Just To Be Super Clear: What Are The Symptoms Of Gas
Since you probably have a hunch, lets start here. When you have a meal or snack, your food passes through your gastrointestinal tract. Your GI tract is made up of your mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine , and anus, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases explains.
Since you take in air as you eat, drink, talk, chew gum, and all of that fun stuff, that air has to pass through your GI tract as well. As it goes through your body, gas can cause a series of not-so-pleasant symptoms, including:
- Abdominal pain
What Is Intestinal Gas
Intestinal gas is a mix of odorless vapors, including oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen and methane. This gas forms in the digestive system. When these vapors mix with intestinal bacteria, an unpleasant sulfur odor can develop.
Your body releases gas through the mouth or rectum . Sometimes gas gets trapped in the stomach. This gas buildup causes abdominal pain and bloating .
Who Might Get Intestinal Gas
Excess gas can make your stomach feel swollen or bloated. You may pass flatulence . Though uncomfortable, excess gas is rarely a concern. Things that make you produce too much gas include:
- Behavioral factors, such as swallowing air while chewing, drinking and talking.
- Dietary choices, such as consuming too many gas-producing foods .
- Digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome , lactose intolerance and celiac disease.
- Intestinal infections, such as giardiasis, that cause an overgrowth of intestinal bacteria.
- Medications or motility disorders that slow the bowels, such as IBS, diabetes and scleroderma.
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You Might Have A Gastrointestinal Condition
Gas can be a symptom of many gastrointestinal disorders. If it’s isolated, it’s most likely your diet or excessive air-swallowing. But if you’re experiencing other symptoms like belly pain, heartburn, changes in your weight, or frequent bouts of diarrhea, that could mean your gas is a sign of a more serious issue. For instance, GERD, celiac disease, and even intestinal blockages can all be causes of excessive gas. Additionally, your excessive gas coupled with other ailments like abdominal pain could be a symptom of gastritis or peptic ulcer disease, according to Hopkins Medicine. So if your gas doesnt resolve itself or if its causing any other concerning symptoms, its important to talk to your doctor.
Finally, know that gassiness is a normal part of life. Its a good time to remind you that passing gas is healthy, so if your belches and farts arent excessive, this might not be something you need to worry about. Its normal to expel about 1 to 4 pints of gas, per day! So try to think of any lingering awkwardness as a sign that your digestive processes are humming along. “It’s important to understand that farting is normal,” Dr. Balzora reiterates. “But it shouldnt be ignored if you’re having other symptoms.”
Why Is Everything I Eat Giving Me Gas
When you have gas, understand that everyone reacts differently to different foods. Your kids or spouse may be able to eat anything you put on the table, while the same foods make you gassy after you eat. You may even feel bloated, and have indigestion. If everything you eat blows up your stomach after meals, you may be sensitive to certain types of foods. Knowing the causes of gas will help you avoid the things that do this to you and make mealtimes more pleasurable.
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Afternoon And Evening Bloating And Gas
Do you ever have a problem with bloating in the afternoon or evening? Does it ever get so bad that it’s painful and you feel like your pants are suddenly too small? Does your distended belly make you look like you’re 5 months pregnant?
This problem is more common than you might think, but hearing that will probably not provide you with the relief you’re looking for. Fortunately, in most cases, identifying the source of the problem and getting to a solution is simpler than you might think. I talked to a friend who is an M.D. for his perspective, and his advice was really helpful.
Feeling Gassy Is It Ever A Cause For Concern
- By Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men’s Health Watch
Everyone does it, but no one talks about it. No, not that topic the fact that we pass gas every day. In fact, the average person produces between 1/2 and 1 liter of gas daily and passes gas about 10 to 20 times. Annoying? Well, sometimes. Embarrassing? Possibly. But is excess gas ever a cause for concern?
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Is It Normal For Your Stomach To Hurt After Sex 7 Reasons You May Be Experiencing A Stomach Ache After Sex
Are you wondering: âWhy does my stomach hurt after sex?â
Youâre not alone. Many people report feeling physically uncomfortable after sexual intercourse. In this section, Iâll cover the top seven reasons that you could be having a stomach ache after sex. As always, if youâre very worried about the pain youâre feeling, you should visit a doctor, who can help diagnose and treat the pain.
What Are The Symptoms And Causes Of Indigestion
Most of us have experienced indigestion and its symptoms, for example, upper abdominal pain and cramping, bloating, belching, nausea, vomiting, and the feeling of fullness after only eating a few bites. There are common causes of indigestion like GERD or pregnancy. More serious causes include cancers or heart attack.
