A FRUSTRATED ex-cabbie has been left baffled by a mystery condition that has left him constantly BURPING for eight months.
Michael O'Reilly has been bursting into belching fits every seven minutes since he drank a single cup of tea last June.
The 61-year-old now says the outbursts are getting louder and more violent – making his life a "nightmare".
But medics are stumped over what is causing the gassy attacks, which Michael fears could scupper his golf game.
The dad-of-two, from Birmingham, said: "It just began with a single burp from drinking a cup of tea last June.
"It was before I went out on the golf course and the old guy I was playing with gave me a couple of boiled sweets to help as it continued during the round.
"But it only seemed to make it worse, I kept on burping. It was pretty off-putting but I thought nothing more of it – until the burps would not stop coming the next day.
"They happen every seven minutes now, pretty much without fail, they can be short single burp or a series of sharp ones which come out of nowhere.
"It's almost like a hiccup as you can't feel them coming, they just take me by surprise, and it's been an absolute nightmare."
HARD TO SWALLOW
The ex-cabbie says his attacks are often triggered by certain drinks or food – with Weetabix and milk causing the worst outbursts.
But Michael says tucking into pie and chips bizarrely doesn't cause any belching.
He believes he could have aerophagia – a condition of excessive air swallowing, which goes to the stomach.
Michael has been prescribed medication, which he says isn't working, and is now waiting for more appointments with doctors.
But the job-hunting dad-of-two fears he could miss out on work in case he burps during an interview.
He said: "With lockdown it hasn't been as embarrassing as it could be as obviously we can't socialise as much.
"But I can't go on like this, I want to get back out on the golf course and I don't want to be burping on the 18th, it could put me off my shot.
"Apparently aerophagia can last up to two years which I hope isn't the case, I'm just hoping doctors can get to the bottom of it.
"The only time it stops is when I'm lying down on my back. If I sit in a forward crouched position, it seems to set them off.
"Whatever it is, I just want it sorted so I can go back to enjoying a cup of tea without worrying about bursting out into loud burps."
According to the NHS, one possible cause of excess gas is aerophagia, which can be caused by swallowing too much air when eating, drinking or talking.
Aerophagia can also be a sign of more serious problems – such as an illness that affects your digestive system, or a mental health disorder.
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