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What is the Connection Between Bloating and Belching?

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  • Written By: Henry Gaudet
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Gasses can become trapped in the stomach, leading to bloating and belching. Bloating and belching are two possible results from the same conditions, and they often occur together. Excessive volumes of trapped gas can make the stomach bloated or distended. Belching is the body’s simplest, most effective tool for relieving that pressure. Without belching, gasses would have to pass through the entire digestive tract, which can be an uncomfortable and sometimes painful process.

Bloating is caused by high volumes of gas trapped in the stomach. The stomach feels uncomfortably full and might be painful. Often, a disruption or delay of the digestion process is responsible, preventing food from passing normally and trapping the gas in the stomach.

Belching or burping, on the other hand, is an action that releases these gasses from the stomach, relieving pressure and helping to prevent or relieve bloating. A muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is responsible for keeping the stomach’s contents from rising into the esophagus, but it can relax to release some of the gas back through the esophagus and out of the mouth as a burp. Under sufficient pressure, the gas also might force its way through the LES.

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Gasses are present in every stomach, although normally, they are not present in levels that cause bloating and belching. These gasses come primarily from two types of sources: atmospheric and dietary. Air is swallowed along with food, and digestion causes gasses to be released. Some foods, such as carbonated drinks, contain high volumes of gas and are especially likely to cause bloating and belching, but high levels of gasses from any source will result in bloating and belching.

When eating, some air is swallowed along with food. For most people, 20 percent to 60 percent of the gas in the digestive tract is atmospheric. Air also is swallowed when one chews gum, sucks on hard candy or smokes. Other conditions that can cause people to swallow air include poorly fitting dentures or postnasal drip. Some people habitually swallow air, especially in moments of distress, which can cause bloating and belching.

Certain foods produce more gas during digestion. Baked beans, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are notorious for producing gas. Fructose, the sugar found in most fruits, produces high volumes of gas as well. Other sources of gas include onions, broccoli, wheat and asparagus. For some people, the sugar-free sweetener sorbitol also can produce enough gas to cause bloating and belching.

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donasmrs
Post 3

@fify-- Sometimes bloating and belching is not normal. I have excessive bloating and belching sometimes because of my anti-diabetic medication. This drug is known for causing these side effects but it's still the best medication for type 2 diabetes so I have no option but to take it.

I think the drug upsets the bacterial flora of my stomach. Sometimes it makes me very bloated and causes constant back-to-back belching. A couple of times it happened in public and I couldn't control it! Talk about embarrassment!

fify
Post 2

When I eat out, I make sure to avoid gassy foods so that I don't get bloating and flatulence. It happened once and I felt so uncomfortable and embarrassed. I only eat foods like broccoli, cabbage and beans at home.

I know that bloating and belching is normal. And most foods that cause bloating do so because they have fiber and fiber is great for our intestines. But it's still embarrassing to deal with the consequences in public, so bloating foods are best served at home.

candyquilt
Post 1

I think I swallow air while I sleep at night. Because I always wake up with a bloated abdomen and belch. I need to figure out a way to avoid this. I wonder if I sleep with my mouth open without realizing.

Does anyone else experience this?

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