You might have seen those old uncles making loud burps after eating, even publicly at functions, at dinners and even while travelling. These loud burps have grossed out most of us and we would like to maintain a safe distance from them. Although we have been listening to these burps for years (some of you do it as well) , have you wondered what is the real cause behind this body response? Well if you are as curious as we are to know about the reason behind these burps then read along to know the actual science behind these noisy burps.
What are burps?
Starting from the basics. Before getting in and understanding the reason behind this body response, let us take a moment to understand what these burps actually are.
A burp is a simple and usual bodily response which enables the air in the stomach to be brought up and released. This process of releasing the trapped air produces a distinctive sound which is perfectly natural. Although the process of burping is a natural bodily response, it's the sound which accompanies the burp that makes in embarrassing.
What does the process look like?
While eating, when you swallow down the food some amount also gets swallowed along. During this process of consuming food, when excess air gets swallowed up and gets inside your stomach. Eventually this excess air searches out for a way to escape your stomach which usually happens through your mouth via esophagus.
The air which gets accumulated inside the stomach causes it to stretch, This scratch causes the muscle present at the end of the food pipe to relax. As this muscle relaxes itself, it helps the air to move up the stomach and and pass out of the mouth through the esophagus or the food pipe.
What causes a burp?
While there is not one particular reason or cause that results into a burp, here is a list of things that are responsible for making you burp-
1. The way you eat
The way you consume your food has a large impact on your digestive system and the overall digestive health. Gulping your food down the throat while eating in a hurry can result in excess air going down your throat along with the food. As you swallow so much air, it causes the food to stay stuck in the esophagus and the air to settle in your stomach. Your food would not get down as the place is occupied by the axcess air. This excess air causes you to burp after which the food finally gets a chance to settle down.
3. Acid Reflux
One of the most common gastrolienal diseases, acid reflux causes the stomach acids to come back up to your throat. This happens when your stomach can not digest the food at a proper rate which can be due to obesity, pregnancy or some other health condition. As it feels like a lump in the throat, people tend to swallow it in order to get rid of this feeling. This action of swallowing it back makes people swallow even more air and makes them burp.
2. Your Drinks
You might love the taste of those fizzy beverages, their texture and the way they feel in your mouth. Do you know that these fizzy drinks can actually be the real culprit behind those burps? As these bubbly drinks are packed with CO2 (carbon dioxide) they add up some extra air into your stomach. As this extra air searches for its way out, it retracts its path through the food pipe and escapes from your mouth causing you to burp.
As a matter of fact it's not just the fizzy drinks that causes the burp, but drinking extremely hot beverages can also have the same effect.
The next time you hear your friend or your dad burp, do not forget to ask them if they are undergoing some stress. It is a less known fact that even stress can be a reason behind burps. Issues related to the gut are seen to be more prevalent in people who are depressed or anxious. As anxiety and nervousness makes a person gulp down a lot of air, it eventually leads to belching. As a person gulps down large amounts of air due to stress and anxiety, it makes them burp in order to release the trapped air.
5. Highly Acidic Food
Food items such as tomatoes, onions and some citrus fruits like oranges can be good for your health to an extent. But consuming buch of these can have some negative impact on your health. As these food items have a high acidic content in them, they cause a feeling of heartburn in some people. This is another reason which causes burps by burning the back of your throat.
How to avoid burps?
By now you know everything about burps from what they actually are, the process that takes place behind these burps and various factors that make you burp. Although burping is a natural bodily reaction to the excess air in our stomach, producing a buropo sound in public can surely embarase you and make you and people around you uncomfortable. From next time try to follow some simple tricks in order to save yourself from this embarrassing situation -
- Take time to chew your food slowly and properly instead of gulping it down.
- Maintain a distance from carbonated, fizzy, soda drinks.
- Let your hot beverages like milk, tea and coffee cool down a bit before you hop on to them.
- Avoid taking a lot of stress and calm yourself down by following the grounding techniques so that you do not gulp on some air unconsciously.
- Avoid eating too much of highly acidic foods that give you heartburn.
- Try taking an over the counter antacid medication to cure acid reflux and to avoid burps caused due to it.
- If you get a burp make sure that you are covering your mouth either with your hands or with a hankerchief.