Skip to content
Font Size

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

Safely Using Laxatives for Constipation

Tired of being constipated and think you might need a laxative? Millions of Americans suffer with symptoms of constipation: Straining while having a bowel movement Hard stools A feeling of obstruction or incomplete evacuation Fewer than three bowel movements per week Laxatives contain chemicals that help increase stool motility, bulk, and frequency -- thus relieving temporary constipation. But when misused or overused, they can cause problems, including chronic constipation....

Read the Safely Using Laxatives for Constipation 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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    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.
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    man holding his stomach
    Get the facts on common problems.
    blueberries in a palm
    Best and worst foods.
    woman shopping
    Learn what foods to avoid.
    fresh and dried plums
    Will it help constipation?
    top foods for probiotics
    couple eating at cafe
    sick child
    Woman blowing bubble gum

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Woman with crohns in pain
    Woman with stomach pain
    diet for diverticulitis
    what causes diarrhea