General Question

nikipedia's avatar

Why does heartburn cause you to burp?

Asked by nikipedia (27343 points ) May 8th, 2008

And how do you stop it? :( I thought burping was caused by swallowing air, so what’s the connection?

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9 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

you got it the wrong way round. Burping causes the heartburn. ie stomach acid enters oesphagus and burns.

shilolo's avatar

Niki. The same pathophysiologic process that causes heartburn also causes you to burp. That is, your lower esophogeal sphincter tends to be weak, leading to heartburn (i.e. acid from the stomach irritates the lower esophagus). The same weakness in the sphincter may also cause air in your stomach to escape, resulting in burping. Add to that the irritation from the stomach acid on your esophagus, and your stomach/esophagus may spasm, leading to burping.
In terms of stopping the heartburn, you have many options. One, you can try to avoid food triggers that cause heartburn for you and avoid eating right before bed. Two, antacids like Tums or Mylanta will help. Three, drugs known as H2 blockers that are sold over the counter will help, including Tagamet, Pepcid or Zantac. Finally, drugs to reduce acid secretion known as proton pump inhibitors also exist. Most require a script, but Prilosec OTC is sold over the counter.
I would suggest reducing your food trigger intake and starting with some antacids. If that doesn’t work, try the H2 blockers or Prilosec OTC. If you are also having stomach discomfort or your weight has been changing, you should go see your doctor since you might have an ulcer.

nikipedia's avatar

@shilolo: You’re my hero. I don’t know what Fluther did before you. Last night I made salad dressing out of lemon juice and vinegar so I guess it’s pretty apparent where this is coming from. Now to make it through the rest of the work day without burping at my boss…

shilolo's avatar

@Niki. Thanks. Umm, lemon juice and vinegar…let me check…yup, pretty bad for heartburn. Also, eating at night and then lying down is bad, since you’re not taking advantage of gravity to keep the food/acid where it is. Also, the stomach isn’t always acidified, only after you eat is a significant amount of acid released, so eating—> acid—-> lying down = not good.
Go get some Mylanta, it will help a lot. Maybe there is a local store where you can grab some.

cage's avatar

Heart burn is caused when you eat too rapidly (indigestion). This causes a mass amount of stomach acid being produced. From this acid comes firstly pain, and secondly gas, which can come out two ways ;) lol
Burping is the fastest way to get it out.

syz's avatar

I went the antacid route, then added pepcid, and now I’m on Prilosec OTC. At my recent appointment with a gastroenterologist (I have to get scoped due to reflux), she said that’s pretty typical. People tend to get some/moderate relief with pepcid, but the proton pump inhibitors work like a charm. According to her, now that I’m on the Prilosec, I don’t have to adjust my diet (love, love my lemonade).

scamp's avatar

Pepcid Complete is my new best friend. I have reflux and hiatal hernia, so I take one every night before bed. I also don’t eat or drink anything before lying down.

Debster007's avatar

People, try AloeCure…it turned out to be the one thing that actually works for me and I had severe heartburn constantly. (And no, I’m not a distributor or in any way connected with the business, just a really satisfied customer!) Don’t buy it directly from the company’s website (way too expensive), go through Amazon.com or some other site that sells it at a reasonable price and doesn’t force you into a “subscription service” as the company’s website does. Once your heartburn calms down, you can take it as needed. Seriously, it might be just the fix you need. Instant relief from the very first swallow. Haven’t had a single episode since.

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