When To Call The Doctor
Gas can be painful, but its not the only thing that can cause abdominal pain during pregnancy. Many other conditions can be mistaken for gas. Some are pregnancy-related like Braxton Hicks contractions, ectopic pregnancy, and even labor. Other conditions may or may not be associated with pregnancy. They include appendicitis, gallstones, and irritable bowel syndrome.
If you arent sure whether or not gas is causing your pain and discomfort, call your doctor. Its better to get checked and find out the pain is just gas than to ignore a potentially serious medical condition.
Always call your healthcare provider or go to the emergency room if the pain won’t subside or is getting worse, if you have severe nausea and vomiting, or notice blood in your stool during bowel movements. Possible contractions are always a reason to call your physician, doula, or midwife.
How To Get Rid Of Gas Pains
This article was co-authored by Muhammad Khan, MD, MPH. Dr. Muhammad Khan is a Gastroenterologist, with over 10 years of experience. Dr. Khan specializes in Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, and has a special focus in Therapeutic Endoscopy. He received his Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate of Medicine degrees from The University of Utah. Dr. Khan completed his residency training at Eastern Virginia Medical School, where he was inducted into the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. He then completed his fellowship training at Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital at Stanford University. He is a Fellow of both the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition .There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 15 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,158,013 times.
How To Get Rid Of Gas
Often, your gas is caused by what you eat. Food is digested primarily in your small intestine. What is left undigested is fermented in your colon with bacteria, fungi, and yeast, as part of digestion. This process produces methane and hydrogen, which are expelled as flatus.
For many people, changing dietary habits is enough to alleviate gas and its accompanying symptoms. One way to determine which foods are giving you gas is by keeping a food diary. Common culprits include:
- foods with high fat content
- fried or spicy food
- artificial ingredients commonly found in low-carbohydrate and sugar-free products, such as sugar alcohol, sorbitol, and maltitol
- beans and lentils
- cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli
- prunes or prune juice
- foods containing lactose, such as milk, cheese, and other dairy products
- fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols molecules found in a wide range of foods, such as garlic and onion, that may be hard to digest
- over-the-counter fiber drinks and supplements
Once you figure out what food is causing the gas, you can modify your diet to avoid the culprit.
If changing your diet doesnt completely do the trick, you have several options to try.
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Types Of Abdominal Pain
There are three types of abdominal pain that you can experience cramp-like, localized, or colicky.
Localized abdominal pain is when only one area of the abdomen is aching. This type of abdominal pain is usually caused due to issues associated with a single organ. Examples of localized abdominal pain are stomach ulcers.
Colicky abdominal pain is when you have a sharp, severe spasmodic pain which cannot be localised to one place which is waxing and waning persisting for few minutes reducing and recurring again.. This type of abdominal pain can last long if left untreated. You can experience this due to kidney stones, intestinal obstruction etc
Cramp-like abdominal pain is when you experience pain similar to cramps. Sometimes this type of pain goes away without you doing anything. Women can experience this pain due to menstruation. Other causes of this type of pain include constipation, flatulence, or diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome etc.
What Causes Gas Pain In Kids
Your child’s diet often plays a role in their gas pain or indigestion. Certain foods like beans, broccoli, and cauliflower are all culprits. Some children may be sensitive to high-fiber foods, such as cereal, and fatty foods, like French fries. Carbonated beverages and caffeine even that in chocolate can also be to blame. Juice, which is high in sugar, can bring on gas and diarrhea. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting how much if any juice you offer your child based on age:
- Younger than 12 months: No juice
- Ages 1 to 3: No more than 4 ounces a day
- Ages 4 to 6: No more than 6 ounces a day
Not drinking enough water can also lead to gas pain. While drinking water won’t eliminate a gas problem, upping your child’s fluid intake can help relieve constipation, which often coincides with gas and abdominal discomfort.
Other factors that cause gas pain include:
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What Are The Symptoms Of Gas
Chronic symptoms caused by too much gas or by a serious disease are rare. The following are the most common symptoms of gas. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Belching. Belching during or after meals is normal, but people who belch frequently may be swallowing too much air and releasing it before the air enters the stomach.
According to the NIDDK, rare, chronic gas syndromes associated with belching include the following:
Meganblase syndrome. Meganblase syndrome causes chronic belching. It is characterized by severe air swallowing and an enlarged bubble of gas in the stomach following heavy meals. Fullness and shortness of breath caused by this disorder may mimic a heart attack.
Gas-bloat syndrome. Gas-bloat syndrome may occur after surgery to correct GERD. The surgery creates a one-way valve between the esophagus and stomach that allows food and gas to enter the stomach.
