Acid reflux occurs when acid from your stomach flows back up your esophagus toward your mouth. Frequent episodes of acid reflux may be a sign of a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
GERD is very common. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), it affects around 20 percent of people in the United States.
Symptoms of GERD include heartburn, nausea, and a sour taste at the back of your mouth. Burping is also associated with acid reflux and GERD. In particular, people who have GERD often report frequent burping.
Let’s get into how acid reflux and burping are connected, the causes, and what you can do to get relief from burping.
Burping happens when swallowed air escapes from your upper gastrointestinal tract. This is a completely normal occurrence that helps to rid your abdomen of excess air.
According to a 2020 review, it’s normal for a healthy person to burp up to 30 times a day. But acid reflux may cause you to burp more often.
One of the reasons for an increase in burping is because acid reflux increases swallowing. People who experience acid reflux and heartburn tend to ingest air more frequently and in larger quantities, leading to burping.
In addition to acid reflux, your diet and lifestyle, as well as certain medical conditions and medications, can also affect how much you burp.
Some types of foods are known to trigger burping.
These include carbonated drinks, beer, caffeine, and foods high in fiber, starch, or sugar, such as:
- beans and lentils
- certain vegetables, including peas, onions, mushrooms, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower
- some fruits, like bananas
- whole grains
Your day-to-day habits can also trigger burping. Habits associated with excess burping include smoking, sucking on lozenges, and chewing gum.
If you burp frequently without experiencing acid reflux or heartburn, another gastrointestinal condition might be the culprit.
Some conditions associated with frequent burping include:
- celiac disease
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection
- indigestion (dyspepsia)
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- lactose intolerance
- peptic ulcers
- rumination disorder
These conditions are typically accompanied by other symptoms besides burping.
If you have symptoms other than belching, make an appointment with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and the right type of treatment.
If you find that you tend to burp a lot after eating, the following home remedies may help to ease or reduce your burping:
- Go for a walk after eating. After a meal, light physical activity may help to move food through your digestive tract.
- Take an antacid. If your burping is accompanied by acid reflux or heartburn, an over-the-counter antacid may help.
- Try gas medication. Over-the-counter drugs such as Gas-X and Mylanta Gas contain simethicone, which helps gas bubbles in your stomach bind together. As a result, you may not burp as frequently.
- Chew fennel seeds. In certain cultures, people chew fennel seeds after eating to improve their digestion. While not scientifically proven, fennel seeds don’t carry a serious risk of side effects.
- Drink tea. Some herbal teas, such as chamomile and ginger tea, may improve burping associated with indigestion and acid reflux.
The key to reducing how often you burp is to limit how much air you swallow, especially when you eat and drink.
The following tips may help reduce the frequency of your burping:
- Slow down while you’re eating and drinking.
- Avoid talking while you’re chewing your food.
- Try not to gulp drinks and avoid using straws.
- Eat smaller meals.
- Try to cut back on chewing gum and lozenges.
Besides paying attention to your eating and drinking habits, the following may also help reduce how often you burp:
- Try to cut back on foods and drinks known to cause acid reflux and burping.
- Quit smoking. When you inhale cigarette smoke, you’re also swallowing air.
- Try to focus on breathing more slowly. Therapies such as diaphragmatic breathing, alternate nostril breathing, box breathing, and meditation may help.
Reducing stomach acid has been found to reduce burping. A
On its own, burping isn’t usually cause for concern. However, if it starts to interfere with your day-to-day life, you might consider talking to your doctor about it.
You should definitely talk to your doctor if frequent burping is accompanied by other symptoms, such as heartburn, abdominal pain, or nausea. These may signal an underlying gastrointestinal problem.
For burping caused by acid reflux, your doctor will likely suggest a combination of medication, diet, and lifestyle changes to target excess acid. Common medications for acid reflux include antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
Acid reflux can make you burp more often. The reason for this is because having acid reflux increases swallowing. This, in turn, can cause you to ingest air more frequently and in larger quantities.
Treating acid reflux with an over-the-counter antacid may help to reduce burping. You may also be able to reduce the frequency of your burping with lifestyle and dietary changes.
If over-the-counter antacids don’t help, or if your burping is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s a good idea to follow up with your doctor to find out if your burping is due to some other condition.