Burping is a simple physiological reflex. It occurs when one tends to expel the gas produced by the intestines via ones mouth. Burping is also called belching, ructus or eructation. Burping is an involuntary reflex, however interestingly it can be voluntary as well. But why do we burp? Here are some answers.
Why do we burp: Some common reasons
The foremost reason of burping is the simple physiological response of the exhalation of swallowed air. It is also due to the breakdown of gases in the stomach. This gas is then released from the mouth.
Release of gases from solid and liquid foods also leads to burping.
Acidic beverages like soft drinks cause acid reflexes which make us burp instantly.
Eating one’s food in hurry and not chewing adequately also causes burps.
Sweet foods with heavy cream also cause indigestion and heaviness, producing more burps than usual.
We always make babies burp so that they can digest their food. Similarly, we need to burp in order to get the heaviness off our chests.
Anxiety is a psychological response of the body to a seemingly distressful situation. Burping has also been linked to these kinds of situations.
Not all burps are good: Medical reasons for burping
Not all burps are natural. Some are caused by medical conditions of the digestive tract e.g. Bowel obstruction, Crohn’s disease, or in the worst of cases, dyspepsia.
Burping may also be the result of bloating caused by monthly mensuration in women. Other medical conditions, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Peptic Ulcer, Hiatal Hernia, and Celiac Disease may be contributing to excessive burping as well. Heartburn, Giardiasis and bacterial infection of the intestines caused by the Helicobacter pylori are also causes of excessive burping and belching.
Some medications, especially aspirin has been linked to causing burps. Breakdown of the acids in certain medications has been found to be the cause.
Gall bladder issues like gallstones, as well as stomach cancers can also be causative agents of uncontrolled frequent burping.
So now we know why do we burp, and what might be causing us distress. However, one should always seek medical help if the burps are beyond control or are causing discomfort. Remember! Not all burps are healthy!