Flatulence. Passing gas through the rectum is called flatulence. Passing gas 14 to 23 times a day is considered normal.
Splenic-flexure syndrome is a chronic disorder that may be caused by gas trapped at bends in the colon.
Internal hernias or adhesions from surgery may cause bloating or pain.
Belching: Getting Rid Of Excess Air
Belching, or burping, is your bodys way of expelling excess air from your upper digestive tract. Most belching is caused by swallowing excess air. This air most often never even reaches the stomach but accumulates in the esophagus.
You may swallow excess air if you eat or drink too fast, talk while you eat, chew gum or suck on hard candies, drink carbonated beverages, or smoke. Some people swallow air as a nervous habit even when theyre not eating or drinking. This is called aerophagia.
Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease can sometimes cause excessive belching by promoting increased swallowing. Chronic belching may be related to inflammation of the stomach lining or to an infection with Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium responsible for some stomach ulcers. In these cases, the belching is accompanied by other symptoms, such as heartburn or abdominal pain.
You can reduce belching if you:
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If All Else Fails Keep A Food Diary
If your gas pain persists even when youve tried other remedies, it may be helpful to start tracking what youre eating and drinking. There are a host of foods and beverages that might be causing you pain. In addition to fiber- and dairy-rich dishes, your body might be sensitive to sugar substitutes, fried food, foods that are high in fat, or even carbonated beverages like soda and seltzer, the Mayo Clinic says. Since this is a broad range of items, keeping a food diary will allow you to check in with your doctor for specific suggestions of how to avoid or handle eating foods that might be contributing to your pain, the Mayo Clinic suggests. It can also give your doctor a window into whether any health conditions may be causing your gas pain.
Hopefully, these tips will help make your gas pain feel a bit better, and luckily, in most cases, gas doesnt require medical attention, the Mayo Clinic says. But if you’re struggling with incredibly painful gas and nothing is helping, call your doctor. They should be able to help you find the root of the issueand how to stop it.
What Does Gas Pain Actually Feel Like
It might be embarrassing, but passing gas is a completely healthy and normal function of our digestive systems. Most people pass gas 13 to 21 times a day. Thats because when we eat, we swallow air in addition to whatever foods were eating, and eventually that air needs to get out. Gas can also occur when undigested food is being broken down by bacteria in the large intestine. In both instances, our bodies are helping to expel excess materials we dont need in our systems.
So how do you know if your tummy troubles are gas pain versus something else, like an upset stomach? Youll have some tell-tale signs that come with gas, said , an integrative gastroenterologist in San Diego, CA. If you feel bloated, your stomach is distended, you have a sense of fullness, and more than expected belching or flatulence, this could be an indication of having excess gas, Dr. Singh said. Many people get pain and discomfort as a result of this.
Even if youre not belching or passing gas, you may still experience gas pain. Pay attention to whats happening to your stomach, particularly after eating. Gas pains can feel like a stretching sensation and sometimes people get sharp pains, Dr. Singh said. How intense gas pains are can also vary. It can be a low-grade dull feeling and at times it could get worse and bring about more of a pain, Dr. Singh said.
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Is It Gas Pain Or Something More Serious
Everyone has intestinal gas, which can lead to uncomfortable bloating and even pain. But how can you tell when excessive gas might be something more serious?
Gas is a normal, yet often uncomfortable, part of the digestive process. Its a by-product of many of the foods we eat.
But sometimes the same bloating and pain can be symptoms of a health condition, in which case a doctors visit is in order, says Abdullah Shatnawei, MD, a gastroenterologist and hepatologist, and medical director of the Center for Gut Rehabilitation and Transplantation at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Usually other signs will indicate when stomach gas isnt to blame.
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Anatomy Of The Abdomen
The abdomen is the area that falls between your chest and pelvis that is commonly referred to as your belly. It consists of stomach, liver, small intestine, large intestine, gallbladder, spleen, kidneys, diaphragm, and pancreas among other organs. The front of the abdomen consists of a tissue layer known as fascia, and the back of the abdomen consists of spine and back muscles. Blood vessels are connected with the abdomen, mainly theinferior vena cava and aorta and its branches.
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Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
The stomach and intestines are home to various bacteria, which help the body digest food. Disturbing the balance of bacteria can lead to an increase in harmful bacteria in the small intestine. This is known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO.
SIBO can cause bloating, frequent diarrhea, and difficulties digesting food and absorbing nutrients. These chronic symptoms may lead to osteoporosis or weight loss in some people.
Try It Steps To Avoid Gas Pain
Since constipation causes gas and cramping, you should try to exercise regularly, stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet with plenty of fiber, Veloso says.Here are some other tips:
- Dont drink with a straw.
- Choose noncarbonated beverages.
