There are many ways to describe excessive gas: burping, belching, flatulence, and bloating. Although it doesn’t seem to matter what name you give it, being able to identify where the gas starts (and where it ends) can help you deal with painful and bothersome symptoms.
For example, burping and belching generally refer to gas escaping from the mouth, while flatulence, or farting, is intestinal gas escaping from the rectum. Bloating is used to describe the feeling of excess gas in the stomach that has not yet been released.
The gases present in the stomach are mainly due to the ingestion of air during the consumption of food or drink and are expelled through the mouth in the form of burping. Flatulence gas is caused by the body’s inability to absorb or digest certain carbohydrates in the small intestine. Once these undigested foods pass through the small intestine, bacteria break them down, producing hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and sometimes methane. This doesn’t happen to everyone, however.
- 1 Factors That Cause Gas: The Main Culprits
- 2 1. Avoid foods known to cause gas
- 3 2. Drink before meals
- 4 When gas is a symptom of something else
Factors That Cause Gas: The Main Culprits
– Consumption of fiber-rich foods such as beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
– Drink soft drinks
– To chew gum
– Eating too quickly or talking while chewing, causing more air to be swallowed.
– Drink with a straw
– Consuming artificial sweeteners
– Chronic intestinal diseases such as diverticulitis or inflammatory bowel disease.
– food intolerances such as celiac disease or lactose intolerance
– Excessive bacterial growth in the small intestine.
It is common to feel gas after eating, and to release it by belching or flatulence. It is completely normal to have gas 13 to 21 times a day. But if you suffer from painful gas and are bothered by chronic, smelly flatulence, you can start playing detective and try to eliminate the cause by following these steps.
1. Avoid foods known to cause gas
One way to manage flatulence and belching is to eat fewer foods known to cause gas. The most common culprits are
– Fruits such as apples and pears
– Vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and onions
– Whole grains such as bran
– Dairy products, including milk, cheese and ice cream.
These products contain fiber, sugars and starches that are not easily digested or absorbed, which can cause intestinal gas.
Foods containing sorbitol, a natural sugar found in fruit, are on the list of foods that cause gas in some people. Other people are bothered by soft drinks and fruit drinks. If you discover that these foods are causing you excess gas, eliminate them from your diet or eat them in smaller portions.
2. Drink before meals
If you drink liquids with your meals, you lose stomach acids and cannot break down food as well. Try to drink about 30 minutes before a meal to help your stomach digest better.
3. Eat and drink slowly
When you eat or drink quickly, you may swallow a lot of air, which can cause gas. A simple solution? Slow down when you eat. If you wear dentures, check with your dentist to make sure they fit properly so you don’t have to suck in air while eating.
4. Take over-the-counter digestive aids
Digestive enzymes are available as over-the-counter supplements. Some contain an enzyme that breaks down the complex carbohydrates in many vegetables into more easily digestible sugars. Take two to three tablets before each meal. Note that this won’t help if the excessive gas is caused by fiber or lactose.
5. Try activated charcoal
Activated charcoal can help reduce and treat excess gas and bloating. Unlike the charcoal you find in your grill or fireplace, activated charcoal goes through a special treatment that makes it safe for human consumption. Once you take activated charcoal (in liquid or pill form), it binds to the fluid in your bowel, which can reduce gas and bloating and create firmer stools.
6. Don’t fill up on air
Habits like smoking, chewing gum, and drinking through a straw can cause your stomach to fill with air, which leads to gas.
7. Avoid artificial sweeteners
Sorbitol and related sugar alcohols used in many sugar-free versions of foods can also make gas worse. Sorbitol is often the first ingredient in any brand of sugar-free chewing gum. One to two sticks is like eating a prune.
8. Try herbs for gas relief
Some research suggests that a number of herbs can help relieve excess gas. For example, a review published in April 2015 in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Studies found that ginger helps speed up digestion. This is helpful because if the stomach empties faster, gas can move faster to the small intestine to relieve bloating and discomfort.
A 2014 review published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found that peppermint oil significantly improved IBS symptoms, including abdominal pain.
Chamomile is said to help with a number of digestive issues, including stomach upset, bloating and intestinal gas, by relaxing GI muscles and improving digestion.
When gas is a symptom of something else
If excess gas is persistent or severe, see your doctor, it may be a sign of a more serious digestive condition, such as:
This is the inability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk and dairy products. If avoiding milk reduces your symptoms, you may be lactose intolerant.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
People who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome experience more pain in the lower levels of the abdominal cavity.
Excess gas is rarely the main symptom of colon cancer patients, but it is one of them.
Upper gastrointestinal disorders
Occasional belching is normal, but frequent belching may be a sign of an upper gastrointestinal disorder. It can be a peptic ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or gastroparesis, also called delayed gastric emptying.
Also, warns Bickston, if you’ve had abdominal surgery, a hernia, or significant weight loss or gain, never consider your gas symptoms
* The information and services available on pressesante.com in no way replace the consultation of competent health professionals. [HighProtein-Foods.com]