Aerophagia is the medical term for swallowing air, which is the true cause of belching. Inside of everyone’s gastrointestinal tract there is about a cup of air and other gases. Throughout any given day, the body is constantly acquiring air and other gases through the mouth or by producing some of its own. All of this adds up to about then cupfuls a day. However, the body cannot accommodate that much gas, so it looks for ways vent this excess on a constant basis.
One of the ways the body chooses to vent this excess gas is through belching.
People who drink colas and beer are guaranteed to have problems. However, saliva is also a culprit; it contains small air bubbles that enter into our stomachs every time we swallow.
Swallowing air with your food is also problematic. Fortunately, belching is something that can be taken care of at home. With a little practice, most of us can control how much air we swallow.
According to experts, people can swallow up to five ounces of air every time they swallow. Nervous people do this on a regular basis.
Some people are considered compulsive swallowers and this creates a problem by swallowing too much saliva. According to experts, learning to control your swallowing reflexes can alleviate this problem. The first step in controlling these reflexes is to become aware of the problem.
Here are some tips that can help you take in less air:
- Stay away from carbonated beverages
- Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly before swallowing
- Eat with your mouth closed
- Stay away from chewing gum
- Do not drink out of cans or bottles, and do not drink through a straw
- Avoid foods with high air content such as beer, ice cream, soufflés, omelets, and whipped cream
Sometimes, we all indulge in a little too much food too quickly and burp. However, people who are considered chronic belchers can have a difficult time, because they belch hour after hour and day after day. These people should eat fewer foods that produce upper digestive system gas. These people should avoid foods such as fats and oils, salad oils, margarine, and sour cream.