Constant forced belching, feeling of air stuck in chest/throat (Acid Reflux/GERD diagnosed).

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Hi All,

This is my first time doing this so I want to try to be as detailed as possible, as I have gone through several doctors and am simply not satisfied with my current situation and honestly don't know what else to do.

It all started about one year ago when I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like I couldn't breathe. I went to the ER after about 2 days I was having a hard time breathing, always feeling like I was short of breathe. He gave me a inhaler which did not help, then after a few days my symptoms went away and I had this feeling of air trapped in my chest/throat and I was constantly forcing myself to burp in order to relieve these symptoms. He referred me to a gastroenterologist, with whom essentially determined and diagnosed me with some gastritis and GERD/Acid reflux.

Tests I have done:

- upper endoscopy (showed some gastritis/inflammation and acid reflux)

- 2 stool tests to check for h. pylori and other bacterium (both negative)

- esphogeal manometry and (2) 24hour pH tests (one without nexium and second time after maxed on nexium, twice a day. showed I was swallowing a lot of air and had acid reflux)

- swallow test? forgot what it's called but I drank liquids and they saw how it went down through xray.

Nothing has helped. I was prescribed prilosec, nexium, etc with no relief. I still take 1 nexium a day now as when I stopped, the forced belching would bring acid up and burn my chest/throat.

My doctors are now trying to prescribe me Zoloft in order to "suppress" my brain and feeling these symptoms, but I am hesitant as I assume this would only mask the problem, even if it worked.

I just CANT GET THIS FEELING TO GO AWAY. I am constantly belching, my chest is extremely tight, etc. Is it anxiety? I don't feel anxious.



2 likes, 117 replies


117 Replies

  • Posted

    Also, I am a healthy, 26 year old male. I regularly go to the gym and lift, but because of this problem it's harder for me to do cardio exercises like running as it bothers my breathing/uncomfortable.

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  • Posted

    It could be anxiety, and even if the medication initially works it could be the placebo effect.  You can always give it a try but do not continue using it if you see no improvement or little inprovement.   Stary away from benzos unless you have no other option. God bless!
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    • Posted

      Hi Tony,

      Just wondering if you where able to get that burping problem under control.  When I read your post it is exactly what I am going through.  Anxiety - especially severe anxiety - can change the way you breathe and how you digest, both of which can lead to belching and burping.Those that suffer from anxiety are prone to what's known as hyperventilation, or "over-breathing." It can occur in a variety of different ways, including:

      Breathing too fast during an anxiety attack.

      Breathing too much oxygen because you feel you're not getting a deep breath.

      Poor, shallow breathing as a result of bad anxiety habits.

      Interestingly, hyperventilation makes people feel as though they aren't getting enough air, when in truth they're actually getting too much. It tends to trigger a variety of symptoms, including lightheadedness, chest pains, and shortness of breath, that often trigger further anxiety and further hyperventilation Because your body is receiving more air than it needs, the healthy gas ratios are thrown off, and your body ends up needing to expel a great deal of that gas. That is what causes you to feel like belching repeatedlyIt's also not uncommon for belching to be an unusual stress relief tool, almost like a tic. Often this occurs in those with hyperventilation as well, but some people create this need to let out small burps as a way of coping with their stress. That is my main feeling like its a facial tick I need to perform with my forced burping.   I have been given the following to do to ease this as correct the issue:

      Learn New Breathing HabitsYour first step is going to be to learn new breathing habits. You can start by taking about 20 to 30 minutes every day taking slower breaths. Breathe in through your nose for several seconds, hold for a few seconds, and breathe out through pursed lips for several seconds. During an anxiety attack, this exercise is known as deep breathing and may have calming qualities.

      Eat Healthier Foods Healthy foods are not necessarily related to hyperventilation, but the healthier you eat the easier it will be for your body to digest foods in the event that poor digestion is aiding your belching and burping habits.

