Should You See A Gastroenterologist About Your Frequent Burping?

Everyone burps now and then. You do swallow some amount of air from time to time, and burping is just one natural way that your body eliminates that air. But what if you seem to burp a lot — so much that your friends comment on it, or so much that you feel like you're always burping? Should you see a gastroenterologist about his problem? Sometimes the answer is "yes" and other times, the answer is "no." Here's a closer look.

When to See a Doctor About Burping

Some people just swallow more air than others. If you burp a lot but don't have any other symptoms, this may be all that's going on. Try eating more slowly and chewing your food thoroughly before swallowing. Avoid carbonated beverages. If these measures do not significantly reduce the amount of burping that you do, then you should consider seeing a gastroenterologist.

You should also see a gastroenterology doctor if your burping is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:

  • Aching in your chest
  • Pain in the back of your throat
  • Weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Nausea or vomiting

What a Doctor Will Do About Burping

If you do see a gastroenterologist about burping, the key disease they'll probably be concerned with is GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is a condition in which the muscular sphincter between your esophagus and stomach does not close properly. In its perpetually or often-open state, it lets stomach contents travel back up the esophagus. Some of these stomach contents are liquid, but some are in the form of gas, which you keep burping up.

To determine whether you do, in fact, have GERD, your gastroenterologist will likely order what's known as an upper endoscopy. This is a test in which they'll send a camera down your throat to take a look at your esophageal sphincter and stomach. If they do see evidence of GERD in your esophagus and esophageal sphincter, they will prescribe medications that reduce your level of stomach acid, encourage the sphincter to close, and otherwise manage your GERD. These medications should also, then, reduce the amount that you burp.

Some people burp more than others, and just because you burp quite a lot does not necessarily mean anything is wrong. However, if your burping is accompanied by other symptoms that may indicate GERD, you should see a gastroenterologist for diagnosis and treatment.