Sour burps or acid reflux is one of the most common gastrointestinal conditions. It is usually seen among the older age group. Heartburn is one of the most common factors associated with this condition. Sour burps can sometimes be a result and cause of many other problems. Belching is the release of the digestive gas from the mouth and is not done consciously but takes place often. It depends highly upon the diet and physical activity other than major physical problems like obesity, indigestion and also pregnancy. Although burping is a common and natural body function, excessive and sour belching could be very problematic and indicates several diseases as well.
Sour burps occur when the acidic contents in the stomach flows backward. The food or drinks usually remains undigested and the digestive enzymes might not function the right way. The lower esophageal and an increase in the abdominal pressure add to this problem and make digestion more problematic. Sour belching can also bring with it pain in the chest, mouth as well as sore throat. The acid present in the esophagus is also responsible for this condition. There might also be nausea, heartburn, and a persistent acidic taste in the mouth.
Causes of Sour burps
Sometimes it can simply be referred to as sour stomach and its causes can be seen as follows:
- Poor Eating Habits:
Eating more than the appetite, eating at odd times and eating at a faster pace are some of the factors that cause sour burps. Meals accompanied by alcohol, tea, coffee, aerated drinks and even too much water can make digestion problematic. Also people with breathing problems tend to suffer more. In sinusitis for example some people breathe from their mouth instead of nose due to congestion which also causes acid reflux and excessive burping.
- Alcohol, Caffeine and Fizz:
Alcohol, tea, coffee, aerated drinks and juices can hinder the regular functioning of not only the stomach but also the lower esophageal sphincter, as a result contributing to acid reflux. Carbonated drinks are one of the most causes of excessive belching. Also if the aerated drink has caffeine or alcohol such as in the case of sparkling drinks, champagnes, wines and mock tails then the chances of indigestion are more.
People suffering from obesity are more vulnerable to acid reflux or sour stomach for more than one reason. In obesity the abdominal pressure increases due to overeating, lack of physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle often witnessed among the obese people. It could also be an indicator of diabetes.
In pregnancy, stomach and digestion related problems are the most common and painful. The intra-abdominal pressure is more because of the growth in the uterus and hormonal changes. Anemia, difficulty in breathing, fatigue etc makes one swallow more air. Also women tend to eat more and crave during pregnancy that further increases the problem.
- Smoking and Tobacco:
Cigarette smoking and Tobacco chewing contributes the most to this condition. The air swallowed during tobacco consumption in any form is more, be it smoking or chewing it. The nicotine as well as other chemicals weakens the digestive system and the breathing process.
- Digestive Diseases:
When the upper digestive tract is malfunctioned then excessive burping is bound to take place. The stomach faces a lot of changes and problems like muscular and intestinal problems. In such a condition the backward flow of stomach acid is not prevented and there is also a delay in digestion and emptying of the stomach that compels the piling up of acid in the stomach most often seen in conditions such as Gastroparesis, Gastrinoma, Pyloric stenosis and Bowel motility disorders.
Treatment of Acid Burps
Easing down the excessive belching is the most important with the treatment of indigestion. The most popular medication and the most easily available are the antacids such as proton pump inhibitors and H2-antagonists also sold as over-the-counter (OTC). It neutralizes stomach acid but not for a longer period. However it’s the best option for a quick and convenient relief. Such drugs hinder the production of acid in the stomach by floating on top of the stomach juices and acts as a barrier between the stomach acid and esophageal wall. Delayed stomach emptying is the most critical part as the medication might interfere with the abdominal pressure.
It is therefore extremely essential to have a better and nutritious diet and eat in moderation with a decent amount of workout every day. Having smaller portions of the food as compared to over eating and eating at odd times is better. One must also stay away from tobacco and carbonated drinks as well as excessive alcohol. Pregnant women must be more careful and avoid over eating as well as unnecessary cravings.