People who are unable to burp feel anxious and depressed, study shows Science and technology news



People who are unable to burp due to a rare medical condition feel anxious, depressed and embarrassed, a new study has found.

The research, published on December 20 and carried out by experts in Texaslooked at the social impact of retrograde cricopharyngeal dysfunction (R-CPD), known as “no-burp syndrome”.

R-CPD involves a malfunction of the cricopharyngeal muscle, whereby it cannot relax enough for patients to pass gas. It was first reported in 1987, but only got an official name in 2019.

Of the 199 people who took part in the study, 98% reported bloating, 93% “socially awkward gurgling sounds”, 89% excessive flatulence and 55% problems vomiting.

People with R-CPD often have to lie down or force themselves to be sick to relieve painful symptoms.

It can be treated by injecting botox into the affected muscle, but treatment in the UK must be private as it is not available on the NHS.

The researchers found that participants reported high levels of embarrassment, anxiety and depression – as well as negative impacts on their relationships and work lives.

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They wrote: “R-CPD is unknown to many health care providers, leaving patients underserved. This affects not only daily life, but also personal and professional relationships.

“Raising awareness by understanding the basic functions of the disease can increase diagnosis and treatment rates and improve quality of life.”

An NHS England spokesman said: “While the clinical evidence for this condition is extremely limited due to the small number of people who have come forward with it, NHS staff adopt clinical advice from NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) , which indicates the care and services appropriate for patients with a specific condition or need.”


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