Psychosomatic Causes of Burping and Heartburn

Burping, the release of excess air from the esophagus, often occurs during rapid eating or talking while eating. In these cases, the symptom is not considered dangerous. However, attention to health is necessary if discomfort is constant, unrelated to food intake, and accompanied by unpleasant odor or painful sensations.

Can Heartburn or Burping Occur on Nervous Grounds?

Excess air release can happen due to nervous conditions. But before diagnosing psychosomatics and starting psychotherapy, it’s important to rule out medical causes. Characteristics of pathological air release from the esophagus include:

  • Acidic burping with food particles (high stomach acidity).
  • Bitter taste (presence of bile in the stomach).
  • Acetone smell (possible in diabetes or stomach dysfunction).
  • Empty burping (a sign of aerophagia).

Any additional discomfort suggests a medical basis for the symptom. However, these types can also occur on nervous grounds, as stress exacerbates chronic diseases and worsens other illnesses.

Psychological Causes

Causes can be natural, pathological, psychological, or physiological. Let’s explore these in order.

Healthy People Burping Air After Eating

Healthy people may experience episodes due to:

  1. Overeating or active physical activity right after eating. Drinking a glass of water and resting can alleviate the symptom.
  2. Excess body weight. Extra weight pressures the digestive organs, disrupting the food assimilation process.
  3. Using an inhaler.

Frequent Air Burping in Stomach Diseases

One physiological cause is gastrointestinal diseases. Frequent burping may result from dysfunction in the cardiac section of the stomach (incomplete closure). Advanced stages not only involve air release but also regurgitation of eaten food into the esophagus.

Other GI diseases causing involuntary air release (not related to food intake):

  • Reflux gastritis. Occurs when lying down or during physical activity.
  • Gastritis. Can happen anytime, accompanied by heartburn, bad breath, epigastric pain.
  • Stomach and duodenal ulcers. No odor, but a sour taste.
  • Cancer. Similar to ulcers or gastritis, often with regurgitation of food.

Important: Diseases of the pancreas, intestines, esophagus, and gallbladder can also cause burping. Medical examination, including endoscopy and X-ray, is needed for accurate diagnosis.

Burping with Hydrogen Sulfide

Also known as burping with a rotten egg smell, it indicates food rotting and fermentation in the stomach. This happens with overeating, poor food chewing, individual food intolerance, or digestive system dysfunction.

Acidic Burping

Indicates increased stomach acidity, common in gastritis, ulcers, or other GI pathologies. Accompanied by various symptoms:

  • Heartburn.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Increased salivation. Discomfort intensifies on an empty stomach.

Burping During Pregnancy

Common in pregnant women due to the growing uterus pressing on the diaphragm and frequent abdominal bloating. Usually appears in the second trimester. While generally normal, it’s advisable to inform your doctor, especially if accompanied by other symptoms.

Burping in Children

Common in infants due to swallowing air while sucking. Other causes are similar to adults, including nervous conditions or GI pathologies.

Nervous Burping

Occurs in situations like:

  • Stress.
  • Depression.
  • Tense situations.
  • Mental disorders.
  • Frequent nervous breathing.

Microspasms in the stomach and intestines caused by heightened emotions and worries lead to burping, typically without smell or taste and often on an empty stomach. However, this psychosomatic burping type lacks a medical cause. Stress management is key to eliminating this symptom.

Psychosomatics of Belching and Heartburn According to Experts

Let’s explore the psychosomatics of belching and heartburn through the theories of renowned psychosomatic experts: Louise Hay, Vladimir Zhikarentsev, Liz Burbo, and Valery Sinelnikov.

Louise Hay

Louise Hay believes the root cause lies in fear, an intensified sense of possession, and greed for life’s pleasures. Healing affirmation: “There is a time and place for everything I need to do. I am at peace.”

Heartburn, according to Louise Hay, indicates multiple and strong fears. Healing affirmation: “I breathe deeply and fully. I am safe. I trust the process of life.”

Vladimir Zhikarentsev

Vladimir Zhikarentsev thinks the cause is the fear of not having enough time. People are too greedy for life, swallowing it too quickly. Healing affirmation: “I have the time and conditions for everything I need to do. I am at peace inside.”

Heartburn reflects a paralyzing fear. Healing affirmation: “I breathe freely and fully. I am safe. I trust the process of life.”

Liz Burbo

Instead of inhaling life calmly, people greedily gulp it down. This usually stems from suppressed fears, likely related to personal development and mental “nourishment.” Such a person lacks self-respect, trust in others, and belief in the sincerity of praise and goodwill.

Heartburn, according to Liz Burbo, speaks of excessive self-criticism and suppressed desires. It also suggests poor reception of new things and a tendency to jump to conclusions.

What to do: Accept yourself as you are. Don’t be upset if you don’t meet others’ expectations. Allow yourself to live for pleasure and feel relaxed. Permit yourself to accept help, praise, and compliments from others.

Dr. Valery Sinelnikov

Valery Sinelnikov agrees with his colleagues that fear is to blame for belching. Gastrointestinal issues indicate an inability to accept and digest a situation, information, or a person.


If belching occurs occasionally, it’s not a cause for concern. It’s part of the body’s normal functioning. The cause could be eating too quickly, consuming spicy foods, etc. However, if belching occurs daily or several times a day and is accompanied by unpleasant symptoms, it’s advisable to consult a doctor. They will diagnose accurately and prescribe optimal treatment.

Specialists to consult:

  • Gastroenterologist
  • Endocrinologist
  • Dietitian
  • Cardiologist
  • General practitioner or pediatrician

If medical professionals can’t find the cause, they may refer you to a psychologist. However, it’s beneficial to visit this specialist in any case.

Important: If belching has a medical basis, the primary pathology needs treatment. Self-medication is not advisable! Only a doctor has the authority to prescribe medication.

How to Get Rid of Psychogenic Belching

Psychological correction is also best left to a specialist. They will identify patterns between life situations and symptom manifestation, determine the patient’s personality traits, and their ways of responding to difficulties. The psychologist will then create a plan to correct the client’s thinking and behavior.

It’s essential to monitor your thoughts. Learn to love yourself and positively relate to others. Identify and rid yourself of fear. Overcome the fear that your character and individuality won’t be accepted. Yes, you won’t be liked by everyone, but that’s normal. Find people with whom you enjoy interacting and who enjoy interacting with the real you.

Preventive Measures

To prevent belching, consider the following steps:

  • Avoid carbonated drinks, beans, and other foods that cause gas formation.
  • Refrain from alcohol and smoking.
  • Regularly undergo medical check-ups and treat any diseases as necessary.
  • Be mindful of your thoughts.

Self-help tips to eliminate belching:

  1. Monitor your diet: Eat 5-6 small meals per day. Avoid fatty, fried foods, spicy seasonings, flour-based products, coffee, and alcohol. Chewing gum should also be avoided.
  2. Avoid engaging in sports immediately after eating. However, leisurely walks are beneficial. During episodes of belching, avoid bending over or performing exercises that strain the abdominal muscles.
  3. Pay attention to your choice of clothing. Avoid tight belts, corsets, and similar restrictive garments.

Important: Do not ignore episodes of belching, even if they are not accompanied by other discomforts. Persistent belching can lead to diseases in other systems and organs.

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