I know firsthand how frustrating it can be to be still burping (and having other symptoms) AFTER completing H pylori treatment.
You might be concerned that your treatment wasn’t fully effective and that you still may have H pylori, or that there is something else going on in your gut that needs to be addressed.
And those thoughts are completely valid! You shouldn’t have to live with annoying symptoms like burping after going through H pylori treatment.
But, you’re in the right place! This blog post will address your concerns and worries about still having symptoms after H pylori treatment.
Here’s what you can expect to learn from the post:
- Common causes of burping after completing treatment
- Other common lingering symptoms after eradicating H pylori
- 3 actionable steps to reduce burping (and any other symptoms)
- My personal experience with burping after H pylori treatment and how I got rid of it for good
- My recommended next steps for navigating life after completing H pylori treatment
So, if you’re ready to dive deep into addressing your lingering burping, let’s go!
Causes of Persistent Burping After H Pylori Treatment
Still experiencing burping after completing H pylori treatment is not uncommon. And it also doesn’t mean that your treatment was ineffective.
Burping can just be one of those symptoms that takes some time to fully resolve even after you’ve eradicated your H pylori infection.
Your stomach has been through a lot as a recent host to H pylori. And the inflammation and stomach lining damage caused by the bacteria are just a few reasons why your burping has not subsided completely after treatment.
Here is a quick overview of the main reasons why you are still burping after H pylori treatment.
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) like Omeprazole or Pantoprazole are a big contributing factor to the persistence of burping as a symptom after treatment.
Being on PPIs during treatment along with antibiotics (known as Triple Therapy), using PPIs for a short time before realizing that you had H pylori, or including PPIs as a means to control symptoms after treatment could all be playing a role in your burping.
This is because, no matter how brief of a time you use them, PPIs work by shutting down stomach acid production.
And when you don’t have adequate stomach acid production, you can experience burping as a result.
Burping in the presence of low stomach acid occurs for a few reasons, but primarily because of the inability of your Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES for short) to function properly.
Your LES is a muscular ring located at the junction between the esophagus (the tube that connects the throat to the stomach) and the stomach. Its primary function is to act as a valve, controlling the passage of food and preventing stomach contents from flowing back up into the esophagus.
When you swallow your LES relaxes and opens to allow food and water to pass through into the stomach. And when you are not eating, your LES tightens up to prevent stomach acid and the food you just ate from flowing back into the esophagus.
This process usually works seamlessly. But when you don’t produce adequate amounts of stomach acid (like during and after PPI use) your LES doesn’t get the message that it needs to tighten and close.
This means that your valve stays open longer than normal, which is what can cause gas from the stomach to travel up the esophagus, leading to burping (along with other symptoms).
So, if you have a history of PPI use or are still using them, this can be one of the reasons why you are still experiencing burping after completing H pylori treatment.
Stomach Damage from the H Pylori Infection
The second reason why you could still be experiencing burping after H pylori treatment is because of the stomach damage that occurred as a result of having the infection.
H pylori is a nasty bacteria. It makes its home in your stomach by burrowing into the stomach lining, causing all kinds of inflammation and damage (sometimes in the form of ulcers).
This inflammation and stomach lining damage also negatively impact the proton pumps that are housed in the stomach lining.
And when proton pumps are impacted, they aren’t able to produce adequate levels of stomach acid. This leaves you in a similar situation to what we just walked through with the PPI use.
Low stomach acid, however it comes about, inhibits the proper functioning of the LES, leaving you susceptible to burping and other symptoms after H pylori treatment.
But the good news is that this stomach lining damage and inflammation is not forever! Once your H pylori infection is eradicated, the stomach lining and proton pumps take 3-6 months to heal.
And with that healing, you can expect to see a decrease in your burping.
Negative Shifts in Gut Bacteria
A third potential cause of continued burping after H pylori treatment is that having an H pylori infection makes you more susceptible to having an imbalance of beneficial bacteria in your gut.
This microbiome imbalance is brought about through, you may have guessed, H pylori’s stomach acid lowering impacts.
Adequate levels of stomach acid acts as a barrier against the overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines.
So, when your stomach acid levels are less than optimal, thanks to your previous H pylori infection, there is an increased risk of bacterial overgrowth.
And those overgrown bacteria can produce gasses like methane and hydrogen that contribute to your lingering burping.
Identifying if this is a root cause and addressing any bacterial overgrowths during or after your H pylori treatment will be critical in overcoming your burping.
Other Common Post-Treatment Symptoms
Now that we have a better understanding of why many people often still experience burping after finishing H pylori treatment (we’re looking at you low stomach acid), let’s take a look at other common post-treatment symptoms.
And remember, still having burping or any of these other symptoms don’t mean that you still have H pylori. They also don’t mean you’ve eradicated it either. The only way to know if you have beaten H pylori is to retest.
With that being said, here are some other symptoms that are common to experience after completing H pylori treatment:
- Stomach discomfort
- Changes in bowel habits
And if this list of symptoms looks familiar, it’s because they are also common symptoms of actually having an H pylori infection.
Unfortunately, for most people, symptom relief does not occur immediately after treatment. It can take 3-6 months for the stomach lining to heal and for you to have complete symptom resolution.
If you have recently completed treatment and are still having lingering symptoms, my free training Overcoming H Pylori can help you identify any missing pieces to your healing puzzle!
How to Address Lingering Burping After Treatment
Now let’s dive into some actionable ways that you can help to minimize the burping you’re experiencing after H pylori treatment.
Since we know that the big root cause of burping after having H pylori is low stomach acid, many of these tips will help to support your body to produce more stomach acid.
