Why do we belch and fart

How Much Breathing Is Normal?

Everyone has to breathe in from time to time, this is completely normal. If air gets into the stomach, it gets rid of the gases by releasing them upwards or downwards. In the former, doctors speak of belching, the latter is expressed in flatulence.

Typical causes of belching

"A very common trigger is air swallowing, which is called aerophagia," says Dr. Arno Theilmeier, gastroenterologist from Mönchengladbach. Every act of swallowing alone can bring about two to three milliliters of air into the stomach. People sometimes swallow more than 1000 times a day. If you have to burp after eating or drinking, you have probably eaten too quickly, talked or swallowed too large bites. These factors are how you move air up your esophagus.

If you drink too hastily or like to use carbonated beverages - for example "fizzy" water, lemonade, champagne or beer - this can also end in a burp. "Another cause are foods from which gas is already released in the stomach," explains Theilmeier. These include onions, legumes, coffee, cream, whole grain bread and peppers. If you chew chewing gum often, suck a lot of candy or smoke heavily, this also causes a lot of air to enter your stomach.

Beware of bad smell

Except for smoking, these triggers are harmless, according to Theilmeier. But the gastrointestinal specialist also knows diseases that can be accompanied by belching: If you suddenly and unlike otherwise constantly burp and at the same time have stomach pain, you may have an inflammation of the gastric mucosa or something more serious. If the blown air smells foul and there are other symptoms, in rare cases it can even be a malignant tumor. If you have to burp sour, sometimes some chyme comes up with you and it burns in your chest, it is usually heartburn. "Go to the doctor if you suddenly have to burp a lot, if you suffer from it or if the blown air smells funny," advises Theilmeier.

Tips on how to prevent too much air in your stomach

  • In addition to drinking carbonated water, drink still more often than not
  • Consume carbonated drinks in moderation
  • Eat slowly, drink in small sips
  • Chew thoroughly, do not speak with your mouth full
  • Be sparing with flatulent foods (see above)

Our expert: Dr. Arno Theilmeier, gastroenterologist from Mönchengladbach

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