Aerophagy refers to an excess of air in the gastrointestinal tract. As a rule, when speaking, eating or drinking, some air always gets into the digestive tract, but in the case of the disease aerophagia, the amount of swallowed air is so great that it causes bloating, abdominal pain and excessive regurgitation.

What is Aerophagia?

Aerophagy refers to an excess of air in the gastrointestinal tract. The amount of air swallowed is so great that it causes bloating, abdominal pain, and excessive belching.

Aerodynamics can usually cause painful and chronic complaints in the gastrointestinal tract if swallowing air is unlikely to cause any problems. The majority of swallowed air that has entered the stomach is expelled again when belching.

If small amounts of oxygen enter the small intestine from the stomach, it often causes bloating, painful stomach cramps and flatulence. Especially in children, extreme amounts of depleted air can stretch the stomach extremely and lead to complications such as gastric volvulus, intestinal obstruction or difficulty breathing.

In 2009, a study on aerophagia was published for the first time, which documented on the basis of radiographs that a group of patients had excessive bloating and symptoms related to excessive air swallowing.


The causes of aerophagia are first to be found when eating or drinking too fast, which leads to excessive air ingestion. Even over carbonated drinks or chewing gum, excess air gets into the stomach.

A stuffy nose or other breathing problems such as excessive mouth breathing can also be a cause of aerophagia. An anxious, nervous or tense condition can also lead to uncontrolled aerial photography. In this respect, psychosomatic illnesses can lead to ingestion of air through additional nervousness or tension. In about nine percent of mentally disabled people, aerophagia is an expression of disturbed coordination between swallowing and breathing.

Talking too fast leads to aerophagia and is usually an unconscious problem. Aerophagia may also be an expression of allergies, especially lactose intolerance. Last but not least, medical devices or badly fitting dentures can cause aerophagia.

Symptoms, complaints & signs

Aerophagia is associated with some unpleasant symptoms and symptoms. However, these symptoms are not particularly dangerous and usually do not affect adversely the health of the person concerned. Only in severe cases can a rupture of the esophagus occur if the air pressure increases too much.

The sufferers suffer primarily from a strong belching and also flatulence and flatulence. In some cases, the bloating also causes pain in the stomach and also in the stomach. There is a feeling of fullness, which is usually very strong after taking food. The stomach itself presses on the lungs, making it difficult for the person concerned to breathe.

This also reduces the load capacity of the patient and it comes to a permanent fatigue and a fatigue. Furthermore, the aerophagia can also lead to nausea or vomiting, these syndromes do not occur very often.

A feeling of tightness also occurs in the stomach in some cases. Furthermore, the aerophagia can also lead to heartburn. Persistent belching and bloating causes some patients to suffer from depression or mental health problems.

Diagnosis & History

A diagnosis of aerophagia usually refers to persistent complaints within one year, with at least three months of continuous stress with significant air-swallowing, an increase in gas formation within the digestive tract, flatulence, and repeated belching.

Other symptoms of aerophagia include bloating, fumes and reflux. If aerophagia is a dangerous side effect of other uses, the trapped air can be detected by listening to a stethoscope outside the abdominal cavity.

This buildup can cause gastric distension and cause the stomach to press on the lungs, thereby obstructing breathing. By building up the air pressure, aerophagia can lead to a rupture of the esophagus in severe cases.


Aerophagia can lead to various complications. Bloating and abdominal pain often occur at the onset of the disease in addition to the typical difficulty in swallowing. In general, air-swallowing leads to pronounced malaise, which continues to increase as the disease progresses.

The increase in gas formation within the gastrointestinal tract also leads to an increased feeling of fullness, which increases the pressure on the lungs. This can lead to respiratory problems and an increase in the symptoms of aerophagia; in extreme cases, the buildup of air pressure can cause a rupture of the esophagus. In toddlers, there is a risk of life threatening intestinal obstruction due to aerophagia.

In elderly and sick people and pain patients, the ingestion may also lead to respiratory depression or promote an existing disease. Complications are unlikely in the treatment of air swallowing, as the therapy focuses primarily on swallowing.

Problems can occur when aerophagia is the symptom of lung disease. Then it can rarely lead to a carryover of the underlying disease, which can cause permanent damage. If a stress disorder is the cause, it must be treated concomitantly with the aerophagic treatment.

When should you go to the doctor?

