Table of Contents
View All
Table of Contents

Belching (burping) is a normal process in which excess air collected in the stomach escapes through the mouth. When excess air in the stomach doesn't pass out through the mouth, it is passed into the intestines, which results in flatulence (farting).

Belching is usually nothing to be worried about. But excessive belching may be a sign of a gastrointestinal (GI) disorder. In these cases, you may want to see a healthcare provider to rule out an underlying condition.

This article explains the symptoms, causes, and treatment of belching.

A pregnant woman holding her mouth

skynesher / Getty Images

What Are the Symptoms of Belching?

Belching is pretty simple to identify. The main symptom is the expression of air from your stomach through your mouth. Symptoms include:

  • A quiet puff of air escaping from your mouth
  • A loud sound coming up your throat
  • Flatulence
  • Bloating

Sometimes belching is simply the quiet puff of air; other times, a belch may make a loud sound as it escapes through your throat. Most people belch up to 30 times a day.

In addition, sometimes with belching you may experience other forms of gas, like flatulence and bloating. Passing gas through the anus is common and typically occurs up to 25 times a day. Bloating involves a distended abdomen from excessive gas.

Are Belching and Burping the Same Thing?

"Burping" and "belching" are interchangeable terms that refer to passing excess air from the stomach through the mouth. It ranges in sound from a barely audible puff of escaped air to a loud noise coming up your throat.

What Are the Causes of Belching?

Swallowing air causes belching. Some things can cause you to take in excess air, including chewing gum or sucking on hard candy, drinking carbonated beverages, eating too fast, smoking, and wearing ill-fitting dentures.

In addition, some health conditions can cause belching. These include:

Rarely, a digestive tract blockage caused by GI cancers may be to blame. Most often, though, belching is a good thing—it's a sign your body is working optimally to remove excess air in the stomach.

Belching and GERD

Belching is a common symptom of GERD. Other symptoms of GERD to note are heartburn, regurgitation (bringing swallowed food back to the mouth), and a hoarse voice. If GERD causes belching, treating GERD should significantly reduce your symptoms.

What Medications Can Cause Belching?

Sometimes, medications and supplement side effects can cause belching. Common drugs that may lead to belching include:

If you suspect a medication you are taking may be causing your belching, talk to a healthcare provider.

How Is Belching Treated?

While you can't eliminate belching, you can reduce its frequency by modifying your diet and lifestyle. For example, try reducing some of the things that are known to lead to excessive air in the stomach, like the following:

  • Reduce carbonated beverages.
  • Avoid gassy foods like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, beans, and bran.
  • Replace dairy with nondairy substitutes.
  • Avoid chewing gum and sucking on hard candy.
  • Try a low-FODMAP diet, which reduces or eliminates certain carbohydrates that are not easy to digest.

In addition, some antacids may help reduce the acid in your stomach, which could help with belching. Treating acid reflux can help with belching that is related to that condition.

Are There Tests to Diagnose the Cause of Belching?

If you are concerned that your belching may be beyond the normal range, a healthcare provider might do some tests to rule out or confirm another condition. These may include:

When to See a Healthcare Provider

Belching is a normal process and does not usually require medical attention. However, excessive belching is not normal. If you feel that your belching habits have changed, are excessive, or are interfering with your life, it may be time to see a healthcare provider.


Belching is the normal process of expelling excess air from the stomach through the mouth. In addition to air in the stomach, belching can also be caused by some gastrointestinal conditions and medication side effects. Most people can treat belching by reducing the consumption of things that lead to air in the stomach, like carbonated drinks, chewing gum, and lactose.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American College of Gastroenterology. Belching, bloating, and flatulence.

  2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Symptoms and causes of gas in the digestive tract.

  3. Zhang JX, Zhan XB, Bai C, Li Q. Belching, regurgitation, chest tightness and dyspnea: not gastroesophageal reflux disease but asthmaWorld J Gastroenterol. 2015;21(5):1680-1683. doi:10.3748/wjg.v21.i5.1680

  4. Kaiser Permanente. Medications or vitamins that can cause gas, bloating, or burping.

By Kathi Valeii
As a freelance writer, Kathi has experience writing both reported features and essays for national publications on the topics of healthcare, advocacy, and education. The bulk of her work centers on parenting, education, health, and social justice.