Did You Know A High Fibre Diet Sugary Foods And Constipation Are Common Causes Of Bloating Here’s How You Can Fight Against These Causes Of Bloating And Abdominal Gas
Written by Mita Majumdar | Updated : April 18, 2016 10:56 AM IST
Everyone has experienced abdominal bloating and gas at some point or the other, especially after a heavy meal. However, dealing with bloating and gas almost every single day is not only embarrassing, but it can also severely affect the quality of your life. While you might attribute it to the amount of food you have been eating off late, in reality it could be due to the kind of food you consumed, certain diseases and even smoking. Here are the 10 most common causes of bloating along with tips to manage this symptom.
1. High-fibre diets
Oatmeal, breads, bran flakes, cooked barley, spaghetti , lentils , beans, peas, apples and pears with skin, bananas, and other foods are essential for good health and to avoid many gastrointestinal problems, but too much of these can make your stomach bloat. Also read about other foods could be the cause of bloating or feeling gassy.
When To See A Doctor
If gas only occurs after eating or drinking and resolves on its own or with the help of OTC remedies, you probably dont need to see a doctor.
However, you should see a doctor for severe gas thats persistent or affects your daily routine. Also, see a doctor if other symptoms accompany gas. These symptoms include:
- a change in bowel habits
- weight loss
Gas In The Intestines
Flatulence is a byproduct of food that does not get broken down completely in the small intestine. Enzymes and bacteria that do the work of digesting food are present in the digestive tract. Some foods cannot be broken down fully by the enzymes in the small intestine, and are therefore passed into the large intestine. The large intestine contains a number of different forms of bacteria that continue the digestive process, but this process creates byproductscarbon dioxide, hydrogen, and sometimes methane. These gases need to leave the body and do so by passing through the rectum as flatulence.
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What Causes Intermittent Abdominal Bloating/distention
Excessive production of gas by bacteria is a common cause of intermittent abdominal distention and bloating. Theoretically bacteria can produce too much gas in three ways.
- First, the amount of gas that bacteria produce may vary from individual to individual. In other words, some individuals may have bacteria that produce more gas, either because there are more of the bacteria or because their particular bacteria are better at producing gas.
- Second, there may be poor digestion and absorption of foods in the small intestine, allowing more undigested food to reach the bacteria in the colon. The more undigested food the bacteria have, the more gas they produce. Examples of diseases that involve poor digestion and absorption include lactose intolerance, pancreatic insufficiency, and untreated celiac disease.
- Third, bacterial overgrowth can occur in the small intestine. Under normal conditions, the bacteria that produce gas are limited to the colon. In some conditions, these bacteria spread back into the small intestine. When this bacterial spread occurs, food reaches the bacteria before it can be fully digested and absorbed by the small intestine. Therefore, the colonic-type bacteria that have moved into the small intestine have a lot of undigested food from which to form gas. This condition, in which the gas-producing bacteria move into the small intestine, is called bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth .
What’s New In Intestinal Gas
One study has shed additional light on the role of intestinal gas and the way in which it causes symptoms. Investigators studied 30 patients whose primary complaint was flatulence , and 20 healthy people without issues related to gas. The investigators studied the patients’ and controls’ production of gas and symptoms on their normal diet, during and following a standard meal, and during and following a meal that contained foods known to cause more gas . During the basal period on their usual diet, not surprisingly, the patients had more symptoms than the controls and evacuated gas more often than controls . Interestingly, however, the patients and controls produced the same total volume of gas while on the standard meal. This would suggest that the patients were NOT producing more gas than the controls. Two explanations for these observations would be 1) that the basal diet contained more gas-producing foods, or 2) that patients were more sensitive to gas in other words, they developed more discomfort producing the same amount of gas as controls .
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How To Reduce Gas In Stomach
If you find that you regularly suffer from gas, its important to examine what youre eating.
