7 Causes of Burping a Lot after Eating & How to Differentiate Them.

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1. Swallowing too much air during eating (aerophagia).

Normally, you swallow small amounts of air while you’re eating. Some individuals may excessively swallow air, leading to burping a lot after eating.

The swallowing of air can be voluntary or involuntary. Aerophagia depends on physical factors or psychological factors.

Causes of aerophagia include:

  • Eating quickly.
  • Taking while eating.
  • Drinking through straws.
  • Being a mouth breather.
  • Drinking carbonated beverages.
  • 19% of people with aerophagia have psychological factors such as anxiety (reference).

Aerophagia is one of the common causes of burping a lot after eating.

Aerophagia may cause other symptoms than burping, such as:

  • Feeling full after eating.
  • Nausea.
  • Sometimes, regurgitation of food or vomiting can occur.

The things you can do to prevent aerophagia-induced burping after eating:

  • Take small bites.
  • Take your time chewing food.
  • Try to modify the way you swallow foods or liquids.
  • Smoking, alcohol, and carbonated beverages.
  • Don’t drink through a straw.

2. Food intolerance.

Food intolerance is trouble digesting or absorbing certain foods from your gut. The undigested or unabsorbed food remains longer inside your stomach and intestine.

Bacteria then consume the stagnant food-producing gas as a byproduct. The more you eat from the offending foods, the more gas and burping you get.

Food intolerance is very common, affecting up to 20% of people (reference). Also, an allergic reaction to food (mediated by your immune system) can develop. The differences between food intolerance and allergy are explained in the table below.

Food intoleranceFood allergy
Affects 15-20% of the populationAffects nearly 2-5% of adults
Difficulty digesting certain types of food (not immune-mediated allergy).An immune-mediated reaction to certain foods or food components.
Causes “recurrent acute” or “chronic” attacks of diarrhea (which can be bright yellow & watery).Usually causes acute attacks related to the ingestion of offending food.
Intestinal symptoms: diarrhea, extensive gas, bloating, and abdominal painIntestinal symptoms are the same
No extraintestinal symptomsExtraintestinal symptoms like rashes, urticaria, swollen lips or face, or severe life-threatening allergic reactions.
The severity of your symptoms is proportional to the amount you eat from the offending food.Even trace amounts of the offending food can produce severe symptoms.

Common offending foods:

  • Lactose intolerance (dairy products).
  • Fructose malabsorption.
  • Alcohol intolerance.
  • FODMAP intolerance (as with People with IBS).

Common offending foods: (examples)

  • Raw meat, seafood.
  • Nuts, peanut
  • Mustard.
  • Rice
  • Some vegetables and fruits.

Also, food intolerance can occur physiologically. Eating large amounts of gas-producing foods leads to burping after eating.

The most common Gas-producing foods (reference):

  • Beans and lentils
  • Asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and other vegetables
  • Fructose is found in artichokes, onions, peas, wheat, and some soft drinks
  • Lactose, found in milk
  • Fruits, oat bran, peas, and other foods high in soluble fiber, which gets digested in your large intestine
  • Corn, pasta, potatoes, and other foods rich in starch
  • Sorbitol, the artificial sweetener
  • Whole grains, such as brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat

3. GERD and hiatal hernia.

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus.

GERD is thought to result from abnormal function of the lower esophageal sphincter (the junction between your esophagus and your stomach.

The lower esophageal sphincter may fail to close after you eat. Also, GERD can occur due to a hiatal hernia. Hiatal hernia is the upward bulge of the upper part of your stomach through the diaphragm.

Hiatal hernia with or without GERD can lead to excessive burping after eating. Also, GERD, with or without GERD, leads to burping (bleaching).

Symptoms of GERD include:

  • Heartburn (the most frequent symptom): a burning sensation in your chest.
  • Regurgitation of food or a sour liquid (up to your throat).
  • Excessive burping after eating.
  • Chest pain.
  • The sensation of a lump in your throat.
  • Recurrent cough or asthma in severe cases.

Learn more about GERD.

4. Functional dyspepsia.

Function dyspepsia is a term used to describe the recurrence of symptoms of indigestion without obvious cause.

People with dyspepsia test negative for GERD, gastritis, and other stomach and esophageal disease.

The symptoms of dyspepsia include:

  • A feeling of fullness or discomfort after eating.
  • Bloating.
  • Burning or discomfort in the upper middle part of your stomach.
  • Occasional burping after eating.
  • Nausea.
  • Sometimes, vomiting.
  • Functional dyspepsia is often associated with chronic stress and psychological disturbances such such as anxiety and depression.

Learn More about functional dyspepsia.

5. Gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.

Inflammation of the lining of your stomach (gastritis) or ulcer may lead to burping after eating.

H. pylori, a stomach bug, is one of the common causes of gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.

H. pylori, gastritis (acute and chronic), and peptic ulcers share common symptoms such as:

  • Burning or gnawing epigastric pain (The upper-middle part of your abdomen).
  • The pain is usually severe and associated with nausea or vomiting.
  • The feeling of fullness or bloating.
  • Burping a lot after eating.
  • With peptic ulcers, vomiting blood or passage of black stool indicates bleeding from the ulcers.

Also, acute gastritis due to infections such as viral gastroenteritis may cause such symptoms.

Common causes of acute gastritis include:

  • Stomach viruses (stomach flu) such as norovirus and rotavirus.
  • Medications, especially NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil) and diclofenac.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Ingesting spicy food.
  • A rare immune-mediated disease is called autoimmune gastritis.

6. Gastroparesis.

Gastroparesis is the delayed emptying of your stomach. With gastroparesis, food stays for a very long time inside your stomach leading to symptoms such as:

  • A sense of fullness after eating that lasts for hours or days.
  • Constant nausea.
  • Burping a lot after eating.
  • Heartburn or GERD symptoms.
  • Early satiety (feeling full after eating very little).
  • Bloating in the upper part of your abdomen.
  • Chronic stomach pain and discomfort.

Gastroparesis can occur acutely, as with viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu). Chornic gastroparesis is common with:

Learn more about gastroparesis.

7. Others (less frequent).

  • Medications include metformin, acarbose (anti-diabetes), and laxatives (lactulose, sorbitol).
  • Gallbladder diseases as chronic cholecystitis.
  • Pancreatic diseases such as chronic pancreatitis.
  • Corkscrew esophagus.
  • Achalasia.
  • Gastric or esophageal cancers.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Previous stomach or esophageal surgery.
  • Rumination syndrome.
  • And many others, learn more.

MORE: Constant Nausea and Burping: 9 Causes, Gastroenterologist Explains.