Dr. Dean

Belching And Burping: How Can I Expel Gas?

Posting Date: 02/09/1999

Dan: I cannot belch or burp. It's a horrible feeling. Is there any type of medication I could use to relax myself so I could expel the gas?

Dr. Dean: Eructate is the polite word for this.

Burping results from gas you have swallowed, either from drinking or chewing, but it is not necessarily normal. Sometimes people have excess gas from bad habits, like swallowing too much saliva because of nervousness, or sphincters that are too relaxed, or body positioning. There are many different and possible explanations for having gas.

Above the point where the esophagus enters the stomach, there's a bulge, and as gas rises, the gas becomes caught in the bubble part, above the esophagus.

We have learned this from trying to help our babies to burp. A baby's esophagus attaches a little to the back of the middle of the stomach, so the way to burp a baby is to actually tilt them forward to get the gas to rise to that place.

We're all different as to the exact point where the esophagus attaches to our stomachs. Folks who feel the need to belch need to find that point.

Sometimes a little bodily positioning will get the gas right to that junction. We're all different, so sometimes it can be tricky to find the right place.

Sometimes doctors give medications to people who have trouble swallowing because of extra tight esophageal sphincters, but I doubt that a doctor would consider giving you medication until you have tried some other remedies.

With the right angle of the body, just about anyone can find a position of relief and then, bingo, there goes a nice, big eruption.