Burping or belching is not a big deal, but it can be socially embarrassing when it comes to norms and antiquates. Simple lifestyle and diet changes are the easiest and effective home remedies for burping and heartburn. Here you can find fifteen natural home remedies for burping and heartburn.
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What Causes burping and heartburn?
When you eat any food, it passes through your mouth, then the esophagus to the stomach. Some air is also gets swallowed through it. If you eat too rapidly, more air will enter your stomach. So, eating quickly and in big chunks will make you likely to belch more (1).
Heartburn is an unpleasant burning sensation in your chest that occurs when stomach acid travels up towards the throat (acid reflux). It is a prevalent condition.
Home Remedies for Burping and Heartburn:
1. Change Your Eating Habits
People who gulp food rapidly or anxiously are also swallowing more and more air with it, which is a common cause of burping excessively. Some people do so in mental stress, or they may be habitual. Anxiety and stress lead to breathing rapidly and results in swallowing a lot of air.
Eat and drink your food slowly and chew it thoroughly before you swallow. Avoid any habit which can lead you to swallow more air with food. It is not difficult, just check the following list below (2):
- Chew your food thoroughly and eat slowly
- Eat-in small chunks rather than big gulps
- Do not talk while chewing food
- Avoid drinking through a straw
- Avoid chewing gum or sucking on a hard candy
- Be conscious of your eating pattern in any mental stress
2. Avoid Carbonated Drinks and Beer
You have seen bubbling of gas from carbonated soft drinks or energy drinks. That is carbon dioxide gas, which accumulates in your stomach after you drink.
Excessive drinking of such beverages distends your stomach and may also cause irritation and burning of the stomach lining.
Not only they cause burping but also heartburn if consumed every day in large amounts. Occasional drinking is fine, but try to limit their use if you are suffering from heartburn or excessive burping.
Moreover, they are generally not considered healthy for consumption (3).
3. Avoid Foods which Produce Excessive Gas
Some foods can produce excessive gas in your stomach, which eventually finds its way out through your mouth as a burp. You can take those when you want.
But if you want to avoid burping at that particular time, you better avoid them. These are some complex carbohydrate which remains undigested and promotes the overgrowth of certain bacteria which produce gas in your digestive tract (4, 5).
You may feel bloating or discomfort after eating them. Some common among them include;
- Whole-wheat bread
- Sugar alcohols (sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol)
- Lactose intolerance: Avoid milk and dairy products if you are lactose intolerant. Lactase is an enzyme that breaks down the lactose in the milk. If it does not work correctly, bacteria act upon it and produce gas. Some people have genetic variation with a low activity of this enzyme. With advancing age, many people feel bloating or gas accumulation after drinking milk or milk products. It is prevalent (8).
- Raw onion: Eating a meal containing raw onion increases heartburn, acid reflux, and belching as compared to the meal that does not contain onion. Onions have a high amount of fermentable fibers and also irritates the lining of the esophagus, which worsens the symptoms of heartburn. If eating raw onion worsens your symptoms, try to avoid it (9, 10).
4. Quit Smoking
When you inhale smoke from cigarettes or pipe, you also inhale air with it, which causes burping later on. Also, the smoke of cigarettes and chemicals absorbed in your body damages your lungs and gastrointestinal tract.
Smoking exacerbates the acid reflux and heartburn. It is never going to improve until you quit smoking.
5. Light Aerobic Exercise or Walk After Eating
Walking a bit or doing some light aerobics after eating may help your body digest food easily. It is usually recommended if you feel excessive burping and feeling of indigestion. Strenuous exercise should be avoided. Just a little walk is healthy.
6. Do not Overeat
The lower esophageal sphincter naturally opens when you swallow, belch or vomit. Otherwise, it should stay closed. If you overeat, it cannot remain closed and results in acid reflux and excessive burping. Eat small meals. Do not fill up your stomach every time you eat. Try short and frequent meals (11).
7. Limit Alcohol, Caffeine, and Chocolate
Alcohol intake can make symptoms of acid reflux worse by promoting stomach acid production (12). It also relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter and impairs the ability of the esophagus to clear the refluxed acid in it.
Coffee can make acid reflux and heartburn worse. Coffee affects the lower esophageal sphincter (13). Chocolate also contains caffeine, and some individuals may be allergic to it. Avoid all this stuff if you find them aggravating your symptoms (14).
8. Lose Weight
Excessive pressure inside the abdomen is one of the reasons for acid reflux. It is because our diaphragm muscle usually strengthens the lower esophageal sphincter.
