One of the most common complaints of patients suffering from so-called indigestion is belching, or eructation, of gas. These patients frequently say that everything they eat "turns to gas" and they occasionally volunteer the information that they are afflicted with "gastritis." They invariably believe that the condition is due to the fermentation of food in the stomach, and in most cases they have been treated with restricted diet and a variety of drugs by physicians who also believe that a process of fermentation is responsible for the symptom. The purpose of this paper is to show that the gas which these patients expel is nothing but atmospheric air, in the vast majority of instances, and that the condition is directly dependent on the fact that these patients, all unconsciously, swallow the air with their food or between meals.
Aerophagia, or air-swallowing, is seen in