An introduction to burping and indigestion
Burping or belching is medically known as eructation. It is a normal body mechanism allowing the body to get rid of any excess gas gathering in the stomach.
One of the main reasons for a ‘healthy’ need to burp is that we swallow air when we drink, eat and talk. This happens without us realising it and is normal - many will have come across the need for a discrete burp after a big meal. made worse if we have had a fizzy drink.
However, burping can be a symptom of an indigestion problem.
What causes abnormal burping
The most common reason for abnormal burping is indigestion which can also give rise to a variety of other digestive symptoms, especially the associated feeling of being bloated.
This occurs because disturbance to the digestive process causes an increased production of gas in the stomach for a variety of reasons. Excess gas leads to the sensation of bloating. It can be released upwards, via the oesophagus (gullet) and the mouth as a burp, and when done, provides relief.
However, an alternative escape route is for the gas to travel down through the rest of the digestive system and be released via the back passage as flatulence.
Other causes of excessive or abnormal burping are much less common.
Diet and lifestyle tips to help burping
Here are some tips to help with the symptom of excessive burping caused by indigestion:
Eat slowly and chew your food well. Chewing each mouthful 20 times will help improve the start of the digestive process. It also means that you are less likely to rush your meals, drawing air into your stomach with each frantic gulp
Eat small meals regularly. This reduces the likelihood for acid to build up between meals. Also, avoid eating late at night especially if you have acid reflux.
Avoid fatty and spicy foods as these are more difficult to digest
Don’t drink too much during a meal as this will dilute the digestive enzymes in your stomach
Eat bitter tasting salads such as rocket and endive. This will help your body produce more digestive enzymes.
Are there herbal and natural remedies to help me?
There are no specific remedies to help with excessive burping but treatment for this symptom lies with addressing the underlying issue of indigestion.
Bitter stomach herbs will be the first thing you should look at. This is a group of medicinal herbs which have the common characteristic of possessing a bitter taste. This bitterness triggers a nerve reflex arising from the tongue, to the brain and then to the stomach, releasing gastric juices to help digestion.
Ali's Top Tips: It is best to use bitter herbs in liquid form. Digestisan contains the tinctures of artichoke, dandelion, boldo and peppermint to help relieve bloating, fullness and flatulence. To allow the stomach time to prepare, take 5 to 10 minutes before each meal.
L+ lactic acid is a nutritional substance which can be helpful for digestion. This compound can be found in some fermented foods such as yoghurt and naturally pickled vegetables used as accompaniments in meals such as curries and fatty meats to help the digestive process.
TIP: If your main symptom is bloating, use Molkosan Digestion. Rich in L+ lactic acid, it works as a pre-biotic supporting good gut bacteria and contains calcium which helps digestive enzymes function better. Take one glass daily, as a digestive tonic, to help maintain the health of your digestive system.
What about medicines from my doctor?
Conventional medicines for indigestion include antacids, H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors.
See your doctor if your indigestion symptoms are unexplained, severe, or do not improve despite your attempts at treatment. Also, seek medical advice urgently if you have unexplained and sudden nausea or vomiting, or if you notice blood in your stool or vomit.