A recent study conducted by researchers from a Texan university has shed light on the physical and mental struggles faced by individuals with retrograde cricopharyngeus dysfunction (R-CPD), also known as “no burp syndrome.” This condition, characterized by abdominal bloating, gurgling noises, and flatulence, often leads to embarrassment and anxiety for those affected. The study reveals that many doctors are unfamiliar with R-CPD, resulting in inadequate support for patients. The researchers stress the importance of increased awareness and further research into the impact of R-CPD on patients’ daily lives, including its mental and social implications.
R-CPD occurs when the cricopharyngeal muscle in the throat fails to relax, preventing the upward passage of gas. The symptoms can be debilitating, with patients experiencing pain after eating or drinking. Some resort to lying down or inducing vomiting to alleviate the discomfort. However, a consultant specializing in ear, nose, and throat conditions at London’s Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, Yakubu Karagama, has been using Botox injections to treat R-CPD patients since 2016, with remarkable success for many individuals.
Despite the effectiveness of Botox treatment, it is currently only available as a private option due to the lack of awareness among healthcare professionals. The general public often dismisses the condition, as the physiology of burping remains poorly understood. Mr. Karagama believes that R-CPD is more prevalent than people realize, and many individuals may not even be aware that their symptoms are related to this condition. He emphasizes the need for funding to conduct clinical research on R-CPD in order to alleviate the unnecessary suffering of patients.
An NHS England spokesperson acknowledges the limited clinical evidence due to the small number of reported cases. However, they assure that NHS staff adhere to clinical advice from NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) to provide appropriate care and services to patients with specific conditions or needs.
The Texan researchers’ study surveyed 199 individuals who were unable to burp and found that there was limited awareness of the condition among healthcare professionals. The authors believe that increasing awareness and improving understanding of R-CPD could lead to higher rates of diagnosis and treatment, ultimately improving the quality of life for patients. The study also highlights the prevalence of psychiatric symptoms in individuals with difficult-to-diagnose disorders, underscoring the importance of exploring the mental health implications of R-CPD.
R-CPD was officially named in 2019 when the first scientific paper on the subject was published. This underscores the ongoing need for research and awareness to address the challenges faced by individuals with R-CPD and provide them with the support they need.