A little burping here and there is normal. Burping represents the backwards passage of air from the stomach or esophagus up through the mouth. This air is typically swallowed when we breathe or eat. When there's a sudden release of air into the esophagus that causes it to stretch, there is a reflux that allows the upper esophagus to relax, enabling us to belch and release the air.
But if persistent bouts of belching occur, take note of what your body is trying to communicate. If burping continues for a long period of time, or it gets worse it may mean that there's something else going on that may require a visit to the doctor.
A number of serious conditions can cause you to bring up unusual amounts of wind including GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease - a condition in which the contents of your stomach back up into your throat, small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO), a condition in which excess bacteria develops in the small intestine and creates extra gas that passes through the gastrointestinal tract. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS is another cause as is lactose intolerance, gastroparesis (impairment in the motility of the stomach, which is common in diabetics), or hiatal hernia (when part of the stomach slides up into the chest, above the diaphragm).
So, to figure out why you're belching on the regular, you need to find out whether you are experiencing it hand-in-hand with other symptoms that are typical symptoms of another illness. Other partner symptoms that you should be weary of include:
Vomiting for no reason is a worrisome symptom. Yet when it's teamed up with incessant burping it's a clear sign that a more serious problem could be behind those belches. As it could indicate a condition like acid reflux or a hiatal hernia. It may also be an indication of a sign of obstruction either in the stomach or the small intestine as well as other benign conditions like an ulcer. If this is something that you experience frequently let your doctor know about it just to be on the safe side.
Unexpected weight loss and loss of appetite
There could be a reason behind losing weight suddenly. In fact unexpected weight loss is often perceived to be alarming. Until proven otherwise, it should be presumed to be due to a malignant (cancerous) process. This occurs because cancer develops from rapidly dividing mutant cells, which require high energy to divide so quickly.
They use the energy and nutrients that we would normally use, which leads to weight loss. If you're burping more than usual and your appetite seems to have come to a halt, decreased appetite could indicate inflammation, infection, ulcers or cancer. In the case where these conditions are ruled out, sudden weight loss could be a sign of severe depression.
Constipation or diarrhea
There's nothing alarming about the occasional clogged pipe, but if constipation occurs more frequently, accompanied by other symptoms like burping, consult your doctor. New, onset constipation, or stool associated with bleeding, severe bloating and pain, vomiting, belching or weight loss may be a sign of a bowel obstruction, such as a tumor and scar tissue or twisted colon. Most of the time, patients with constipation have IBS, which is associated with increased gas, causing belching.
Going to the bathroom too much can be just as concerning as not going to the bathroom at all. Diarrhea can also occur due to IBS, but if associated with other symptoms, it may be due to celiac disease, Crohn's disease, or ulcerative colitis - all of which can also result in an increase in belching.
Abdominal distension is the expansion of the abdomen beyond its usual size. It's typically the result of food fermenting in your intestine, which produces excess gas, causing more burping. Persistent or severe distension can also be a sign of an obstruction or severe food allergy or intolerance such as gluten or fructose. If you're burping a lot and your tummy feels uncomfortable, speak to a physician to find out the cause.