Eructation is the medical term for belching.
Excessive/troublesome belching is most commonly found as a symptom of gastro-esophageal reflux disease. Rarely patients can present with recurrent paroxysms of belching secondary to seizure activity in the brain, this is called ictal eructation.
Two main forms of belching are seen:
- expulsion of stomach gas via relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter via a vagal nerve-mediated mechanism
- air is inspired into the pharynx and immediately vented out again without reaching the stomach
Interestingly those patients presenting with excessive eructation predominantly exhibit the supragastric form.
Treatment and prognosis
Behavioral therapies have been shown to be beneficial in treating excessive belching when it exists as an isolated entity but its efficacy has not been shown when used for gastrointestinal disorders.
- 1. Kessing BF, Bredenoord AJ, Smout AJ. The pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of excessive belching symptoms. (2014) The American journal of gastroenterology. 109 (8): 1196-203); (Quiz) 1204. doi:10.1038/ajg.2014.165 - Pubmed
- 2. Lang IM. The Physiology of Eructation. (2016) Dysphagia. 31 (2): 121-33. doi:10.1007/s00455-015-9674-6 - Pubmed