Thursday, December 22, 2011





In certain cultures, a belch after dinner is

traditionally considered a compliment to the cook.

In the Western world, if an adult belches after

dinner--or at any time, for that matter--it is

considered a breach of manners.

Babies burp, and it is certainly a satisfying sound

to the mother or father who has been patting or

rubbing the baby's back. Children belch, too,

because they think it's a funny game, and

sometimes the competition gets noisily intense.

Over the years, however, such child's play can turn

into a habit of frequently and unconsciously

swallowing air--a habit that can result in belching.

If you suffer from aerophagia--the medical name

for repetitive belching--you have probably endured

the embarrassment of an unexpected outburst at

precisely the most inelegant moment. But your

habit can easily be broken if you just become aware

of when and how you swallow air and stop doing it.

Here's how:

Stifle it.

"Chronic belchers may force themselves to belch

because it provides temporary relief," says

Lawrence S. Friedman, M.D., associate professor

of medicine at Jefferson Medical College in

Philadelphia. In fact, it has been demonstrated that

repeated belching produces more of the same. On a

fluoroscope (a special type of X ray used to

visualize a body part in motion), a belching person

can be seen forcing air into the mouth and

esophagus. So if you're a chronic belcher, you need

to make a concious effort to squelch that belch.

Don't smoke.

Here is yet another reason to give up smoking if

you remain in the ever-dwindling population that

still engages in the habit. "By inhaling on cigarettes,

cigars, or pipes, you are swallowing excessive

amounts of air--much more than the belch can let

out," says Gayle Randall, M.D., assistant professor

of medicine in the Department of Medicine at the

University of California at Los Angeles School of

Medicine. And if you are counting on chewing gum

or sucking on hard candy to help you kick the habit,

think again; these activities stimulate air

swallowing, too.

Mind your manners.

Mom was right again when she told you not to talk

with your mouth full. "This habit allows air into the

mouth, which is then swallowed with the food,"

says Thomas Stahl, M.D., assistant professor of

general surgery at Georgetown University Medical

Center in Washington, D.C. Anyway, he adds, it's

an unappealing form of behavior.

Eat slowly.

People who gulp down food and beverages are, for

one thing, swallowing excessive amounts of air.

They're also crowding the stomach with too much

to digest, which causes a gaseous buildup. "Once

you take a mouthful, put down your fork and chew

your food well before taking another bite," advises



Anxiety and stress can cause you to swallow more

often, which increases the amount of air taken in.

"You'll have to make a conscious effort to minimize

air swallowing even though you may feel that your

mouth is dry, because you'll only complicate your

stress with stomach gas," says Stahl.

Don't catch cold.

One sure thing about a cold is that it brings along

postnasal drip, which will probably make you

swallow much more frequently. So try to blow your

nose to clear your nasal passages. Better yet, you

should try to protect yourself from exposure to cold


Avoid bubbly beverages.

Drinking carbonated beverages, including beer,

creates air in the stomach. "Stay away from these

drinks," advises Randall.

Go strawless.

Drinking through a straw will only increase the

amount of air you swallow.


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ADDRESS: INTERNATIONAL ASTROLOGY NETWORK, Surya Complex, Opp. Sukh Sadan Hospital, Dalhousie Road, Pathankot-145001-Punjab-India. Telephones : Reception:0091-186-223-5088, 0091-186-2229088, Sms:0091-988-885-8077, Fax:0091-186-222-5077