How many times a day should you burp and fart – and when to see a doctor
THEY say it’s “better out than in”.
Burping and farting is a perfectly normal thing to do – but when is it too much?
Some people are criticised for doing it too much, while others seem to never do it at all (at least not in public).
Of all the gas-related symptoms, people break wind the most (80 per cent), according to the findings of a survey on British and American people, published this week.
Stomach rumbling (60 per cent), belching (58 per cent) and bad breath (48 per cent) were also common over a 24-hour period.
The study, from the Rome Foundation Research Institute in the US, just goes to show how normal it is to experience gas every day – with bloating and trapped wind also frequent.
But there’s no doubt that for some people, it can be too much.
The study found the more people experienced gas and its symptoms, the more likely they were to have depression, stress and anxiety.
Feeling gassy all the time is not only is uncomfortable, but can interrupt your social life, relationships, or make you feel self conscious.
Lead author, Professor Olafur Palsson from the University of North Carolina Department of Medicine, said: "Having a high amount of these common intestinal symptoms is associated with higher levels of depression, anxiety and stress, as well as impaired general quality of life."
What makes you fart and burp?
Everyone gets gas in their digestive tract, with the two main sources being food and swallowed air.
Therefore, the amount of gas built-up from one person to the other is varied.
The NHS says the average person lets off around a pint of intestinal gas a day.
Foods that produce more gas while being digested include broccoli, apples, pears, bread, cereal, and noodles.
And the saying “beans, beans, the more you eat, the more you fart” is in fact, true.
Swallowing air – by eating too quickly or smoking, for example – can make someone more likely to belch or pass gas.
How much should you burp and fart?
The average person farts between five and 15 times a day, according to the NHS.
A “normal” amount is different for everyone, and it can change from day to day depending on what you eat.
Burping, again, varies greatly between people.
But it “normally happens up to 30 times a day”, both audibly and silently, according to experts.
Normally burping happens after eating or drinking. Fizzy drinks are a key culprit for causing belching, as well as foods listed above.
When should you see a doctor?
Excessive or smelly farts can be part of a health condition.
IBS, coeliac disease and lactose intolerance can all cause extra wind. They can be debilitating conditions, but are manageable.
Common symptoms may also include diarrhoea, constipation, bloating and feeling sick.
There are some symptoms related to your toilet habits that might signal something more serious.
For example persistent bloating is a sign of ovarian cancer, while blood in your stool could be bowel cancer.
When it comes to burping, GP Dr Philippa Kaye told The Sun: “If you start burping more than normal or experience pain, book to see your GP.
“It could be acid reflux or an inflammation of the stomach lining.”
Acid reflux can give you the sensation of a burning throat, as it is essentially stomach acid coming up through the oesophagus.
More seriously, a hiatus hernia could be the source of your burping, especially if you are over 50 years old.
It's when part of your stomach moves up into your chest, causing burping, bloating, pain in the chest (hearburn/acid reflux), bad breath and difficulty swallowing.
These same symptoms can also signal stomach cancer.
But burping as a symptom on its own is rarely the sign of something serious, experts say.
It’s usually the result of swallowing too much air when eating, so the first thing you can try is eating more slowly, and making sure your mouth stays shut as you chew.
How can you reduce farting and belching?
If you’re concerned about how much gas you have, the NHS has some tips.
- Eat smaller meals, more often
- Drink or chew food slowly
- Exercise regularly to improve how your body digests food
- Drink peppermint tea
- Don’t chew gum, smoke, or suck hard sweets
- Don’t wear loose fitting dentures
- Don’t eat too many foods that are hard to digest and cause farting
Never ignore these symptoms
You may have one day where you burp or fart more than what’s normal for you.
Don’t be alarmed, as this is normal.
NHS and Mayo Clinic say you should see a GP if:
- You have a stomach ache or bloating that won’t go away
- You keep getting constipation or diarrhoea
- You have lost weight without trying
- There is blood in your poo
- Your stools have changed in colour or frequency
- You have lost your appetite or get full quickly
- You have problems swallowing
- You've found a lump
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