Speech therapy in patients with excessive supragastric belching--a pilot study.

Department of Gastroenterology, Sint Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands.
Neurogastroenterology and Motility (Impact Factor: 2.94). 08/2009; 22(1):24-8, e2-3. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2982.2009.01371.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In patients whose main symptom is excessive belching, supragastric belching appears to be the predominant mechanism. This belch pattern is characterized by a rapid influx of air into the oesophagus, immediately followed by rapid air expulsion. The rate at which supragastric belching occurs is influenced by attention and distraction, suggesting a behavioural disorder and speech therapy may be of benefit to these patients. In 17 consecutive patients with excessive belching, concurrent impedance monitoring and high-resolution manometry were performed to ascertain the mechanism of belching. Patients with supragastric belches were referred to a speech therapist, who was familiar with the concept of supragastric belching. Before and after treatment by the speech therapist, patients filled out a VAS scale regarding the severity of their symptoms. In all patients, supragastric belches were identified with impedance monitoring. Eleven patients were referred to a speech therapist, six patients were not able or willing to undergo repetitive treatments. Eleven patients completed treatment by the speech therapist consisting of 10 (8-10) sessions. Overall, the VAS scales showed a significant improvement of the severity of symptoms (P < 0.05). Six of the 11 patients reported a large decrease (>30%) in their symptoms and four patients reported a modest decrease (<30%). In one patient, the VAS scores indicated an increase in symptoms. Speech therapy performed by a well-informed speech pathologist leads to a significant symptom reduction in patients with excessive supragastric belching. This is the first study indicating benefit of a treatment for excessive belching.

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    ABSTRACT: Belching is a normal physiological function that may occur when ingested air accumulated in the stomach is expelled or when food containing air and gas produced in the gastrointestinal tract is expelled. Excessive belching can cause patients to complain of abdominal discomfort, disturbed daily life activities, decreased quality of life and may be related to various gastrointestinal disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, functional dyspepsia, aerophagia and rumination syndrome. Belching disorders can be classified into aerophagia and unspecified belching disorder according to the Rome III criteria. Since the introduction of multichannel intraluminal impedance monitoring, efforts are being made to elucidate the types and pathogenic mechanisms of belching disorders. Treatment modalities such as behavioral therapy, speech therapy, baclofen, tranquilizers and proton pump inhibitors can be attempted, but further investigations on the effective treatment of belching disorders are warranted. (Korean J Gastroenterol 2014;64:4-9).
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