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The Side Effects of Swallowing Air

While I thought death and taxes were the great certainties of one's life, WebMD tells me it is the gas we pass that is the ultimate commonality of mankind. It turns out you do have something in common with the Queen of England.

It seems that swallowing air causes burping, and this is actually a very common occurrence. You probably aren't swallowing air on purpose, but excess air is making it to your stomach anyway. Here are ways common activities increase our accidental eating of air.

  • Smoking (just another reason to quit)
  • Chewing gum (especially when you "smack" your gum)
  • Drinking through a straw (when you make the awful sucking sound when you hit the bottom of the glass)
  • Sucking on hard candies (once again with a lot of "smacking" involved)
  • Drinking a lot of carbonated beverages (did anyone say Diet Coke?)
  • Eating or drinking too quickly (this is yet another reason mothers, internationally, tell their children to slow down when eating)

If you find yourself burping with an uncomfortable frequency, take a look at the above list to see if you need to modify your behaviors. Surprisingly, some medical conditions can contribute to swallowing air, and thereby promote unwanted burping. Allergies and sinus infections both create postnasal drip, which can make you swallow more often. And we all know what swallowing excess air can lead to!


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