What is Aerophagy?

Aerophagy is an uncommon eating disorder in which people compulsively inhale large amounts of air. It is typically associated with bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder in which someone overly binges on food and then induces vomiting or other behaviors to "purge" or rid their body of the food. Aerophagy may also lead to a state of distress and anxiety.

Symptoms of Aerophagy

  • Excessive swallowing of air
  • Repeated episodes of belching
  • Abdominal pain
  • Heartburn
  • Flatulence (gas)
  • Feeling of distress or anxiety
  • Fatigue

Causes of Aerophagy

The underlying causes of aerophagy are not known. It is believed to be related to an underlying psychological condition such as anxiety, depression, or stress. It may also be triggered by a medical condition such as a stomach ulcer or acid reflux.

Treatment for Aerophagy

Treatment for aerophagy typically involves psychotherapy or counseling. This may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other techniques to help identify sources of stress and anxiety. In addition, medications such as anti-anxiety medicines may be prescribed to reduce the urge to swallow air.

It is important to note that aerophagy is an under-recognized eating disorder and may require specialized treatment. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of aerophagy, it is important to seek professional help.