Although belching and hiccups are regarded as normal behaviors, they can occur at high frequency or become persistent, becoming bothersome and requiring medical care. Patients with excessive belching frequently have supragastric belches. Excessive belching should be treated as a behavioral disorder. Persistent hiccups, however, can be the first presentation of a serious disorder that requires extensive diagnostic testing. When no cause is found, only the symptoms can be treated. Aerophagia is an episodic or chronic disorder in which patients (children and adults) swallow large quantities of air, which accumulate in the gastrointestinal tract to cause abdominal distention and bloating. These patients should not undergo explorative laparotomy because they do not have ileus. New treatment approaches are needed for patients with aerophagia.
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