Stomach pain due to gas: harmless pain or is it more serious?

Everyone has intestinal gas, which can lead to uncomfortable bloating and even pain. But how do you know if excess gas could be more serious?

There are easy ways to tell if your symptoms are due to gas or something more serious. Gas is a normal, but often uncomfortable, part of the digestive process. It is a byproduct of many foods we eat. But sometimes the same bloating and pain can be symptoms of a health problem, in which case a trip to the doctor is in order. Usually, other signs indicate that intestinal gas is not the cause.

Is it just intestinal gas?

Keep in mind that some people pass gas more than 20 times a day, and this may be considered normal depending on the individual. Probably nothing to worry about unless there are underlying problems or alarming symptoms, such as blood in the stool, weight loss, abdominal pain, family history of malignancy or difficulty swallowing. What you think is excess gas may therefore be a rather ordinary amount. Keeping and reviewing a food diary could easily help you identify the source of the problem, which is one of many gas-producing foods.

Here are some easy ways to tell if intestinal gas is causing your bloating and discomfort:

  • You feel the need to pass gas or belch.
  • Bloating and pain are relieved when you have gas.
  • Your pain and bloating does not persist or worsen.
  • Excessive gas and bloating subside when you make certain changes to your diet, such as eliminating dairy products, reducing fiber, or limiting high-fat foods.
  • Pain and bloating improve when you swallow less air, which happens, for example, when you chew gum or eat too quickly.
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What else could it be?

Although not usually a sign of a serious illness, excess gas can be a warning sign of an underlying medical problem. Excess gas can be a sign of an abnormality in the digestive system, such as gastroparesis, for example. Plus, what you think is gas pain may actually be one of many health issues.

Here are some possible causes of abdominal pain and bloating:

-Lactose intolerance or other food intolerance or allergy
-Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or indigestion
-Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
-Kidney stones, gallstones or inflammation of the gallbladder
-Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease)
– An ulcer in the digestive tract
-An obstruction in the intestine
-A tumor in the abdomen

In most of these cases, you will notice symptoms other than gas and bloating. For example, in the case of appendicitis, there will most likely be changes in your abdomen, including stiffness and extreme tenderness. Gas pains do not make your belly tender to the touch, so if you notice extreme pain, always see a doctor.

If your pain, bloating, and excessive gas issues are persistent, take steps to find the cause.

Diagnose the problem

A physical exam and diagnostic tests may be done to help rule out other, more serious medical conditions that could mimic excessive gas pain. If lactose intolerance is suspected, your doctor may give you a breath test. Depending on potential causes, other tests may be done, including blood tests, imaging tests, such as x-rays or computed tomography scans, and endoscopies. If your doctor suspects an imbalance of gut bacteria in the small intestine, probiotics may help.

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If you have persistent excessive gas, abdominal pain, or bloating, and you can’t get relief, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. If the problem is due to intestinal gas, he can recommend ways to relieve yourself. And if the problem is more serious, you can quickly diagnose it and start treatment.


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