What Are the Causes of Belching & Diarrhea?

Belching, or burping, is your body's way of getting rid of excess air from your stomach. Belching is natural, but can cause discomfort and embarrassment. Diarrhea, characterized by loose stools passed frequently throughout the day, is a common problem. Diarrhea usually goes away by itself and sometimes has no apparent cause. Chronic belching or diarrhea may indicate health problems and should be investigated by a doctor. Diarrhea is potentially very dangerous for infants.

Swallowed Air

Swallowed air causes gas build-up in the stomach and produces belching. Eating and drinking too quickly, drinking fizzy drinks and beer, drinking through a straw and talking while eating may cause you to swallow excess air and belch more frequently. Swallowing excess air may also be a nervous habit, says MayoClinic.com.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a condition where stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. Swallowing in an attempt to get rid of the acid causes you to swallow more air, leading to more belching, states MayoClinic.com.


Diarrhea is often caused by a bacterial, viral or parasitic infection contracted from contaminated food or water. Travel to developing countries with poor sanitation increases the risk of diarrhea. Salmonella, E. coli, rotavirus, herpes simplex virus, viral hepatitis, Cryptosporidium and Giardia lamblia are common causes of infection. Rotavirus infection is the most likely cause of acute diarrhea in children, says the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, or NDDIC.

Food Intolerance

Food intolerance can cause diarrhea. Some people lack sufficient amounts of the enzyme needed to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk. This can lead to lactose intolerance and diarrhea after eating dairy products. Difficulty digesting fructose sugar and the artificial sweeteners sorbitol and manitol may also cause diarrhea, says MayoClinic.com.


Antibiotics, antacids, blood pressure medications and cancer drugs can cause diarrhea, says the NDDIC. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria, upsetting the natural balance of intestinal bacteria. This may lead to infection with Clostridium difficile, a diarrhea-causing bacteria, states MayoClinic.com.

Diseases and Disorders

Peptic ulcer, inflammation of the stomach lining or delayed stomach emptying may cause chronic belching, says MayoClinic.com. Meganblase syndrome, a rare condition where too much air is swallowed and a large gas bubble forms in the stomach after a heavy meal, causes chronic belching, says the University of Maryland Medical Center. Irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease, celiac disease or colitis may cause chronic diarrhea, says the NDDIC.


Stomach surgery may alter the length of time it takes for food to be digested, causing diarrhea. Gallbladder removal may also cause diarrhea due to increased bile in the colon, says the NDDIC. Surgery for gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause belching, states the University of Maryland Medical Center.

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