      Drink WaterI nterestingly, the simple act of drinking water can have its own calming properties, so people are advised to drink water in small gulps when they're suffering from anxiety. It seems as though this may also have an effect on your belching, although the reason for these benefits is unclear.

      I hope your burping went away.  You explained that you did not thing you where feeling anxious.  The lives we live now days are so hectic, rushed full of stress but are all considered the normal life right now but are anything but.  It could be that your body and breathing are trying to tell you something but you have just become accustomed to the feeling.  I really freaked out when I found out the the burping was me doing it, not all the other things I got tested for like you.  If you still have the burping, please see a breathing therapist or phycologist.  You need to relearn proper breathing as you have now become accustomed to the forced burp to relieve that bubble feeling of air in your throat, I know I have.  After you have done it for such a long time it feels almost unnatural to stop which is strange in itself.  The certainty I have seen in this being the same condition is that you don't burp in your sleep but starts again soon after being up in the morning.  I have read up on this condition and it is usually started after ongoing stress, an illness or even after stress testing which is stressful in itself.  You had mentioned that you used to work out, pushing yourself and your body could have possibly lead to your body beginning to take in to my air also and created the burping tic like movement in itself.  I lay down on the bed and breath in through my nose deeply and slowly and exhale through my mouth.  I focus on trying to lengthen the time in between of burps.  You could do that exercise with a small stop watch to relearn breathing,  I know this was winded LOL but I hope it helps someone else that develops the same debilitating burping.  It robs you of your quality of life if you don't recognize what is going on.  GOD BLESS

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much Denise for such an eye opening and detailed answer , this answer is so detailed and so enlightening in terms of anxiety attacks and how it affect breathing patterns. Thanks a lot Denise.
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    • Posted

      Hi Denise,

      Did you find the urge to burp while eating food and did you avoid food or to drink water, please let me know.

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    • Posted

      I have your same symptoms. I really don't think anxiety is the cause at all. If you have gastritis, that alone or combined with ppi medication will cause burping. Gastritis releases gas, pressure. This causes gas build up and in return causes burping.

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  • Posted

    I'm no expert, but based on my own experince it could be anxiety. In my case which is not the same but I did have lack of air and chest pain they said it was reflux/gastritis for 2 years, in the process they said COPD, asthma, cardio related and finally anxiety.  So far after 4 years they have no clear answer,  and symptoms change with time.  They even took out my gall-bladder which made no diffrenece because I have no stomach issues or pain.  So basically I'm not much help to you, but if anyhting do not take benzos unless you have no option, and do not let them take out your gall-bladder because other issues will come with it. ;-( 

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  • Posted

    Hi Tony

    I can identify with you to a certain extent, my problem has been my throat for the last year,

    it always feels like something is stuck and I have to clear it, which makes it worse. I hate to eat, because it makes it worse too.

    I was diagnosed years ago with Gerd and hiatus hernia, used to take Galvescon  (spelling) for 2-3 years, slept elevated, eventually it went away all these years.

    Presently my doctor thought it's all from sinus drip, but he did say to take Pepcid AC twice a day along with sinus medicine. It's not working and this Friday, when clearing my throat I brought up a bunch of.....well, I guess food? I call my doctor tomorrow and demand tests, because I'm getting anxiety over it and feel like I can't breathe. I will let you know what was done or what meds I will get. In the meantime listen to your body, it will tell you what medication feels better and if you

    just need to go back for more tests. Don't let a doctor tell you to "deal" with it, because they will say that.

    All the best,


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  • Posted

    I don't think it's anxiety but I think they say that when nothing they try works. I think the answer is to use antacids in a crisis but not long term and try and come to terms with the idea that life has changed. I'm finding this very difficult. My chest tightness becomes painful as the day progresses. So constantly massaging (which produces burps and helps a bit) and lying down (which makes it a lot better but upsets my arthritic neck) then sitting up again. Not very relaxing! Every days a struggle but I don't think the medics have an answer so the only choice is psychological pain management. Good luck!

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