Chronic, excessive burping can be caused by an upper digestive tract disorder such as gastroesophageal reflux or ulcers, or it can be attributed to excessive air swallowing while eating or drinking, according to WebMD. Lactose intolerance and high carbohydrate foods such as beans, as well as cruciferous vegetables, cause belching in some individuals.
Belching in excess of 20 times a day may be related to celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis, dumping syndrome or food allergies, states Mayo Clinic. If the burping is severe and associated with vomiting, blood in the stool, constipation or weight loss, individuals should consult their doctor. Typically, burping is not serious and can be relieved with a change in diet to minimize common gas-producing foods and the avoidance of sweeteners such as sorbitol and fructose.
A doctor may order an upper GI X-ray series to examine the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine to rule out disease as the cause of excessive burping, explains WebMD. She looks for signs of excessive air swallowing, and if bloating accompanies the excessive belching, she screens for fluid buildup or inflammation in the abdomen to rule out ascites and certain colon diseases. A sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy is often used in individuals over age 50 to rule out colon cancer, especially if there is a family history of colorectal cancer.