- If your symptoms persist, see your doctor to rule out food sensitivities, and other conditions.
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The Best Treatments For Gas And Bloating
Did you know that lemon is a natural detoxifier? It acts as a cleansing agent, which, Taz explains, helps to eliminate unwanted bloat from the body. She recommends sipping on hot lemon water in the morning. Or try balancing your digestive system with this caffeine-free herbal tea.
Additional reporting by Amy Schlinger
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Fastest Ways To Cure Gas Pains:
There are many ways to cure gas pains fast. Some of these methods are natural while there are also others, such as prescription and over the counter drugs,to help cure such pains and discomfort. Looking at these lists, you can see some of the most common and efficient ways to cure gas pains quickly.
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How Is Intestinal Gas Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider may ask you to keep a food diary for a week or more to see if certain foods or drinks make you gassy. Because excessive gas can be a sign of a health problem, you may need one or more of these tests:
- Blood tests: These tests detect certain conditions like celiac disease that cause gas.
- Breath test: A hydrogen breath test identifies lactose intolerance or abnormal bacterial growth in the intestine.
- Colon screening: A flexible sigmoidoscopy lets your provider view the lower part of your colon and rectum . With a colonoscopy, the provider views all of the large intestine. These tests help identify digestive disorders like Crohns disease as well as colon cancer.
- Food elimination: Your healthcare provider may suggest removing certain foods to see if gas symptoms improve. For example, if youre less gassy after cutting out dairy, you might be lactose intolerant unable to break down lactose, a sugar in milk.
- Gastrointestinal tract exam: If you belch a lot, your provider may perform a gastrointestinal exam called an upper GI test or barium swallow. You swallow a solution that coats the esophagus, stomach and part of the small intestine with barium for easier viewing on X-rays.
Have Some Peppermint Oil Or Peppermint Tea
Its not just for your breathpeppermint can act as a spasmolytic, meaning it may help stop your intestines from spasming too much , says Dr. Staller. While this mechanism has mainly been studied in regard to irritable bowel syndrome, the muscle contractions in that disorder are the same ones that can make gas feel so terrible, he says.
Doctors arent totally sure whether its better to take peppermint in a capsule form or via something more standard like a mint or peppermint tea, so feel free to try whatever you have handy .
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How To Get Rid Of Gas Naturally
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix two tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar with a cup of water and drink right before a meal. This can help to relieve digestive conditions including acid reflux and heartburn by boosting healthy bacteria and acid in the gut.
Try switchel, a fermented drink made from apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger, real maple syrup and water. You can use natural sparkling water to add some fizz to the drink that may help you belch some of the gas in your system. Fresh ginger is known for combatting nausea, promoting digestion and protecting against stomach ulcers.
2. Clove Oil
Add 25 drops of clove essential oil to eight ounces of water to reduce bloating and gas. It may also help other digestive problems like indigestion, motion sickness and hiccups.
3. Activated Charcoal
Take 2 to 4 tablets of activated charcoal just before eating and again one hour after a meal to relieve gas pains. Activated charcoal may help relieve symptoms including flatulence, bloating and distention of the abdomen by eliminating gas trapped in the colon.
4. Digestive Enzymes
Take a full-spectrum digestive enzyme supplement as recommended. Look for a high-quality supplement that contains lactase to breakdown lactose in dairy, lipase to breakdown fats, amylase to breakdown starches and protease to breakdown proteins. For further digestive support, look for one with ginger and peppermint that also support healthy gut function.
6. Fennel Essential Oils
Which Foods Cause Gas
Most foods that contain carbohydrates can cause gas. In contrast, fats, and proteins cause little gas.
The sugars that cause gas are raffinose, stachyose, verbascose, lactose, fructose, and sorbitol:
- Raffinose, stachyose, verbascoce are indigestible oligosaccharides present in large amounts in legumes, especially beans. Smaller amounts of this complex sugar are found in cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, other vegetables and whole grains.
- Lactose is the natural sugar in milk. It is also found in milk products, such as cheese and ice cream, and processed foods, such as bread, cereal, and salad dressing. Many people, particularly those of African, Native American, or Asian background, have low levels of the enzyme lactase needed to digest lactose. Also, as people age, their enzyme levels decrease. As a result, over time people may experience increasing amounts of gas after eating food containing lactose.
- Fructose is naturally present in onions, artichokes, pears, and wheat. It is also used as a sweetener in some soft drinks and fruit drinks.
- Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol found naturally in fruits, including apples, pears, peaches, prunes, and some liquid forms of medications. Excess amounts can lead to diarrhea. It is also used as an artificial sweetener in many dietetic foods and sugar-free candies and gums.
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