The best way to relieve and even prevent symptoms of stomach bloating and gas, is a healthy diet and regular exercise, however, there are many things you can do to prevent and relieve bloating and gas.
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Consider If Dairy Is Actually The Culprit
If you’re currently in the fetal position dealing with gas pain, think back to how much cheese, milk, and ice cream you had recentlyeven if you don’t think you’re lactose intolerant. You can spend years having zero issues when you drink a venti latte in the A.M., followed by a grilled cheese sandwich at lunchuntil you suddenly do.
As most people age, they start making less lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose, the sugar in dairy products, Dr. Staller says. This is one cause of lactase deficiency and lactose intolerance. As your digestive systems bacteria try to break down lactose without enough lactase to do the job, you may experience annoying symptoms like more painful gas than usual.
Many people in their 20s and 30s have symptoms and dont suspect that its the dairy products, Dr. Staller says. If you think dairy is behind your painful gas, try cutting it out for a few weeks and see where that gets you.
Diagram Naming The Parts Of The Gut
There is always a certain amount of gas in the bowel. Most of this comes from air swallowed whilst you are eating or drinking. It can also happen during smoking or when swallowing saliva. Larger amounts can be swallowed when you eat quickly, gulp down a drink or chew gum. The swallowed air goes down into the gullet .
If you are sitting up, the air tends to go back up the oesophagus and escapes again through the mouth in the process of belching. If you are lying flat, the air tends to pass downwards causing gas in the stomach. This can result in bloating after eating and a hard, swollen tummy. The gas eventually enters the small bowel and escapes through the back passage . People often refer to this as ‘farting’ or, more politely, ‘passing wind’ or flatulence.
Gas can also be produced due to germs acting on partially digested food in the gut. This is more likely to happen with some foods than others. Broccoli, baked beans and Brussels sprouts are well-known culprits. The number of germs in the bowel also has an effect on the volume of gas produced. The gas that is made is mainly composed of carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane. It may contain traces of a chemical called sulfur. This is responsible for the unpleasant smell experienced when you pass wind through the back passage.
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What Are Treatment Options And Home Remedies For Flatulence
There are a number of ways to treat flatulence, depending on the cause of the problem. To treat flatulence at home, try the following:
- Look at your diet. If it contains a large amount of carbohydrates that are difficult to digest, try to replace them. Carbohydrates that are easier to digest, such as potatoes, rice, and bananas, are good substitutes.
- Keep a food diary. This will help you to identify any triggers. After you identify some foods that cause you excessive flatulence, you can learn to avoid them or to eat less of them.
- Eat less more. Try to eat around five to six small meals a day instead of three larger ones to help your digestive process.
- Chew properly. Avoid doing anything that may increase the amount of air that you swallow. This includes making sure that youre chewing your food properly, and avoiding chewing gum or smoking.
- Exercise. Some people find that exercising helps to promote digestion and can prevent flatulence.
- Try over-the-counter medications. These include charcoal tablets that absorb gas through the digestive system, antacids, and dietary supplements such as alpha-galactosidase . Its important to note that these medications will only temporarily provide relief.
If you have unexplained flatulence, or if you experience the following symptoms along with flatulence, you should see your doctor:
- swollen abdomen
- gas thats persistent and severe
You’re Not Moving And Hydrating Enough
“Exercise, exercise, exercise,” says Dr. Lee. “Being physically active and physically fit is single-handedly the most effective way to keep your GI motility moving, as people with slower GI motility tend to suffer from constipation and or inefficient/incomplete defecation, which produces methane gas, resulting in excessive flatulence.” Translation: Exercise can help you have healthier, more consistent poops and fart less.
Drinking lots of water also helps. Why? “Water is a magnet to fiber,” says Majumdar. As fiber is digested, it absorbs water, which helps it pass through your digestive tract more easily. This also helps prevent constipation.
The bottom line on why you’re so gassy at night: While gas is a totally normal part of being human, if you’re really gassy in the morning or at night, or are just concerned about the amount of gas you have in general, consider talking to a pro. “No one knows your body better than you,” says Dr. Lee. “If the amount of gas is concerning to you , then you should see a physician for evaluation. Then seeing a dietitian for healthy diet options and choices is always a great idea.”