Along with increasing stomach acid, these adjustments will also help to support gut healing and improve digestion, all of which will give you the best shot at kicking your lingering burping to the curb.
With Diet Adjustments
There are two main diet considerations to make when you’re trying to minimize burping.
The first is to identify and avoid trigger foods. Some foods may be more difficult for your body to digest post-H pylori, and those foods are the ones that are most likely to cause an increase in symptoms.
And the second is to incorporate gut-healing foods into your diet daily.
Making these two small shifts to your diet can go a long way in decreasing your burping and helping to improve your digestion.
Aim to include at least one gut healing food in your meals each day.
And keeping a food and symptom journal can be extremely helpful for identifying your own unique burp-triggering foods.
With Lifestyle Changes
When we talk about tweaking our lifestyle to help address burping and essentially improve stomach acid production there are two simple changes we can make.
The first is to make sure that you are relaxed, sitting at a table, and calm before you dive into your meal.
We live in such an on-the-go culture that many times our meals are just as rushed and hurried as the rest of our lives.
So that often leaves us eating standing up or in the car. Neither of these is conducive to proper stomach acid production and eliminating lingering burping after H pylori treatment.
Eating in this on-the-go state keeps your body in what is called a “fight or flight” state. And being in this state is great if you are giving a big presentation at work or trying to avoid getting into a fender bender. In this “fight or flight” state, your body diverts energy and resources towards things like increasing your blood pressure, heightening your reflexes, and supporting your fast-twitch muscles.
Unfortunately, digestion is not a top priority in a “fight or flight” state. This means stomach acid production is going to be low on your body’s list of to-do’s.
BUT, if you prioritize eating while sitting down, in a calm environment, with limited distractions, your body more easily gets the message that now is time to digest. When this happens, your body shifts into what is called the “rest and digest” state, where more energy and resources are diverted to digestion, enzyme secretion, and stomach acid production.
So, next time you are planning a meal, make sure to prioritize these things when eating:
- Sitting down at a table
- Limiting distractions (like scrolling your phone or watching tv)
- Taking a few deep belly breaths before you start eating
These small changes can go a long way when it comes to minimizing your burping and improving your digestion after meals.
The second lifestyle tweak you can make is to make sure you are chewing thoroughly every time you eat.
I know this sounds simple, but try to catch yourself next time you eat and count how many seconds you chew before swallowing. If it’s less than 20 seconds, that’s not enough!
Chewing is the first step in the digestion process and it’s the only step that you have direct control over.
So, before you go out and buy the next sexy digestive aid, let’s cover our bases and make sure you’re chewing properly.
Chewing is so important because it not only breaks down food into smaller, easier-to-digest, particles, but it also signals to the stomach to start producing stomach acid.
Not chewing enough results in less stomach acid production, and in your case, likely more burping.
So, next time you eat, aim to chew for at least 20 seconds, or until the food in your mouth is the consistency of baby food.
The rest of your digestion process will thank you, and you’ll likely find relief from your burping too.
The last area that we can use to address lingering burping after H pylori treatment is with supplements.
Supplements can be helpful to use during that 3-6 month timeframe after you’ve eradicated H pylori but you are waiting for your stomach lining to heal and for stomach acid production to ramp back up.
In my experience as a practitioner, the most impactful supplement to help manage burping is digestive bitters.
Digestive bitters help to stimulate your body’s production of stomach acid, and can really make a difference when it comes to improving the symptoms you experience after meals.
Along with adding in digestive bitters before every meal, taking a spore-forming probiotic like Just Thrive can be helpful in speeding up the stomach lining recovery process. (You can use code NinjaJT for 20% off your order of Just Thrive Probiotics!)
The strains in Just Thrive have been shown to be effective at healing leaky gut and reducing inflammation – both of which are key pieces to the healing puzzle after an H pylori infection.
Adding in these two supplements, along with making the diet and lifestyle changes mentioned above should get you well on your way to reducing your burping and feeling more like yourself again.
My Personal Experience with Burping After H Pylori Treatment
Besides my time as a practitioner helping clients resolve their lingering burping after H pylori treatment, I also have personal experience with this nagging symptom.
If you aren’t familiar with my H pylori story, I was diagnosed with H pylori in 2019 (you can read about my symptoms here), and treated it twice with herbal protocols until my symptoms resolved and I got a negative test result.
After my last round of treatment, which got me a negative result, I still had lingering symptoms, one of which was burping and discomfort after meals.
During this time I was extra vigilant about using digestive bitters before every meal, taking my probiotics, and making sure that I was calm and focused on eating during meals.
I remember having to be very strict with my mealtime routine for about 3-4 months after I got that negative test result. And then slowly, my burping and other symptoms started to improve and I was able to be less strict with my digestive bitters, only really needing them for larger or higher-fat meals.
And now, a few years later, I am still feeling great, eating what I want, and not having to worry about my digestion!
If you are looking for some guidance on your H pylori healing journey from someone who has been there too, head to this page to learn all about my private coaching program and apply to be a new client – I’d love to team up with you!
The Bottom Line
To sum it all up – if you’re still burping after completing H pylori treatment it is most likely because your stomach acid is low.
That low stomach acid could be a result of PPI use and/or damage to your stomach from the infection itself.
You can expect this burping to subside around 3-6 months after your H pylori infection is eradicated or after you discontinue your PPI.
Lingering symptoms like burping definitely do not mean that you still have H pylori. These symptoms often just indicate that you need to spend some dedicated time healing your gut and being kind to your body.
Full healing and recovery from H pylori is possible – I’ve done it and I’ve helped dozens of clients just like you do it too!