The path to the doctor is not always necessary in cases of malaise or atypical symptoms. However, sometimes mild symptoms, especially if they occur temporarily over a period of time or over a longer period of time, should be clarified by a doctor. And this is exactly the case for complaints that could point to an aerophagia.

If a nausea that is considered normal, sometimes stronger and sometimes weaker, persists for an extended period of time, at least a conversation with a comprehensive history is required so that other underlying diseases can be detected and treated early.

Those who suffer at least three months of massive air ingestion, increasing gas formation in the digestive tract and bloating and recurrent burping should not think long, but arrange an appointment with his family doctor or a gastrointestinal specialist immediately.

The feeling of fullness often referred to as irrelevant as well as severe flatulence and a temporary or constant reflux must be treated by a specialist.

If breathing in the lower part of the lungs, ie near the stomach, is emotionally impeded by a feeling of tightness, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible.

Doctors & Therapists in your area

↳ To find specialist doctors and therapists in your area, please click on: "Search specialists in your area" or enter an address of your choice (eg "Berlin" or "Augustenburger Platz 1 Berlin"). .join (', ') "> ↳ You are a doctor or therapist and are missing here? Contact us!

Treatment & Therapy

The treatment of aerophagia essentially refers to a shift in the habit of slow chewing and swallowing, eating with a closed mouth and avoiding fizzy drinks and coffee.

At the same time it requires a workout to calm the breathing, especially to avoid nervous tension. Some patients need to learn logopaedic exercises to avoid excessive inhalation before speaking. The treatment of subconscious aerophagia includes in particular elements such as general sedation, slowing down and deliberate nasal breathing, for example with the help of the Buteyko breathing technique or yoga.

In cases where medical devices have caused aerophagia due to otherwise required treatment, a change in therapy should be considered. A comprehensive allergy test can diagnose allergies and show appropriate measures. In some cases, thorazine has been shown to be helpful in drug treatment, and medications such as dimethicone and simethicone prevent gas formation in the gut and can relieve symptoms.

It can also regulate herbal teas with fennel, chamomile or thyme are used. For mentally challenged people with acute aerophagia, insertion of a nasogastric tube and administration of tranquilizers may be helpful.

Outlook & Forecast

Due to the aerophagia, the patient experiences various complaints in the area of ​​the stomach and the intestine. These complaints have a very negative effect on the daily routine and the quality of life of the patient. It usually causes bloating and abdominal pain. Furthermore, those affected suffer from unpleasant burping and often bad breath.

These symptoms can also cause irritability or mental health problems. In addition, there is a feeling of fullness, which can lead to an inappetence and thus underweight. Especially after the intake of food, these symptoms occur. In the worst case, the aerophagia can lead to a tearing of the esophagus, which can be life-threatening for the person affected.

As a rule, the aerophagia can be treated relatively well and easily. In most cases, no surgery is necessary to relieve the symptoms. The person concerned may use various therapies and techniques to permanently avoid the swallowing of air. It always comes to a positive disease course. Other complications do not occur in most cases.


To avoid aerophagia, avoidance of mouth breathing is also recommended during night sleep. Reducing the consumption of milk and dairy products and carbohydrate-rich foods, as well as taking food in a quiet atmosphere, reduces much of the risk of excessive intake of air. A quiet speech and a controlled breathing during articulation also counteract aerophagia.

You can do that yourself

Through various measures, the disease can be prevented or even completely avoided. When eating, the food should not be taken too quickly and hastily. Slow chewing and swallowing as well as eating with a closed mouth can help. This allows the stomach to work faster. The omission of certain foods that release gases in the stomach, such as legumes, peppers or yeast products, can lead to an improvement of the symptoms. In addition, should be dispensed with large amounts of carbonated drinks and coffee, as these lead to increased release of carbon dioxide in the stomach. Even chewing and chewing gum should be avoided if possible.

Since stress is also a very strong risk factor in the case of the ingestion of air, stress-reducing measures such as a balanced diet, sufficient physical movements or relaxation exercises such as yoga are recommended. Also a change of the breathing technique can lead to an improvement of the symptoms. Through logopedic exercises it is possible for some patients to learn to shed excessive inhalation before speaking. If the aerophagia occurs during a drug treatment, it may be useful to change the agent used.

  • news 
  • hausmittel 
  • education 
  • symptoms 
  • parasite 
  • Top