Belching and Gas

Document created by tfreiberg Employee on Dec 27, 2016Last modified by mcunningham on May 3, 2018
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To reduce discomfort caused by belching and gas and/or abdominal distension.



Dyspepsia (also known as belching and gas) is a range of symptoms that can be related to:


  • Tumor of the stomach, bowel, chest or abdomen
  • Lack of bowel motility or movement
  • Reduced food and/or fluid intake


Other causes may also be post-surgical, radiation treatment, drug or acid irritation, delayed stomach emptying and anxiety.


Symptoms may include: feeling or appearing bloated, feeling full after eating very little, pain, nausea and/or vomiting, discomfort after meals or burning discomfort relieved temporarily by antacids.


Related Symptoms: Severe discomfort including stomach pain, referred pain to shoulder blade, chest or flank, emotional distress and embarrassment.


What to do

  1. Provide small frequent meals to avoid bloating.
  2. Avoid spicy foods and foods that are not well tolerated by the patient.
  3. Have patient sleep with head elevated.
  4. Have patient sit up 15 minutes before and after meals and while eating.
  5. Discuss the use of over-the-counter medications with your care nurse.
  6. Discuss patient’s feelings as gas and belching can be emotionally distressing and embarrassing.


Adapted from: The Lippincott Manual of Nursing Practice, Tenth Edition, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013.