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Burping & Anxiety

by
author image Bronwyn Ellison
Bronwyn Ellison is a nurse in the San Francisco Bay Area. She writes extensively for online publications on health and lifestyle topics. She graduated with an associate's degree from Los Medanos College with the highest academic honors in her graduating class.
Burping & Anxiety
Burping may be related to an anxiety disorder. Photo Credit stress image by Andrii IURLOV from <a href="http://www.fotolia.com">Fotolia.com</a>

Anxiety is a common condition that affects every area of life, and manifests itself in a variety of symptoms. Some symptoms are easily attributed to anxiety, such as restlessness, irritability and tremors. Other symptoms may be less obvious, such as burping. Excessive burping may indicate a condition that needs attention, and it's wise to evaluate other potential symptoms that may support the diagnosis of an anxiety disorder.

Connection

The connection between burping and anxiety involves the practice of swallowing air during stressful situations. When faced with challenges that produce anxiety, the University of Michigan Health System states that some people may swallow air. This nervous habit may be unconscious, and is a method of coping with stress and anxiety.

Physiology

The large amounts of air that are swallowed by a nervous person return up through the esophagus to the mouth and produce a belch. This air may also be passed through the digestive system and eliminated as gas. Burping may be either voluntary or involuntary, and is normal in small amounts after meals.

Heartburn, Stress and Burping

Heartburn may be another anxiety-related factor in excessive burping. According to the University of California at Los Angeles, stress is a significant factor in producing or worsening heartburn. Heartburn occurs when the contents of the stomach enter the esophagus, which is the tube between the stomach and the mouth. The high acid content in the stomach contents burns the esophageal tissue, producing pain. To help force the material back into the stomach, an individual may end up swallowing more and in doing so, may swallow increased air.

Consequences

The physical consequences of swallowing excessive air that may accompany burping include disruption in the digestive process, hiccups, bloating and increased gas. This may produce discomfort or pain. Additional consequences involve the social implications of frequent burping or passing of gas, and the potential difficulties or embarrassments this may bring. Serious anxiety may put you at a higher risk for other conditions including depression, insomnia, headaches or additional digestive problems, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Treatment

If anxiety is the cause for increased burping, it may be helpful to seek the help of a professional therapist or physician to help resolve the condition and find the appropriate treatments. These may include medications or other therapeutic treatments to help identify and deal with the sources of anxiety. Treating anxiety involves implementing lifestyle adjustments and finding positive ways to cope with stress. Some of these healthy coping methods include exercise, getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet.

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