Why do I belch all the time

Constant belching - causes and treatment

Belching (“burping”) and a feeling of fullness are normal “side effects” of the digestive process, with which every person has to struggle from time to time. Especially if symptoms appear after a large meal, there is usually nothing to worry about.

However, if the belching occurs more intensely over a longer period of time, this is often an indication of a disorder of the digestive system or that the body is overburdening with existing eating habits. Constantly recurring and / or complaints lasting longer than two days should therefore always be examined by a doctor in order to be able to recognize or exclude organic disorders. In the case of permanent belching, it often helps to change lifestyle and eating habits. In addition, various medications and effective home remedies can be used.

Causes of Constant Belching: Reflux

The term "reflux" (from the Latin "refluere" for "flow back") is usually used to describe the flow of gastric juice back into the esophagus, which leads to heartburn and acid regurgitation. To some extent, this is completely normal and nothing to worry about. However, if the reflux occurs more often, this can damage the esophageal mucous membrane and cause severe discomfort. In medicine, this is referred to as "gastroesophageal reflux disease" (GERD for short), one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints, which is estimated to affect a quarter of the adult population in western industrialized countries.

Frequent acid regurgitation and / or burning pain behind the breastbone (heartburn) are the central symptoms of reflux disease. These usually occur more intensely when bending down or stooping, lifting heavily or after eating lavish, high-sugar, fatty or spicy food. Alcohol and nicotine are also often not well tolerated. Since gastric juice reaches the esophagus more easily when lying down, many sufferers have to struggle with severe symptoms, especially at night. In addition to the belching and burning sensation in the chest, more or less pronounced upper abdominal pain is typical, as well as nausea and vomiting, throat pain or hoarseness.

There are different variants of the disease, but in most cases there is a so-called "non-erosive reflux disease" (NERD) without esophagitis. If an inflammation (reflux esophagitis) develops due to the backflow of the acidic gastric juice, this can have serious consequences. Scarring and swallowing problems are possible, as well as esophageal cancer in an emergency.

There are many reasons for reflux. Normally, the force of gravity alone prevents stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus. This also has a complex locking mechanism ("lower esophageal sphincter"), which ensures that no aggressive substances rise from the stomach. In many of those affected, however, this "reflux barrier" does not work properly, which means that gastric juice can flow back and damage the wall of the esophagus.

The muscle weakness is usually caused by a gap in the diaphragm (hiatal hernia), which means that parts of the stomach get into the chest and the seal between the esophagus and stomach is disturbed. Such a diaphragmatic hernia results from the decrease in the elasticity of the connective tissue, to which, in addition to advanced age and predisposition, obesity, pregnancy, chronic cough and increased pressure on the abdominal cavity in the case of chronic constipation can contribute.

Reduced mobility of the esophagus can also be the reason for the symptoms. If the gastric juice gets back into the esophagus, it usually ensures that the corrosive acid cannot damage the mucous membrane itself through its own movement (peristalsis). If the movement is reduced, this “cleaning” can no longer be carried out without any problems, which damages the mucous membrane and the typical heartburn develops. A connection between gastroesophageal reflux disease and lifestyle is also considered to be certain: the frequent consumption of high-fat, sugary or spicy foods, regular smoking and drinking, and heavy coffee consumption play an important role here. Other risk factors include certain medications (e.g. beta blockers or nitrates) and psychological stress or stress.

Inflammation of the stomach lining

Acute gastritis can also be a possible cause with constant belching. It is a relatively common inflammatory disease that is not contagious. It occurs when the lining of the stomach is damaged or too much stomach acid is produced. This is because the acid then comes into direct contact with the gastric mucosa and causes inflammation. Gastritis can appear very suddenly (acute) and heal relatively quickly or take a creeping and chronic course. It is also possible that the acute form turns into a chronic disease.

