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Simple Tricks to Reduce Anxiety and Belching

Jenna Jarrold, MS, LAC, NCC
Simple Tricks to Reduce Anxiety and Belching

The body has many different mechanisms to protect itself from the potentially damaging effects of stress and anxiety. Nonetheless, persistent anxiety, over time, can contribute to the development of some very unpleasant symptoms.

Some of these symptoms can cause physical pain and discomfort, including increased gas and belching. Although not well-known, belching is a somewhat common symptom of anxiety. And although belching is usually a short-lived physical reaction, it can be difficult to cope with physically, and it can become challenging to deal with in social situations.  

How Does Anxiety Cause Belching?

Although it may sound strange, there are many different changes that occur when a person has anxiety that can cause belching and gas. Although the rate and intensity of this gas may vary based on the type of anxiety a person suffers from, many experience gassiness and belching nonetheless.  

Most belching related to anxiety is caused by a form of hyperventilation, that, for many, occurs during times of intense stress and/or panic. Hyperventilation due to anxiety is a result of the change in breathing one experiences under stress.  

How Hyperventilation Affects Gas/Belching

Those that suffer from anxiety and panic are prone to hyperventilation, or "over-breathing." Hyperventilation can occur for a variety of different reasons, all related to changes in breathing when someone is under stress:

Interestingly, hyperventilation makes people feel as though they are not getting enough air when, in fact, they are getting too much. Hyperventilation tends to trigger various different symptoms, including lightheadedness, chest pains, and shortness of breath. It also triggers belching. When the body receives more air than it needs, the healthy gas ratios are thrown off, and the body needs to expel the excess gas/air - often through belching.

The symptoms associated with hyperventilation can also trigger more anxiety, which can make the cycle of hyperventilation and anxiety difficult to stop. 

Other Causes of Gas/Belching from Anxiety

Although hyperventilation is one of the main causes of belching in those with anxiety, it is not the only one.  Anxiety can throw off the natural processes of the gastrointestinal system, both slowing and altering digestion, because of the severe stress and hormone changes that affect your stomach. If food is not being digested properly, it can lead to a considerable amount of gas. 

How to Reduce Anxiety-Related Belching

While most belching, in general, is not harmful, it is something most people would rather not deal with on a regular basis. It is always okay to seek advice from a medical professional, regardless of how minor (or serious) the belching may be. There are also ways to manage and decrease the amount of anxiety-related belching without medical intervention.  Some of these strategies to reduce belching include:

These are just a few of the many different approaches people use to manage and decrease their anxiety-related belching. Also important to those who suffer from anxiety-related belching is learning how to manage the core issue - the anxiety. Thankfully, there are many treatment modalities and approaches proven effective for anxiety. Talk to a medical or mental health professional about your anxiety and ways to better cope with it.

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