Healthy Living

Gas, Bloating, and Burping

Gas, Bloating, and Burping

Gas, bloating, and burping are normal conditions that are often very uncomfortable and embarrassing. Gas is produced in the gastrointestinal system as the food is digested to form energy. Changes in the diet can definitely cut down the formation of gas and save you from discomfort and embarrassment. Bloating is a feeling of fullness in the abdomen. Belching or burping refers to the involuntary release of air from the stomach or esophagus. It is normal to burp at least three to four times after a meal to release the swallowed air. Burping may also be caused by nervous habits and medical conditions such as gall bladder problems and ulcers.

Some of the common causes of the three conditions include:

  • Swallowed air – If a person swallows air while eating or drinking it may burp up. If it is not burped up it may pass through the digestive system and will be released through the anus as flatus. If the amount of air swallowed is too much, it may cause hiccups.
  • Food – Foods that trigger these conditions vary from person to person.
  • ConstipationConstipation increases the feeling of bloating but may not affect gas.
  • Medicines and nutritional supplements – Medicines, both over-the-counter and prescription, and supplements may increase bloating and gas
  • Changes in hormone levels – Hormonal changes, commonly seen in women, may cause bloating due to fluid retention
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Crohn’s disease

The feeling of fullness or burning in the chest, especially after eating, is referred to as dyspepsia. This may be described as gas by some people.