Acute gastritis can have a variety of causes. Food poisoning is common, for example, and too much alcohol, nicotine, coffee and spicy food can irritate the stomach lining and cause inflammation. Shock situations, strong physical or emotional stress, overexertion, tension or inner restlessness can also "hit the stomach". Other possible causes are certain medications (cortisone, painkillers such as diclofenac, ibuprofen), infections, injuries, accidents (trauma), operations or chemical burns from acids, etc. Typical for acute gastritis are sudden symptoms that often intensify after Eating occur. These include, above all, massive upper abdominal pain, which can also radiate into the back. Loss of appetite, constant belching, a feeling of fullness, excessive sensitivity to pressure in the stomach, as well as nausea and vomiting are also common.

The chronic form of gastritis, on the other hand, usually causes no or only very slight symptoms for a long time. Those affected report, for example, an uncomfortable feeling of fullness, diarrhea or increased flatulence. If the disease remains undetected, complications such as gastric or duodenal ulcer can develop in the long term, and in rare cases gastric cancer may develop. There are also various possible causes for chronic gastric mucosal inflammation. In most cases, however, it is triggered by an autoimmune reaction, bacteria (mostly Helicobacter pylori) or substances that damage the mucous membrane (refluxing bile, large amounts of alcohol, painkillers, acids, etc.). Accordingly, doctors differentiate between the three different types of gastritis: Type A (“autoimmune”), Type B (“bacterial”) and Type C (“chemical”).

Constant belching during pregnancy: tips and effective home remedies

Constant belching is a very common phenomenon during pregnancy. The increased production of the hormone progesterone ensures that the internal sphincter muscle (esophageal sphincter) relaxes between the esophagus and the stomach and is therefore no longer completely sealed. This allows stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus and lead to unpleasant burning pain behind the breastbone (heartburn) and acidic belching - the symptoms mainly occurring when lying down. These are usually even stronger in the last third of pregnancy, because the ever-growing uterus exerts additional pressure from below and pushes the stomach upwards. In addition to heartburn and constant belching, other symptoms such as stomach cramps after eating, increased salivation and pressure in the epigastric region are possible. Flatulence, bloating, frequent clearing of the throat and the so-called "lump in the throat" also often occur.

What can pregnant women do to make life a little “easier” with a rounder belly? It often helps if several small meals are eaten throughout the day instead of a few large portions and if fatty, spicy dishes are avoided.

Coffee also stimulates gastric juice production and irritates the stomach - but pregnant women should only enjoy it in moderation anyway. Instead, we recommend non-carbonated or low-carbon drinks. In general, care should be taken to sleep with the upper body elevated (with pillows, adjustable head section) in order to make it more difficult for stomach acid to ascend into the esophagus.

In acute burping, chewing hazelnuts, almonds or white bread can be a good first aid, and tea mixtures made from peppermint and chamomile have a calming and soothing effect. Other proven home remedies for heartburn during pregnancy are oatmeal or a glass of milk, as these foods help neutralize excess acid. Acid-inhibiting or acid-binding drugs (antacids) such as pantoprazole or omeloxane should, however, like all other drugs, never be taken during pregnancy without consulting the attending gynecologist.

Treatment for constant belching

If, for example, you have to burp every now and then after a large meal or after drinking alcoholic beverages, you normally don't need to worry. Because the occasional backflow of acidic gastric juice into the esophagus is quite normal. Constant belching or regurgitation lasting more than two days at a time, however, should always be taken seriously and examined by a doctor. If, for example, a chronic reflux disease remains untreated for a long time, massive damage to the esophagus and, in an emergency, esophageal cancer can occur.

If it is a "gastroesophageal reflux disease", the treatment is carried out depending on the severity. If there are no changes in the mucous membrane in the early stages, a change in diet and certain habits (smoking, alcohol consumption, etc.) will often help. Diet plays a particularly important role in reflux. However, there are no general rules for “right” or “wrong” because those affected sometimes react very differently to certain foods. Accordingly, every reflux patient should carefully and critically observe himself to see what is good for him or not.