However, there can be other causes, such as gastrointestinal infection, dysbiosis and even psychological influences such as stress. In other cases, it may simply be that you havent been active enough for the gas to move through your body as it normally would. This can occur with long-distance travel or sitting at a desk all day.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways to reduce that gas naturally.
Herere 7 home remedies to help you get rid of gas in stomach:
The Three Kinds Of Gas Your Body Makes
Methane is made by your gut bugs. Once its produced, its not really used by your body, so its passed as gas, or it is sent through your gut mucus to get absorbed into circulation and released by your lungs.8
Hydrogen is also made by the colonies of bacteria taking up residence inside your intestinal tract. Turns out, as you process your food and convert the substances you eat into helpful nutrients, unabsorbed carbs are pushed to the large intestine and become home for your gut bugs, liberating hydrogen gas.9 This, of course, is the same fragrance that comes from rotten eggs.
Carbon dioxide is produced when certain carbs cant be digested by your gut bugs and the enzymes in your GI tract. When they reach your gut, theyre converted to carbon dioxide gasses. Some of the types of foods that are responsible for this are bran or beans. Of course, the result can be a serious bout of intestinal gas.10But there are factors that can contribute to causing more gas than your body would normally make.
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Simpler Remedies To Reduce Gas:
Management of excessive gas can be in 3 ways: life style modifications, dietary changes, medicines.
Life style modifications:
Diet to reduce gas formation:
The gas produced varies from person to person for the same food. Hence, it is often difficult to exactly pin point which particular food is causing more gas in any individual. Often, the dietary omissions and permissions are suggested by a trial and error method. Maintaining a diet diary will solve this difficulty. The list of various foods that tend to produce more gas than the others is already given above. Not all of them may be causing gas in every person. One has to try one after the other to find out which ones are troublesome and omit only them.
The following foods may be good to reduce gases & bloating in almost all individuals.
Try Herbs For Gas Relief
Some research suggests a number of herbs may help relieve excess gas. For example, a review published in April 2015 in European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Studies found ginger helps speed digestion. This is helpful because if the stomach empties faster, gas can move more quickly to the small intestine to relieve bloating and discomfort.
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What Causes Excessive Gas In The Stomach
Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.
What causes excessive gas is largely the air we take in when eating and drinking, but air can also be swallowed by chewing tobacco, from hyperventilating, and from loose dentures.There are many ways you can manage excessive gas, and among them are also homeopathic remedies for flatulence that can help with the discomfort.
Eating foods that are high in fiber such as cabbage, beans and apples, and drinking carbonated beverages such as soda can also cause excess gas. Being lactose intolerant is another cause of bloating and gas.
Passing gas is a normal bodily function. It happens every day, and multiple times a day at that, at least 10 to 12 times even up to 23 times a day is considered normal. It may not be socially acceptable behavior, but its still a perfectly natural one.
Other Conditions That Cause Gas
Gas is sometimes a symptom of a digestive condition. These include:
- Inflammatory bowel disease. This term describes chronic inflammation in the digestive tract and includes ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease. Symptoms include diarrhea, weight loss, and abdominal pain that can mimic gas pains.
- Irritable bowel syndrome . This is a condition that affects the large intestines and causes a variety of symptoms, such as:
- stomach pain
- indigestion that feels like gas
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Using Supplements And Medications
Swallowing Too Much Air Leads To Excessive Gas
We may not think about it often, if at all, but as we live our lives sitting and walking and talking, we are all the while taking in gulps of air, and this intake of air can lead to a buildup of gas. Swallowing too much air can be caused by:
- Chewing gum
- Eating and/or drinking too quickly
- Wearing loose dentures
- Using a straw in beverages
- Swallowing a lot, especially when nervous
So, to recap, what causes excessive gas? Excessive gas can be a problem, and an embarrassing one at that, especially in public. We are all very self-conscious about this basic human function. If youve tried, for example, eliminating dairy, eating more mindfully, or avoiding carbonated beverages, and you arent suffering from a health condition that is known to cause gas, then perhaps its time to visit your doctor to discuss the situation and see what they say. Sometimes all it takes to solve the problem are simple and easy alterations in diet and lifestyle. Medications can also cause flatulence, but talk to your doctor before stopping any medicationsyou dont want to experience any unforeseen consequences as a result just because you want to avoid feeling gassy.
