Burping or belching describes the involuntary reflex (backward flow) of gas from the stomach and which comes out of the mouth.
Causes of Burping.
With every mouthful of food swallowed, some air is also taken down into the stomach. Babies swallow a lot of air while sucking milk, the actual amount varying with how well and hard the baby sucks.
Adults often swallow excessive amounts of air while eating and this results in uncontrollable burps. Fizzy drinks contain an excess of dissolved gas, which is quickly released in the stomach and this can also be a cause of burping. Can air helps to cool the taste of very hot food, or to hide the taste of unpleasant food.
People who eat their meals too quickly, and swallow a lot of air to help things go down, are often prone to burping and pain.
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How Burping Happens?
In the stomach, air can escape in two directions. One, either it can pass on with the food into the small intestine, but this passage is closed immediately after a meal when food is adequately digested in the stomach before being allowed to progress down to the gut.
Another, alternative is gas to return back up the esophagus to the mouth. This means any excessive gas which forms will put pressure on the valve at the entrance of the stomach, which remains closed to prevent food being regurgitated.
As the stomach agitate, this pressure may suddenly get excess for the valve so it push the gas upward and released up to the esophagus (the tube to the stomach) without warning. Hence, the gas comes out like a force of explosion from mouth.
Burping is a natural phenomenon, not a disease. Children are taught to control their burps as the habit of good manner socially. Eating more slowly and not swallowing too much air over hot or spicy food will help; and if they feel a burp coming on, all they have to do is keep it down and keep their mouth closed.
In babies up to six months, burping may be a cause of concern. After a feed, the baby should not be put directly to bed. A quiet cuddle will be appreciated, and during this time the baby may burp a bit quite naturally.
Traditional methods of bringing up wind can be used if the baby is not able to burp. The correct way is to place the baby over your shoulder and pat its back, gently but firmly.
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Frequently Asked Question.
1. My husband’s family all seem to have a burping problem. Can this run in families?
Yes. If it is acceptable behavior in his family to burp, then there will seem no good reason to suppress this. However, it should be possible to persuade your husband to make the effort to control the habit if you want him to conform to the social norm. It may be simply a matter of reviewing his eating and drinking habits and keeping his mouth closed if he feels a burp coming on. It can be dispelled inside the mouth or re-swallowed.
2. My young son is always burping and claims he can’t help it. Why is he doing this?
The most likely thing is he is swallowing air, although he may be unaware of this. If he has no other gastric symptoms, it is most unlikely that this is a medical problem. He is probably using his burps as an attention-seeking device.
3. My baby cries a lot after feeding. I spend ages trying to burp him, but nothing happens. Am I doing anything wrong?
No. He’s probably not bringing up wind because he hasn’t swallowed much air and there is nothing to bring up.
4. Does a good, loud burp have anything to do with the appreciation of a good meal?
In British society a burp is considered anti-social. In countries where excessive eating is a pleasure of life, and the stomach distension of a good meal can be relieved by burp. It can be seen as a compliment.
5. Why do men burp more than women?
They don’t in fact, both sexes have an equal tendency to burp. However, as a leftover from days when burping was acceptable behavior, men have always tended to be more over-indulgent, whether in food or beer, both of which tend to cause burping.
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Burping or bringing up wind, is a normal reflex action in babies after a meal. Adults, however, can learn to control the response if they so choose.