Burping & breathing problems

Updated April 17, 2017

Excessive burping is an embarrassing problem, but it can also be a serious sign of health problems that could constrict the airways and cause difficulty breathing. Some people experience the feeling of choking, difficulty swallowing and tightness of the throat. Excessive belching and burping can also be a sign of gastro-oseophageal reflux disease, which can damage or cause mechanical dysfunction in the oesophagus.

Gastro-oseophageal Reflux Disease

Gastro-oseophageal reflux disease occurs when the esophageal sphincter fails to close after food is consumed and excessive air is swallowed. Alcohol use, obesity, smoking and pregnancy can contribute to this disorder, as well as breathing problems. Symptoms happen while upright and include excessive burping and belching, according to Reflux Issues. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is commonly referred to as acid reflux, peptic esophagitis or reflux esophagitis.


Burping or belching is the stomach's way to expel excess air. You may swallow excess air by eating or drinking too fast, drinking carbonated beverages through a straw or talking while you eat. Some people swallow air because of anxiety or a nervous habit. Chronic burping or belching can cause inflammation of the stomach lining, peptic ulcer disease or delayed stomach emptying, according to The Mayo Clinic.

How to Reduce Belching

Eat and drink slowly and do not drink from a straw. Avoid carbonated drinks because they carry carbon dioxide gas into the stomach. Don't chew gum or hard candy. Don't smoke, because half of what is inhaled is air. If you smoke, quitting can create a radical improvement in general health and breathing problems. Check dentures, which, poorly fitted, could be allowing excessive air into the stomach.

Heartburn and Burping

Heartburn accompanied with burping can be a sign of a serious health problem. Acid reflux disease is a common reason for heartburn, which can also cause asthma and other breathing problems. Intestinal gastric fluid rises in the oesophagus, which can damage it over time. It may also increase the chances of developing cancer, so it is very important to seek medical attention if symptoms are persistent.


If changes in lifestyle are not enough to improve symptoms of burping, the next step is antacids. Antacids can neutralise stomach acids. H-2 blockers, such as Zantac or Pepsid, are available in both prescription and non-prescription forms.

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About the Author

Rosalie King began writing professionally in 2009. She is the author of "The Skin Underneath," a free ebook download, and is currently at work on "White Collar Ghetto." She studied clarinet in college, and has a Bachelor of Arts in music from the University of Tampa.