Eructation(redirected from belching)
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the involuntary ejection of air and gases from the stomach through the mouth as a result of spasms of the gastric pylorus with simultaneous reflex muscle contractions in the stomach, diaphragm, and abdomen. Eructation in healthy persons is episodic, occurring, for example, only with overeating.
Regularly occurring, loud eructation arises as a result of swallowing air, most often in neurotics. Frequent eructation may be a symptom of a gastric disease, for example, chronic gastritis or an ulcer, or of diseases of other organs in the abdominal cavity, for example, the liver or gallbladder. Occasionally, food particles are ejected from the stomach along with gases and air; this is called regurgitation and is especially frequent with nursing infants who overeat.
Sour eructation is accompanied by ejection of gastric juice, and bitter eructation, by ejection of bile. The odor of rotten eggs is noticeable with eructation when food masses are stuck in the stomach as a result of pyloric stenosis; the odor indicates putrefaction in the stomach. Eructation is treated by healing the underlying cause.