When you get too much belly fat, the abdominal pressure becomes high that the lower esophageal sphincter loses diaphragm’s support, and it gets pushed upward.
9. Avoid Citrus Juices and Mint
Citrus fruits such as orange and grapefruit juice worsens the acid reflux symptoms. It is believed that certain constituents in the juices aggravate the symptoms and not necessarily their acidity.
10. Elevate Head end of the Bed
Raise the head end of your bed by putting something under your bed or mattress. Chest and head should be above the level of your waist, so stomach acid does not move up to your mouth.
It is helpful to reduce reflux symptoms at night because the majority of the people suffer reflux symptoms at night (21).
11. No Food Before Sleep
Avoid eating anything 3-4 hours before going to sleep. People who sleep or lie down immediately after eating something experience more acid regurgitation and heartburn (22).
12. Sleep Posture
If you experience acid reflux more at night, avoid sleeping on the right side of your body. The explanation lies in the anatomical position of the esophagus entering the stomach in such a way that acid pool of stomach lies above the sphincter if you sleep on the right side and makes it more vulnerable to reflux back.
13. Avoid Tight Clothing
If you are suffering from heartburn, avoid wearing clothes that are tight around the waist, such as skinny jeans and snug belts.
Tight-fitting clothing puts pressure on the abdomen. It forces acidic contents in your stomach up into your esophagus. Look for pants with a stretchy waistband.
14. Take Antacid or PPI
Various types of antacids are available over the counter. Talk to your pharmacist today, and you can take those tablets for a few days to relieve symptoms. Take these medications soon after eating, as this is when you’re most likely to get heartburn.
When to seek medical advice
Burping is considered a problem when the symptoms become worse and may cause interference with social situations. We all feel heartburn occasionally after heavy meals.
It is typical, but prolonged and troublesome symptoms that do not improve with home remedies may be indicative of more serious medical conditions like gastritis, infection of H. pylori and ulcers. You should immediately see your doctor or physician if;
- Lifestyle modifications and medicines are ineffective
- Heartburn symptoms for three weeks or more
- Other symptoms, like food sticking in the throat, etc.
A GP can rule out any serious possible causes of your symptoms and provide better treatment.
Herbal Foods that might Help Burping and Heartburn:
Some herbal home recipes may help you avoid excessive burping and heartburn. The efficacy of these remedies is variable. Although not much of research data is available on their effectiveness in these issues, simple natural products are often harmless to use.
Try them at home and see if they benefit you. However, do not consume them in too much amount and consult your doctor if you feel any other problem. Some popular herbal remedies for burping and heartburn are;
- Ginger Tea: Fresh ground ginger tea helps in digestion and is soothing to the stomach and intestines. It helps food keep moving along the digestive tract. Ginger tea also strengthens muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract as well, including lower esophageal sphincter (LES), so the acid cannot resurge back. Also, it may help to reduce belching. You can chew a piece of ginger or make a cup of tea and add a tablespoonful of honey in it for better taste. As a bonus, drinking ginger tea can boost your immune system.
- Fresh Pineapple Juice: It contains an enzyme called bromelain, which will help digest proteins. They have high fiber and water content. It may help people with acid reflux. Bromelain enzyme reduces bruising, swelling, and other injury-related pains.
- Ripe papaya: It is a beneficial home remedy for belching and heartburn. Ripe papaya contains enzymes in it to stop the growth of bacteria and aid in digestion.
- Carom Seeds: They can be used for sour burps. Chew some carom seeds and swallow it with a glass of water. It will relieve stomachache with burps.
- Asafetida: Take a pinch of asafetida, ginger powder, and salt in a glass of water. Stir it and drink it.
- Cardamom: It promotes the production of digestive juices in the stomach and preventing gas formation. You can chew one in your mouth or boil it in plain water.
- Fennel Seeds: Fennel seed digests the food and prevents indigestion, gas formation, belching, and bad breath. You can chew them with sugar or boil in water and drink the extracted water.
- Mint Leaves: Mint contains anti-spasmodic properties that prevent gas formation, which causes belching. You can use it in salads.
Foods to Avoid to Prevent Burping and Heartburn:
It is better to cut down foods with high starch, sugar, or fiber, which cause gas. Common foods include:
- Whole-wheat bread
- Sugar alcohols (sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol)
Simple lifestyle changes and home remedies, including herbal products, mostly prove useful and beneficial for controlling the symptoms of heartburn and belching.
You can identify various foods and behaviors, which leads to excessive symptoms and avoid them. Prolonged heartburn or acid reflex associated with burping can be an indication of an underlying disorder.
Seek professional advice if you are not getting any better from such remedies.