What is Belching?

A belch or burp simply means you have a build-up of air in your stomach, and your body wants to get rid of it. This air is swallowed when we eat, drink or gulp nervously under stress. And what goes in must come out–one end or the other–of the digestive tract.



Belching is usually caused by swallowing air when we eat and drink, eating too quickly, or eating certain foods. But there are other less common causes:

  • A runny nose caused by a cold or allergy can make you swallow excessive air. So an over-the-counter nasal decongestant can sometimes reduce belching as well as relieving the nasal symptoms, but should never be taken long term.
  • In some people, calcium supplements that contain calcium carbonate release carbon dioxide in the stomach. If you take calcium, choose another form, such as calcium citrate.
  • Pressure around your midriff can cause burping, so avoid tight clothes, belts and body-shaping undergarments.
  • Poorly fitting dentures may cause you to chew abnormally and swallow air. If you wear dentures, make sure that they are properly adjusted each year.