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Harvard Medical School
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General Medical Questions
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Question : I have almost constant burping. What can I do to stop it?
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The Trusted Source
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Howard LeWine, M.D.

Mary Pickett, M.D. is an Associate professor at Oregon Health & Science University where she is a primary care doctor for adults. She supervises and educates residents in the field of Internal Medicine, for outpatient and hospital care. She is a Lecturer for Harvard Medical School and a Senior Medical Editor for Harvard Health Publications.

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June 03, 2014
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Occasional burping is usually the result of foods breaking down in the intestine, which produces gas. But when you’re burping very frequently, it’s almost always the result of swallowed air.

Some people have a habit of swallowing air as they breathe or speak. Then air is burped back up. In some people this happens even without a complete swallow (the air does not get lower than the esophagus).

Air swallowing is especially common among people who have lung disease. That’s because their breathing becomes more effortful.

You might find relief by:

  • Eating slowly
  • Not chewing gum
  • Not smoking
  • Avoiding sodas and other carbonated drinks

In some cases, the medicine baclofen (a muscle relaxant) has appeared to help reduce burping among air swallowers.

If this remains a problem, contact your doctor. He or she may refer you to a speech and swallow therapist, who can coach you to modify your swallowing. 

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