennel tea have the same beneficial effects. Exercise and frequent drinking also promote digestion and reduce gas formation in the stomach and intestines. Small meals distributed throughout the day make it easier for the stomach to digest, prevent an unpleasant feeling of fullness and annoying belching.

Easily digestible foods are preferable to greasy and difficult to digest foods. If you have an irritable stomach , you should avoid caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods, as they would unnecessarily irritate the gastric mucosa and impede digestion. If the stomach reacts to stress with indigestion and belching, relaxation exercises such as yoga are helpful.

You can do that yourself

Burping is usually harmless and can often be alleviated by changing your eating habits. It is advisable to eat slowly and deliberately and to chew each bite thoroughly. The digestive tract is additionally relieved by several, but more regular meals, which are taken in a calm, stress-free atmosphere. Food that is difficult to digest, such as raw food, should be reduced until the symptoms subside.

After eating, a long digestive walk also helps to avoid unpleasant belching. In the case of acid regurgitation, a digestive sleep with an elevated upper body often brings the desired relief. Basically, irritants such as excessively greasy or sweet food, alcohol or nicotine , but also carbonated drinks should be avoided. Instead, deflating teas made with fennel , chamomile, or cumin will help reduce burping.

To avoid belching at night, the last meal should be no more than three to four hours before bedtime. Avoiding stress can also reduce burping in many cases. If the belching persists or if acidic belching or even vomiting occurs, the family doctor should be consulted for treatment.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.