According to the symptoms you describe (belching excessively for many years, tightness in middle of chest) you might be experiencing a hiatal hernia or peptic ulcer. Belching is most often caused by eating or drinking too fast. The air that is swallowed is expelled afterwards. Drinking carbonated drinks such as beer, soft drinks or champagne can also cause burps. If belching is combined with heartburn, dyspepsia or nausea, than hiatal hernia or peptic ulcer may be the real cause. A hiatal hernia is the protrusion of the upper part of the stomach into the thorax, through a tear or weakness in the diaphragm. An X-ray would diagnose the hiatal hernia, while upper GI endoscopy can help in the diagnostics of a peptic ulcer. Meanwhile, taking medicinal charcoal or bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) might decrease the quantity of gas and the burp frequency.
You might want to consult your GP or gastroenterohepatologist for further diagnostics.
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