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Lemon And Baking Soda Ease Digestion
Baking soda contains flavonoids that aid digestion by neutralizing the excess stomach acid. However, it is important to use it in moderation, as excessive baking soda can render the stomach acids ineffective.
How to use:
Mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of lime juice in a cup of water and consume.
Note: This remedy is not scientifically proven but has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of gas.
Treatment For Gas In The Digestive Tract
Specific treatment for gas in the digestive tract will be determined by your doctor based on:
Your age, overall health, and medical history
Extent of the condition
Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of the condition
Your opinion or preference
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What Are The Treatments For Gas
Gas problems are treated by changing your diet and by training yourself to swallow less air. There are also prescription and over-the-counter medications that can help.
Changing your diet will mean getting rid of the foods that cause gas. Unfortunately, this may also result in you having fewer nutritious foods. Ask your doctor to help you build a diet thatâs healthy but doesn’t cause much gas.
Over-the-counter medications include:
- Antacids — especially those that contain simethicone
- Probiotics — used to help kill bad bacteria and add good bacteria to the digestive tract
- Lactase products such as Lactaid and Dairy Ease — may help people with lactose intolerance
- Beano — contains the enzyme that helps digest sugars in beans and many other vegetables
Your doctor may prescribe drugs to help move food through your digestive system. Medicines that do that may also move gas through quicker.
Pain Or Discomfort From Gas
Some people may have gas in the digestive tract that causes them discomfort, such as abdominal bloating or distention. This can lead to a desire to make changes to the diet or lifestyle in order to have less gas. Keep in mind that everyone has gas and must pass it several times a day. People who feel that they have an excessive amount of gas or that gas is causing a disproportionate amount of pain should talk to a physician.
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How To Get Rid Of Stomach Gas
Although stomach gas is not life-threatening, it can be extremely embarrassing. Therefore, persons suffering with excessive gas in the stomach can rely on below measures to rid excessive gas buildup.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
You can always rely on apple cider vinegar to treat indigestion and stomach gas. There are many enzymes in ACV responsible for alkalizing your body and promoting better digestion.
Take a glass of warm water and add 2 tsp. of ACV to it. Mix well and leave it for a few minutes to cool to room temperature. Then, drink twice a day. You can use this remedy even when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
One of the best remedies to deal with stomach gas is to use some ginger. It has antiemetic properties, so it reduces nausea and works amazingly well to help expel intestinal gas. Some studies have also found that ginger may trigger the process of gastric emptying. It also helps soothe the intestinal tract.
Take equal amounts of ground ginger, cardamom, and fennel. Mix well and add a teaspoon of this mixture along with some asafetida to a cup of water. Have it twice a day to relieve indigestion. You can also drink ginger tea or simply chew on raw ginger pieces for relief.
3. Baking Soda and Lemon
Also called sodium bicarbonate, baking soda acts as an antacid and helps expel stomach gas. Combine it with lemon juice to make it even more effective.
6. Change the Diet
7. Other Remedies
Probiotics Balance The Gut Flora
Digestive trouble arises when the balance between healthy and unhealthy bacteria is disturbed, such that one type of bacteria overpowers the others.
Probiotics are essentially live cultures of friendly bacteria that are similar to the good bacteria found in the human gut. Hence, they can help restore the normal microbial equilibrium in the intestine and thereby improve its function.
Probiotics also aid in reducing the severity of IBS symptoms, which include abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, and altered bowel movements.
How to use:
Several foods contain a heavy dose of probiotics that can be added to your daily diet to restore well-balanced gut flora. You can take probiotic supplements, but preferably after consulting your doctor.
Probiotics help balance out the gut microflora, thus aiding in digestion and, consequentially, preventing indigestion and bloating.
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