Letting out a loud belch can be satisfying AF… but it can also be a major mood killer. No one wants to burp in the middle of a meeting or a nice dinner. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to curb your burp’s enthusiasm.
Here’s how to stop a belch attack in its tracks.
Burping (aka farting’s cousin) is how your body releases swallowed air. The air travels from your tummy back up your esophagus. This creates the comical noise we all know and love/hate.
You can swallow air when you:
- chew gum
- breathe heavily
- eat or drink too fast
- drink fizzy beverages
Certain foods — especially stuff that’s high in sugar, starch, or fiber — can also create burps.
Burping is most common after you eat or drink. It usually goes away with a combo of these simple tricks.
Lie on your side. This wind-relieving position helps pass the gas. Toot, toot 💨!
Take an antacid. This can neutralize stomach acid and might prevent heartburn. Pro tip: Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) is the best for those smelly sulfur burps.
Drink ginger tea. Drinking ginger tea after eating might prevent acid reflux.
Sip chamomile tea. It can be very soothing for your stomach.
Chew on fennel seeds. Fennel might assist digestion and expel gas from your intestinal track (though there’s not enough research to prove its efficacy).
Take an anti-gas medication. Stuff like Gas-X (simethicone) binds gas bubbles together. This makes burps more intense, but they’ll be gone faster.
Don’t eat or drink too quickly. Fast eating makes you swallow extra air.
Do a little mo’ cardio. A light walk or a gentle activity can help you digest your nom noms.
The best way to prevent burping is to reduce the amount of air you swallow. Here are the deets.
Change how you eat and drink
Some anti-burping hacks include:
- Eat smaller portions.
- Eat and drink slowly.
- Don’t talk when you chew.
- Avoid straws. Bonus: The turtles will thank you!
Switch up your diet
Avoid carbonated drinks like beer or soda. While the fizzing is fun, the bubbles can cause burping, bloating, and gas.
Don’t chew gum or suck on hard candies. They make you swallow extra air.
Cut back on foods that create gas (basically anything with a lot of sugar, starch, or fiber). Common culprits include:
- whole-wheat bread
- lentils and other beans
- sugar alcohols (e.g. mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol)
It’s also a good idea to avoid foods that cause acid reflux like:
- citrus (e.g. lemons, oranges, and grapefruit)
PSA: You should also ditch dairy if you’re lactose intolerant.
Stop smoking. The cig fumes aren’t the only thing you’re inhaling — you’re also swallowing extra air.
Got dentures? Make sure they fit properly. Poorly fitted dental hardware can make you inhale extra air.
Relax. Stress and tension can make you breathe heavily and can cause heartburn. All of this can increase your burps.
Treat your sniffles. A stuffy nose — caused by allergies, a sinus infection, or the common cold — can make you swallow extra air. You can treat it with an over-the-counter (OTC) decongestant or ask your doctor for something stronger.
Change it up
In a 2013 small pilot study, five participants with chronic burping were told to breathe from their diaphragms while lying down. Then they did the same thing sitting up. Researchers found that this form of behavioral therapy cured the participants’ burping.
Other than ruining a romantic makeout sesh, burping usually isn’t a cause for concern.
But excessive burping might be a sign of a more serious condition, especially if you have other digestive issues like bloating, gas, or heartburn. This can be an issue since most folks don’t talk with their doctors about burping, according to a small 2013 case study.
Here are some conditions to look out for.
Heartburn is the number one symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a disorder that causes stomach acid to come up into your esophagus.
Other GERD symptoms include:
- feeling full
- chronic burping
- sour taste in mouth
- hard time swallowing
Inflammation of your stomach lining (aka gastritis) can be triggered by:
- alcohol abuse
- an H. pylori infection
- routine use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Typical symptoms include:
- feeling full
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic digestive condition.
IBS can be tricky to diagnose — side effects can vary from person to person and may mimic other conditions.
Symptoms can include:
- abdominal cramping
- excessive burping
FYI: Lots of peeps get IBS relief from dietary changes.
Lactose intolerant folks don’t produce enough lactase (the enzyme that helps you digest milk and dairy products). The undigested lactose interacts with bacteria in your intestines and can cause:
There’s no cure for lactose intolerance. But if you really don’t want to say so long to sundaes and other creamy treats, buying a lactase supplement online might help.
This type of hernia is most common in folks over 50. It happens when a small part of your stomach pushes through your diaphragm and into your chest. They can also play a role in GERD and acid reflux.
Hiatal hernias don’t usually come with side effects. But when symptoms are present, you might have:
- chest pain
- excessive burping
- trouble swallowing
The most common cause of peptic ulcers is a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). The bacteria get into your stomach’s mucous lining and makes your cells vulnerable to acid. The ulcers can form in your intestine, stomach, or esophagus.
In addition to excessive burping, other symptoms include:
- stomach pain
Treatment is usually a combo of antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) which reduces stomach acid.
Burping is just your body’s way of releasing swallowed air. You can usually ease your burps with a few simple lifestyle changes. But if the belching becomes chronic, talk with your doctor. They will see if an underlying condition is to blame.