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Digestive Disorders Message Board

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I've been suffering from nausea/acid reflux/IBS since I was a teenager. I've been on every "purple pill" in the book, but NOTHING has helped. This is DEFINITELY an odd question, anyone PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO BURP?

I cannot burp, even if I TRY to release the "pressure" that I feel. I can pretty much count on two hands how many times I've burped in my entire recollection. I get this "bubble" at the bottom of my ribs, it seems right where my stomach goes to my esophagus. And it just STAYS THERE. If I lean forward, sometimes it comes up (not as a burp, but just as a NOISE). Sometimes I have to drink water, and it comes up easier and I get relief. Burps do not come up naturally for me....and people tell me HOW to make myself burp, but it just DOESN'T.

But if the gas/reflux DOESN'T come up, I go into VIOLENT dry heaves. This especially happens in the morning...or brushing my teeth...after waiting TOO LONG to eat...and after eating too much. But lately...if I smell something that bothers me...I automatically gag. I feel like I'm "training" myself to gag.

Does anyone know if this trait could be HEREDITARY? My father (who back in the day was a frat guy at college and drank MANY a beer in his life) says he CANNOT burp either. He suffers from very bad acid reflux and is on many meds to control it. Sometimes ginger helps me - ginger chews, ginger capsules, flat ginger ale - they actually help me BETTER than any prescription med.

I don't eat any of my "trigger" foods and I don't drink soda or coffee. Gah. I've had two endoscopies, two barium swallows, stomach emptying tests. It doesn't look like my esophagus is damaged. I was on prendisone for a few months because of gastritis, but that was YEARS ago.

I was just wondering if this "gag reflex" can be controlled somehow. It's wreaking havoc on my every day life and work schedule. I read into acupuncture? Does anyone else have this "inability" to burp? Is this part of having acid reflux - something that, after all time, could've evolved into gagging? I've had the dry heaves/gags randomly for about a year, but they have become daily in the past two months.

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!
Me too. I get this weird gurgling sound instead of a burp. It is like air is trying to get out, but it physically can't. I have had this problem forever. The doctors just thought it was acid reflux, but it really isn't. The doctors I have talked to just said drink pop..this DOESN'T help. No matter the situation, I cannot burp! It really is a problem, and it hinders me everyday. I try to move to cover the sound when it happens, but it really doesn't help. Holding my breath keeps it in momentarally, however, this is probably not helping the situation. The problem got worse when I was in sychronized swimming. I think me holding my breath for so long has just continuously trapped air in my stomach, or where ever. It happens after I eat too. I don't know how to stop it because it is uncontrollable. Tums or anything like that doesn't help.
I have the same problem (sounds like), but infrequent, and it's meal-induced.

I think the term is "meal-induced gastric distention". I had a horrible bout last night, after eating a small amount of food including garlic. I was in agony for 1/2 hour. Stomach is so bloated, the burp reflex doesn't work.
The swallow reflex is also inhibited, but forcing myself to swallow really hard (and painful) let's out a little gas burp.

I retched up some bubbly saliva (no food) several times, and reasoned that my stomach was pouring out juice like a faucet, and the hydrochloric (or peptic) acid was making a gas, keeping me inflated like a balloon.

I know a little biochemistry, and know that digestive juice production is an immune reaction to the food, and you can shut it off with a stomach acid pill.
I had some Prilosecs from a few years ago, and swallowed one. Instant relief!! I mean, we're talking about like flipping a switch.

Now, I'm going to carry one in my wallet, and whenever I feel the "can't burp" attack coming on, I'll down one.

If any M.Ds can chime in, please do. It would help to know the medical term for "can't burp". Gastric distention isn't specific enough.
I can't believe people have been responding to this thread since I posted it FOREVER AGO! I don't know if anyone will read this, but...

It's now Feb 28 2009, and I am still suffering daily from dry heaves. The difference now is that I've accepted that this is how my stomach apparently digests things or copes with feeling uncomfortable. Still, when I'm in the middle of sentences after meals, I will dry heave 2-3 times, and sometimes the person I'm talking to can barely tell it's happening, haha. But I do forewarn people sometimes that I'm probably *not* going to puke on them.

Regardless, this has been THE MOST ultra frustrating deal of my life.

BTW -- Acid reflux, dry heaves, and post-nasal drip go hand in hand. You may want to see an ENT, because it could be THAT which is aggravating your heavies! :(

[QUOTE=kmacs;3779692]This thread is kind of old, but I figured I'd reply anyway...!

This is almost EXACTLY what's been happening to me, starting about 6 months ago or so...
I CAN burp, that's never been a problem - but what you described about gagging being worst in the morning, and when brushing your teeth - that's exactly my problem. Occasionally turns into ridiculous dry heaves. It's terribly embarrassing...
After doing some reading, it sounds like this may all be related to acid reflux? I've never had any of the "classic" symptoms, but the diagnosis seems to make sense. Although personally I have a sort of post nasal drip sensation - there doesn't actually seem to be anything there, but it *feels* like there is, and that makes me gag. Chewing gum and trying to keep my mouth closed all the time sometimes seems to

Glad to hear I'm not crazy. I was beginning to think that the excessive stress in my life had caused me to develop a nervous "tic"...![/QUOTE]
I can burp, but I suffer from the gagging as well- usually associated with nausea, and worse when I am stressed. It has started happening in public and is kind of embarrassing. My friends have nicknamed the disorder "roiling bowel" because my stomach / digestive system is prone to making loud sounds. I also have noticed that my lower left side (colon) seems to spasm irregularly, as if sometimes things can pass and sometimes they can't. My appetite has diminished substantially. I have been diagnosed in the past year with small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and took a course of intense antibiotics, but it only helped a little bit. If anything, I tend to have a low-acid stomach, but it took awhile to figure that out (antacids don't do anything good for me). All of the foods that you aren't supposed to eat make me feel better- coffee, tomato juice, spicy food, citrus, soda, vinegar... (mostly liquids!!). Meat and sugar make my stomach crazy.

I would love to know if others have gotten any diagnoses, or tried anything that consistently worked. Probiotics have been suggested, but didn't work. I am currently trying these special peppermint oil capsules that aren't supposed to dissolve until they hit the intestine...

I know that my grandmother had stomach issues, but I also traveled when I was younger, so I am not sure if it is genetic or acquired. My friend lived in El Salvador in the Peace Corps and got sick and took a bunch of antibiotics and has had the same issues since returning to the US.

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