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Belching

Belching occurs when you swallow air. This can make you feel uncomfortably full, which makes you get rid of the excess air to relieve this feeling. This is a natural body process that is actually very amazing. Burping releases only gas. Stomach contents and acid do not go into the lungs or up the esophagus.

Symptoms

Releasing air in this manner creates a specific sound that most people recognize that may cause the belcher embarrassment. Sometimes a bad odor accompanies the release. While it is is our body's natural way of releasing excess air in the digestive tract, it can be awkward in social situations. In some countries, however, it is considered normal at the end of a meal and shows your appreciation of the food.

Causes

Rushing through your meals or drinks can cause you to swallow a surprising amount of air and not be aware of it. By eating and drinking more slowly, you cut down on how much air accompanies your food into your stomach. Certain beverages like beer, lemonade and other gaseous drinks may create more air in your stomach. Chewing gum may also contribute to this. In rare cases, belching may be a sign of a deficiency of an enzyme, which is most often lactase.

Cautions

Chronic belching may be a sign of a more serious underlying problem; stomach ulcers can give similar symptoms as can diseases of the gallbladder. If you belch excessively or if you suffer from consistent abdominal pain, see your physician right away for further tests.

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