Harvard Health Letter

By the way, doctor: What can I do about excessive belching and feeling full?

Q. I belch a lot and get a feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen. Is this a common condition? What are the causes and cures? I would prefer natural remedies.

A. Belching and feeling full are normal, everyday experiences. So what makes them "excessive"? There's no precise definition. But if you start belching or feeling full more often than you have in the past, or if belching and fullness are causing you distress and discomfort, then I'd consider that excessive and a problem that you should try to solve.

Every time we swallow we take in a little bit of air. Some of it travels down the esophagus and gets into the upper part of the stomach. When the stomach starts to stretch out, sensors in it's wall may trigger a reaction that opens the small ring of muscle, or sphincter, that operates as a valve between the esophagus and the stomach. The air that has built up in the stomach gets vented back up the esophagus and, voil, we belch. So, if it's not excessive, belching is actually a protective mechanism against the stomach getting overinflated.

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