Nevertheless, there are some foods that are often not well tolerated in the case of heartburn and constant belching. This includes dishes that are prepared with a lot of fat or generally fatty foods (fatty meat and sausage products, mayonnaise, fast food, etc.) as well as fried and heavily seared foods. Foods rich in sugar (e.g. cakes, desserts, lemonade, juices) also activate gastric acid production and thus often exacerbate the symptoms. The same applies to hot spices (paprika, garlic, chilli, etc.), whereby the capsaicin it contains also increases the sensitivity of the esophagus. If a change in lifestyle and eating habits is not enough or if damage can already be seen, drugs (e.g. omeprazole or H2 blockers such as ranitidine) are usually used. Surgical intervention is also rarely necessary in order to be able to fully restore the functionality of the esophageal obstruction.

If, for example, inflammation of the gastric mucosa is the reason for the permanent belching, the therapy also depends on the type and cause of the disease. In the case of acute gastritis, for example, it is usually enough if the stomach is spared by one to two days of diet or light food and appropriate drinks such as water and mild, lukewarm tea. Coffee, juices, alcoholic and carbonated drinks, on the other hand, should be avoided. The same applies to smoking, and physical rest is important so that the disease can heal completely. In some cases it can also be useful to take medication (such as H2 receptor blockers or proton pump inhibitors) to treat acute inflammation.

Home remedies and naturopathy for constant belching

If organic disorders are medically excluded, various home remedies can also offer effective help in the case of minor complaints. Basically it is important to critically deal with one's own diet, lifestyle and existing "vices" in the event of frequent belching. For example, those who like to eat fast food and often, drink a lot of alcohol, are a heavy smoker or constantly nibble on sweets throughout the day have a greatly increased risk of reflux disease, for example, which is very often the cause of constant belching. Accordingly, obesity should be avoided and smoking and drinking of alcohol should be restricted. In addition, a change in diet (see treatment for constant belching) and changing certain habits such as hastily swallowing or eating very late are very important in order to get the symptoms under control.

Psychological burdens such as unresolved conflicts, stress, tension or pent-up anger can, figuratively speaking, “hit us on the stomach” or “belch up”. Therefore, you should urgently try to integrate regular physical activity into everyday life in order to balance out the inner restlessness and thereby increase well-being. In order to be able to deal better with pressure, stress and tension in general and not to lose your "inner balance" even in difficult everyday situations, special exercises and methods for reducing stress are available. These include, for example, yoga, autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation.

From the field of herbal medicine, the "panacea" chamomile has proven itself in many cases for self-treatment of heartburn caused by reflux. Because this has anti-inflammatory and calming effects on the overstimulated stomach and can also inhibit acid production. Naturopaths often recommend a so-called "roll cure". For this, the person concerned first drinks a cup of chamomile tea and then lies on his back for about five minutes, then on the right side, the stomach, the left side and finally on the back again. This ensures that the valuable ingredients of the medicinal plant can act on the entire gastric mucosa. The roll cure should be carried out for at least a week in the morning on an empty stomach and in the evening just before going to bed.

Fennel, lemon balm and nettle can also be used as effective home remedies for constant belching. If stress plays a central role, valerian often helps too. In the case of reflux, homeopathy also offers some valuable remedies for treatment. Acidum sulfuricum (D6) can be helpful if, in addition to the belching and possibly burning pain, e.g. shivering, nausea and vomiting appear. Especially if the person concerned shows a strong aversion to cold drinks and coffee. If, on the other hand, the patient suffers from acid regurgitation, heartburn and gastric pressure, especially at night, Robinia pseudacacia (D6) can be considered. Nux vomica can also provide very good support in some cases. Therefore, the selection of the most suitable remedy should always be discussed with a naturopath or naturopathic doctor before taking it.

In addition to acupuncture, Schüssler salts are very well suited for a natural treatment of the complaints. Salt No. 9 (sodium phosphoricum) is particularly suitable for acidic belching. If burning of the esophagus occurs at the same time, this can also be taken alternately with salt number 2 (Calcium Phosphoricum). The exact potency, duration of intake and frequency should also always be clarified with an expert in advance. (No)

Author and source information

This text complies with the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.

Dipl. Social Science Nina Reese, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
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Important NOTE:
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.