Indy Gastro | Colonoscopy, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, constipation, endoscopy

Gas, Bloating

Definition

Everyone has gas from time to time. Burping and “passing gas” is normal. But because it is embarrassing, many people believe they pass gas too often or have too much gas. Everyone has gas and eliminates it by burping or passing it through the rectum. A person actually having too much gas is rare. People who complain of bloating from gas often have normal amounts and distribution of gas. They may just be unusually aware of gas in the digestive tract.

  1. Belching: Burping, or belching, is the way most swallowed air—which contains nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide—leaves the stomach. The remaining gas moves into the small intestine, where it is partially absorbed. A small amount travels into the large intestine for release through the rectum. The stomach also releases carbon dioxide when stomach acid mixes with the bicarbonate in digestive juices, but most of this gas is absorbed into the bloodstream and does not enter the large intestine.
    1. Hints for reducing belching: While eating be aware of the amount of air swallowed. Avoid pipes, cigarettes and cigars, chewing gum, hard candy, drinking through straws and bottles with narrow mouths. Avoid carbonated beverages and fizzy medications. Eat slowly and try not to gulp. The amount of gas caused by certain foods varies from person to person. Effective dietary changes depend on learning through trial and error how much of the offending foods one can handle.
  2. Bloating: Any disease that causes intestinal inflammation or obstruction may also cause abdominal bloating. In addition, people who have had many operations, internal hernias, or bands of internal scar tissue called adhesions may experience bloating or pain. Finally, eating a lot of fatty food can delay stomach emptying and cause bloating and discomfort, but not necessarily too much gas.
  3. Rectal Gas: The foods we eat and the bacteria in our colon can create gas. The bacteria can create more gas when breaking down certain types of food.

Gas Elimination Trial Diet

  1. Foods that Contribute to Gas Production: Foods that typically cause more gas would include;          
    1. Most beans
    2. Milk and milk products
    3. Cabbage, broccoli, onions, cauliflower turnips, potatoes and cucumbers.
    4. Prunes, apricots apples raisins.
    5. All foods that contain wheat and wheat products.
    6. Pan or deep fried foods.
    7. Carbonated beverages.

Summary

Although gas may be uncomfortable and embarrassing, it is not life threatening. Understanding causes, ways to reduce symptoms and treatment will help most people find some relief. Gas may also be worsened by bowel conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Gas and bloating that do not go away should be looked at by a medical doctor.

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