Aerophagia is a discomfort that appears when excess air is produced in the digestive tract. This brings abdominal problems, which are usually very uncomfortable for those who suffer from it.

Part of the treatments range from chewing food well and slowly, avoiding overeating and drinking water. In the following article we will give you more in-depth knowledge of the characteristics, symptoms and ways to treat this digestive condition.

What is aerophagia?

When we talk about this pathology, we refer to the spasmodic intake of air and subsequent belching, with the intention of relieving the sensation of swelling or distension in the abdomen.

To highlight: Study carried out by pharmaceutical experts from ACOFAR (Cooperative Pharmaceutical Distribution Magazine), Spain, have concluded that aerophagia is produced by excessive ingestion of saliva, therefore, of air, this occurs due to stress, attacks anxiety, a deviation of the nasal septum, nasal obstruction such as rhinitis or congestion. (1)

Why does aerophagy occur?

There are a number of factors, by which you can get to suffer from this pathology. Here we share the most frequent:

1. Digestive tract problems

When suffering from this disease, you could suffer from problems in the digestive tract such as dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux or irritable bowel syndrome. In these cases, immediate check-ups would be indicated to control aerophagia with the correct treatment, as indicated by studies carried out by the “Spanish Society of Hospital Pharmacy” . (two)

Note: Dyspepsia is a digestion disorder that appears after each meal, where the most repetitive symptoms are stomach pain, nausea, heaviness, burning sensation, and flatulence.

2. Fizzy drinks and foods

Foods such as cabbage, cauliflower, chickpeas and soft drinks contribute to bloating in the stomach and produce gas or belching, for which ACOFAR recommends consuming foods that do not produce gas or flatulence such as meat, chicken, cucumber, nuts among others.

3. Gum and cigarette consumption

Other factors that cause swallowing too much air (aerophagia), are the consumption of chewing gum and cigarettes, this causes pain and abdominal distension to appear , which causes the stomach to suffer from irritation, this is verified by research carried out by pharmaceutical experts from the General Council of Official Colleges of Pharmacists , in Spain. (3)

4. Psychological disorders

The symptoms that characterize anxiety attacks or psychological disorders in people are based on habitual feelings of nervousness and restlessness that usually manifest externally as worry, insecurity, negative thoughts and internally manifest through aerophagia, this It is corroborated by studies carried out by the Autonomous University of Nuevo León . (4)

Aerophagia symptoms

The discomforts generated by aerophagia are many, where abdominal pain, belching, headache among other variants that we will let you know are preponderant.

1. Inflammation, pain and stomach heaviness

Studies carried out by gastroenterologists from the German University in Santiago, Chile comment that there are three types of dyspepsia. One of them is ulcerative dyspepsia , which generates heartburn, distension at the level of the abdomen and pain in the pit of the stomach. (5)

To highlight: There are two other types of dyspepsia called gastroesophageal reflux and non-ulcer dyspepsia, which also cause pain and inflammation.

2. Bowel noises, belching and flatulence

Intestinal noises, also known as meteorism or flatulence , are part of the conditions that this pathology generates in the patient. This is nothing more than the expulsion of gases through the mouth or through the anus.

3. Headache and tiredness

Aerophagia also tends to present physical conditions such as body pain , fatigue, headaches or dizziness in the person who suffers from it.

Treatment for aerophagia

Fortunately, aerophagia has a treatment and it depends on the people who suffer from it to comply with it as the main objective, in order to avoid discomfort such as gas and other kinds of discomfort. Here we mention the most common treatments to avoid aerophagia:

1. Avoid overeating

Eating smaller portions of food helps to treat and prevent aerophagia and more so if you eat foods that do not produce gas, this also serves as a method of testing whether the person’s body is fit to eat such foods.

Note: Eating less food during meals is key to good digestion.

2. Avoid spicy and gassy foods

It is important to avoid the consumption of spicy foods, carbonated or alcoholic beverages as they cause aerophagia. In the case of alcoholic beverages, if consumed before lunch, the drink may heat up in the stomach, producing alcohol poisoning.

Note: It is also recommended not to consume tobacco , since this increases gas and poor digestion.

3. Chew food properly

Consider that as the speed at which we eat increases, our stomach multiplies the time it will take to digest, so eating slowly and chewing properly will prevent gas from occurring.

4. Drink enough water

It is essential to consume water, if possible two liters a day (recommended), since this helps to have good digestion and helps purify our body.

5. Avoid stress and anxiety

It is very important to take the time to relax and thus avoid stress and anxiety, especially after eating, this in order not to generate aerophagia.

6. Try natural infusions

Natural infusions are of great help to the digestive system , since they contribute greatly to avoiding gas and abdominal flatulence. In this sense, anise or lemon balm tea is recommended , which are excellent for improving the digestive process.

Key Findings

  • Aerophagia is an annoying condition that appears when excess air is produced in the digestive tract.
  • It is caused by problems in the digestive tract, consumption of spicy foods, soft drinks, chewing gum, cigarettes, and psychological disorders.
  • It presents symptoms such as inflammation, pain, stomach heaviness, belching, flatulence and headache.
  • For its treatment it is important to eat moderately and calmly, as well as consume enough water and avoid stress.

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