Functional aerophagia involves the repetitive pattern of ingesting or swallowing air followed by belching. Criteria for its diagnosis were provided by the Rome II conference.
Criteria for the diagnosis of aerophagia - all of the following:
(1) A duration of symptoms >= 12 cumulative weeks over the past 12 months (may or may not be consecutive).
(2) Air swallowing that is objectively observed.
(3) Repetitive belching, which may be troublesome.
• It is difficult to diagnose aerophagia with certainty unless there is direct observation of excess air swallowing.
• The air swallowing is usually an unconscious act and occurs separate from meals. The person may not be aware of it, while a spouse, family member, friend or acquaintance may be.
• The committee felt that the belching needed to be troublesome to be clinically "relevant". This was an attempt to distinguish this from "normal" belching.
• Further investigations for organic disease are usually not necessary.
• The patient should be screened for clinical anxiety and/or depression.
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