Stomach gas is expected and normal, but gas may cause intolerable symptoms in some people. If you have a digestive disorder, you may experience more severe and frequent symptoms processing stomach gas than the average person does. Healthy individuals usually process stomach gas without any problems. Other people have symptoms that can interfere with daily activities.
Burping may be one of the first symptoms experienced after eating a large meal or consuming certain beverages. Extra air and gases release from the stomach in the form of a burp. This is why carbonated drinks--with all the air bubbles--provoke burping. Eating or drinking too fast can also cause burping or belching. A burp is a natural part of the digestive process, but some people experience excessive burping symptoms. Those who habitually drink carbonated beverages, or those who gulp down meals, will have frequent burping symptoms. Talking while eating a meal or drinking from a straw can also cause stomach gas.
Bloating occurs when gas builds up in the stomach. When the body does not release stomach gas, or fatty meals delay stomach emptying, gas remains in the stomach and causes bloating. Stomach bloating is sometimes confused with bloating associated with bowel inflammation or constipation. Fullness and pressure in the upper abdomen occurs with stomach bloating, whereas bloating caused by other digestive parts occurs in the lower abdomen.
Sometimes stomach gas causes nausea and poor appetite. Gas in the stomach may remain for a time before releasing. Too much stomach gas may cause an upset stomach. Stomach gas may remain in the stomach longer in patients who have an irritable bowel syndrome, ulcer or other digestive condition.
Stomach gas may cause pain and discomfort, especially after eating a large meal. Some of the pain stems from the pressure placed on the stomach when accommodating a large amount of food. The stomach stretches, and cramping pain may occur on the front and sides of the upper abdomen. When food moves out of the stomach and into the small intestines, pain and pressure normally subsides.
Acid in the stomach may come back up the esophagus and into the mouth. Burping usually prompts acid reflux as the stomach releases some of the gases. The stomach acid causes a bitter, sour taste on the tongue, and may cause burning in the throat, mouth or chest.