Belching naturally occurs when the body gets rid of excess air from the stomach, explains Mayo Clinic. A person swallows more air when he eats or drinks quickly, talks while eating, drinks carbonated liquids, smokes, or chews gum. Intestinal gas results when undigested plant fiber and other foods in the colon become fermented. It may also occur when the digestive system fails to disintegrate gluten, sugar or other food components properly.
Acid reflux sometimes causes belching because a person tends to swallow frequently to prevent stomach acid from moving up further into the esophagus, states Mayo Clinic. In some cases, people swallow more air when they feel nervous. Gastritis and Helicobacter pylori infections may lead to chronic belching.
Some people experience intestinal gas due to food remnants in the colon, swallowed air that reaches the colon or intestinal bacteria alterations resulting from medication intake, reports Mayo Clinic. Poor carbohydrate absorption causes intestinal gas by affecting the number of good bacteria in the digestive system, while constipation causes flatulence because food waste ferments when it stays in the colon for a longer period.
To reduce belching, doctors recommend eating and drinking slowly and avoiding carbonated beverages, smoking, gums and hard candies, notes Mayo Clinic. Preventing intestinal gas involves minimizing consumption of fatty and high-fiber foods and avoiding triggers such as carbonated drinks, mushrooms, beans, peas and lentils.