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Speech therapy beneficial to patients with supragastric belching

10 Oct 2018

Speech therapy may effectively reduce excessive supragastric belching, according to a study. This treatment is aimed at increasing awareness of air inhalation and injection manoeuvres, as well as performing exercises to enhance abdominal, quiet and fluent breathing (without sudden stops).

A total of 73 patients with supragastric belching underwent speech therapy, among whom 48 were included in the analysis. Therapy comprised five components: explanation of the supragastric belching mechanism, promotion of awareness of oesophageal air influx, exercises to improve breathing, enhancement of lingual–laryngeal–cricopharyngeal complex functioning and implementation into daily life.

Supragastric belching was proven by 24-hour impedance measurements in 30 patients and diagnosed by an experienced speech language pathologist in 18 patients. The median symptom duration at the start of therapy was 2 years.

Speech therapy yielded significant reductions in the symptoms of supragastric belching, with efficacy evaluated using visual analogue scale (VAS) scores. Total median VAS score was 406 (291–463) prior to treatment vs 125 (17–197) following treatment.

Sufficient-to-major improvements were achieved in 40 patients (83 percent) over a median therapy duration of 3 months and 10 sessions.

The present data demonstrate the clinical importance of speech therapy in patients with excessive supragastric belching, researchers said. Among the main focuses of therapy are the frequent strained mouth and/or glottal closures.

While the method by which the patient relaxes the upper oesophageal sphincter (UES) at the moment of air influx is not clearly understood, researchers postulated that higher pharyngeal pressure, in case of air injection, could open the oesophageal sphincter. Additionally, the tight and abrupt laryngeal and vocal folds closure plays a role in the initiation of the supragastric air influx.

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Most Read Articles
21 Feb 2021
The efficacy and safety of the two-bag (TB) system are comparable to those of the one-bag (OB) system in adults with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), results of a study have shown. Both approaches can be considered in adult DKA patients.
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Dr. Hsu Li Yang, Dr. Tan Thuan Tong, Dr. Andrea Kwa, 08 Jan 2021
Antimicrobial resistance has become increasingly dire as the rapid emergence of drug resistance, especially gram-negative pathogens, has outpaced the development of new antibiotics. At a recent virtual symposium, Dr Hsu Li Yang, Vice Dean (Global Health) and Programme Leader (Infectious Diseases), NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, presented epidemiological data on multidrug-resistant (MDR) gram-negative bacteria (GNB) in Asia, while Dr Tan Thuan Tong, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Infectious Diseases, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), focused on the role of ceftazidime-avibactam in MDR GNB infections. Dr Andrea Kwa, Assistant Director of Research, Department of Pharmacy, SGH, joined the panel in an interactive fireside chat, to discuss challenges, practical considerations, and solutions in MDR gram-negative infections. This Pfizer-sponsored symposium was chaired by Dr Ng Shin Yi, Head and Senior Consultant of Surgical Intensive Care, SGH.
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