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Swallowed Air - Topic Overview

Swallowing air may cause bloating, burping, gas, and abdominal pain. Swallowed air that is not released by burping passes through the digestive tract and is released as gas (flatus).

Babies often swallow air during feeding. It is important to burp your baby during and after feeding. Swallowed air may cause a baby to be upset and have colic behavior.

Recommended Related to Digestive Disorders

Enlarged Spleen: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

What is the spleen and what causes an enlarged spleen (splenomegaly)? The spleen sits under your rib cage in the upper left part of your abdomen toward your back. It is an organ that is part of the lymph system and works as a drainage network that defends your body against infection. White blood cells produced in the spleen engulf bacteria, dead tissue, and foreign matter, removing them from the blood as blood passes through it. The spleen also maintains healthy red and white blood cells and platelets;...

Read the Enlarged Spleen: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments article > >

Aerophagia is a condition where large amounts of air are swallowed. It occurs most often in people who are very anxious or who have mental health problems. However, it also is seen in teenagers who want to show off their ability to burp loudly.

You can avoid swallowing air.

  • Take your time when you eat and drink. You are more likely to swallow air when you rush through meals or eat on the run.
    • Chew your food thoroughly before you swallow.
    • Avoid carbonated beverages, such as soda and beer, and do not drink through a straw.
  • Keep calm. Tension and anxiety can cause you to swallow air.
  • Do not chew gum.
  • Do not smoke or use other tobacco products.
  • If you wear dentures, make sure they fit properly. Have them readjusted if you have gained or lost weight.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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