Site Map

Belching

Burping; Eructation; Gas - belching

Belching is the act of bringing up air from the stomach.

Images

Digestive system

Considerations

Belching is a normal process. The purpose of belching is to release air from the stomach. Every time you swallow, you also swallow air, along with fluid or food.

The buildup of air in the upper stomach causes the stomach to stretch. This triggers the muscle at the lower end of the esophagus (the tube that runs from your mouth to the stomach) to relax. Air is allowed to escape up the esophagus and out the mouth.

Depending on the cause of the belching, it may occur more often, last longer, be more forceful.

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

Causes

Abnormal belching may be due to:

Home Care

You can get relief by lying on your side or in a knee-to-chest position until the gas passes.

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

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Most of the time belching is a minor problem. Call a health care provider if the belching does not go away, or if you also have other symptoms.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your provider will examine you and ask about your medical history and symptoms, including:

You may need more tests based on what the provider finds during your exam and your other symptoms.

Related Information

Indigestion
Heartburn

References

McQuaid KR. Approach to the patient with gastrointestinal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 132.

Richter JE, Friedenberg FK. Gastroesophageal reflux disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 44.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 7/4/2019  

Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2021 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.