Eructation

Dr Daniel J Bell et al.

Eructation is the medical term for belching.

Pathology

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:

  • gastric belching
    • expulsion of stomach gas via relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter via a vagal nerve-mediated mechanism
  • supragastric belching
    • 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.

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Article information

rID: 59823
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Belching
  • Burping
  • Burp
  • Belch

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