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Your Body Is Going Through The Natural Digestion Process
First, you should understand how your body’s digestive system works to break down and use food. “The healthy bacteria that live along your intestinal tract create gas all day and throughout the night, even during your sleep,” says Christine Lee, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Cleveland Clinic. Unsurprisingly, the largest volumes of gas are produced after meals. So if dinner is your largest meal of your day, it could also be the reason you’re so gassy at night.
But even if you eat a super-light dinner, there’s another reason why you’re so gassy. “At night, the bacteria in the gut has had all day to ferment what you’ve eaten,” says Libby Mills, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. From ingestion to gas formation, the digestion process may take approximately six hours in a normal gut. Thus, you’re likely to experience more gas later in the day because your lunch is finishing being digested.
So, it’s not that you’re so gassy all of a sudden. “It has more to do with the accumulation of gas rather than the actual rate of gas production,” says Dr. Lee.
What Causes Wind Gas And Bloating
Everybody has gas-related symptoms from time to time. In most cases, this is part of the natural working of the body and the symptoms soon pass. Some people complain they are feeling bloated all the time. As mentioned above, people are occasionally sensitive to normal amounts of gas in the tummy. The reasons for this are not entirely clear.
There are some conditions associated with larger than normal amounts of gas in the tummy:
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When Gas Is A Symptom Of Something Else
If excessive gas is persistent or severe, consult your doctor it could be a sign of a more serious digestive condition, such as:
- Lactose intolerance This is the inability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk and milk products. I test with a milk challenge, says Bickston. The patient drinks a pint or two of milk it can be any percent fat. What follows tells the patients whether they should limit their milk intake. If avoiding milk reduces your symptoms you may be lactose intolerant.
- Irritable bowel syndrome Patients who meet the diagnostic checklist for irritable bowel syndrome suffer more pain at the lower levels of the abdominal cavity, he says.
- Colon cancer Excess gas is rarely the main symptom of patients with colon cancer, Bickston notes. But it does trigger my reflex to remind patients to get screened for colorectal cancer.
- Upper gastrointestinal disorders Occasional belching is normal, but frequent belching may be a sign of an upper gastrointestinal disorder. These include peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease , or gastroparesis, also called delayed gastric emptying.
Also, warns Bickston, if you’ve had abdominal surgery, a hernia, or significant weight loss or weight gain, never dismiss your gas-like symptoms as normal. Get them checked out.
As annoying as it might be, some gas is a natural by-product of the bodys digestive system. But if your gas is excessive, painful, or chronic, talk to your doctor about possible causes and remedies.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Growth
Also known as SIBO, it is a serious medical condition affecting the gut. It means some microorganisms that should be in the colon end up in the small intestines.This can interfere with the delicate balance necessary in the gut flora. Its possible some types of bacteria will multiply faster, beating the others.The imbalance can then lead to all sorts of problems including the production of gas that causes stomach gurgling.Like other conditions on the list, a growling tummy doesnt immediately mean SIBO. Other symptoms to watch out for are diarrhea, cramps, feeling of fullness, and bloating.To receive an official diagnosis, the doctor may perform a breath test, which determines the presence of gas such as methane and hydrogen.Another option is a colonoscopy. It involves inserting a flexible thin instrument with a camera into the colon to see the organs condition in real-time.Fortunately, you can learn how to how to stop stomach gurgling and diarrhea. These include maintaining a healthy diet and following your doctors orders when taking antibiotics.
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How Is The Cause Of Excessive Flatulence Or Gas Diagnosed
A health-care professional may review what patient eats and the symptoms produced. The patient might be instructed to keep a food and drink diary for a specific period of time and track the passage of gas during the day. Careful review of diet and the amount of gas passed may help relate specific foods to symptoms and determine the severity of the problem.
The primary tests, if necessary, will likely include measuring the amount of hydrogen in the patient’s breath after the person eats suspected foods. Because bacteria are largely responsible for the production of hydrogen, an increase in exhaled hydrogen as measured by the breath test will suggest food intolerance, with the bacteria fermenting the undigested food to produce excess gas. After the patient eats a problem food, breath testing should show an increase in hydrogen in as little as 2 hours.
Another possible test is analysis of flatus for gas content. This should help differentiate gas produced by swallowing air from gas produced in the gastrointestinal tract.
If these tests produce no diagnosis, broader testing can be accomplished to help exclude more serious disorders such as diabetes, cancer, malabsorption, cirrhosis of the liver, poor thyroid function, and infection.
If lactase deficiency is the suspected cause of gas, the health-care professional may suggest the patient avoid milk products for a period of time. A blood or breath test may be used to diagnose lactose intolerance.