Methanogens: The Bloating Root Cause You Havent Heard Of
Bloating that enormous feeling of pressure like someone just blew up your abdomen with an air pump and now your pants have shrunk two sizes.
Or maybe its that feeling of fullness like youre dragging around an extra tire everywhere you go.
If youre like millions of other people, you can relate.
For some people, this is an all-day problem that starts the moment they wake up and gradually gets worse throughout the day.
For others, it comes and goes maybe related to a food trigger, or maybe with no rhyme or reason.
And along with the bloating comes the C word constipation, meaning three or fewer trips to the restroom in a week..
Yet others have the opposite problem diarrhea that strikes soon after a meal and leaves them scrambling to find the closest bathroom.
What Can Cause Gas And Bloating In The Stomach And Digestive System
Gas and bloating can happen for more reasons than you might think. Excess gas is the primary cause of flatulence and a distended belly.
This gas can result from an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut, your diet and ability to digest the food you eat, and even how you eat. Certain health conditions like IBS and inflammatory bowel disease may lead to bloat. Weak abdominal muscles, slow digestion, stress, anxiety, and hormones can also play a role.
Do Probiotics Help With Bloating And Gas
If youre feeling uncomfortably full, you might be experiencing bloating as a result of gas buildup in your abdomen. There are several remedies to this painful problem, ranging from dietary changes to exercise.
Recently, taking probiotics has emerged as a potential solution to digestive issues, but do probiotics help with bloating? To truly treat gas and painful belly bloat, its important to understand its causes and why it happens. Read on to learn what it is, why it happens, and whether to take probiotics for gas and bloating.
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Can Antacids Help Relieve Gas
No. While some symptoms of gas can mimic heartburn – like discomfort after eating – antacids dont relieve gas. They have a different active ingredient that neutralizes the stomach acids coming into contact with your esophagus, rather than the buildup of gas in your digestive tract. The active ingredient in Gas-X is simethicone and it helps break up gas bubbles in your stomach and intestines. Once this trapped gas is broken down, your body can then deal with the gas naturally.
Treatment For Gas Gas Pains And Bloating
If your gas and gas pains are caused by an underlying condition, treatment for that condition may provide relief. Usually, gas can be treated through lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, and over-the-counter medications.
Not everyone has the same reaction to all foods. Keeping a food diary can help you determine which foods cause increases in gas and bloating. Eliminating or reducing certain foods may be necessary to reduce your symptoms.
Foods that can cause gas due to high fiber include whole wheat, bran, prunes, peaches, apples, pears, asparagus, artichokes, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, onions, and beans. You may try avoiding high-fiber foods for a week or two and gradually start to eat them again. You should visit with a doctor or dietitian to make sure youâre getting enough fiber.
Some people do not easily digest lactose, the sugar found in dairy products. Reducing or eliminating dairy products could help you reduce symptoms of gas and bloating. There are often lactose-free options for some products like milk.
You may try eliminating sugar substitutes or trying a different type.
Fat in your digestive tract can slow-down digestion, allowing food to ferment longer and produce gas. Reducing fat in your diet may help lessen symptoms.
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What Is The Difference Between Beano And Gas
Beano and Gas-X are both anti-gas products but have different ingredients and work different ways. Beano contains alpha galactosidase, an enzyme that is taken before meals, to break down complex carbohydrates in food to reduce gas production. Gas-X contains simethicone which acts on the gas produced in the stomach and intestine to help reduce pressure, bloating and fullness. It breaks up gas bubbles in your stomach and intestine. Once this trapped gas is broken down, your body can then deal with this gas naturally.
Eat At Regular Intervals
Many people experience bloating directly after a big meal. It is possible to avoid this by eating several smaller meals each day, which can help to keep the digestive system moving.
Swallowing food quickly can introduce air into the digestive tract. Drinking from a straw can also lead to people swallowing more air, which in turn leads to gas and bloating. People who have bloating should avoid using straws if possible and try eating slowly to avoid swallowing air during meals.
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When Gas And Bloating Are Symptoms
Often, the gas and bloating you are experiencing are merely symptoms of a greater condition. You may actually be experiencing an upset stomach, heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea or nausea after eating. Or, you may have a more chronic condition, like an intestinal disease. Itâs helpful to understand the underlying problem, so you know how best to treat it.
Cant I Just Change My Diet
Short answer: yes.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet eliminates harder-to-digest polysaccharides.
But thats not the whole problem here is the longer answer.
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Does Gas X Really Work
Would recommend it to a friend
Simethicone is an orally taken substance that is used to prevent foaming and can therefore be used to reduce the effects of a bloated stomach and this agent is the active ingredient that is found inside Gas X. There are many products worldwide that contain Simethicone but Gas X is the biggest and most well-known brand containing this substance.
OverviewGas X was first brought to the market in 2004 and since then the brand has grown to what it is now and challenging for the title of being the leading substance as a cure for excess gas in the stomach.
The substance comes in the form of a pill that is intended to be swallowed. The best effects of Gas X are seen when the pill is taken prior to a gassy or potentially bloat-inducing meal so that the substance is already in the system and waiting for the food to help break it down.
The ClaimThe headline campaign of Gas X is simply two words Pressures Off. This does two things to promote the brand and convey confidence into the user. Firstly it gives the impression that it will completely remove the pressure of excess gas and a bloated stomach, as well as giving the user the idea that by using this tablet, they will no longer have any worries about having a bloated stomach or embarrasing gas.
The CostThe price for 120 soft-gel pills of Gas X is currently retailing at around the $15 mark, but there are lots of companies that are offering the treatment as part of a multi-buy deal.
Lactose And Fructose Intolerance
Lactose intolerance is an inability to break down lactose in the small intestine. People who have lactose intolerance do not have the enzyme needed to break down lactose, which is the sugar found in milk and dairy products. When someone with lactose intolerance consumes dairy, the lactose that they cant break down passes into the large intestine and bacteria break it down and produce gas. This is why eating dairy can cause abdominal pain, bloating, and flatulence for people with lactose intolerance.
Similarly, fructose intolerance is an inability to break down fructose in the small intestine. It can cause gas in much the same way as lactose intolerance.
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Brand Names Of Combination Products
- Alamag Plus®
- Balox Plus®
- Flatulex® Tablets
- Gas-X® with Maalox®
- Imodium® Advanced
- Losospan® Plus
- Low Sodium Plus®
- Lowsium Plus®
- Maalox® Plus
- Magagel® Plus
- Magaldrate Plus
- Magalox® Plus
- Maldroxal® Plus
- Mintox® Plus
- Ri-Gel II®
- Ri-Mox® Plus
Do We Need A New Way To Treat Sibo
While SIBO is a relatively new diagnosis, understanding of the process of methanogenesis has existed for decades.
In fact, methanogenesis has already been studied exhaustively in the agricultural world. This is because the production of excessive methane gas by cattle can actually impact the atmosphere.
Because it means there is a time-tested and science-backed way to treat excess methane in the gut caused by SIBO other than just drastically modifying the diet.
This idea was first explored by Dr. Kenneth Brown a board-certified gastroenterologist and clinical researcher.
Instead of trying to starve the bacteria out or obliterate them with antibiotics Dr. Brown wanted to interrupt the process of methanogenesis.
Rule Out Medical Conditions
In some cases, bloating may result from a medical condition. To get rid of this bloating, a person may need help from a doctor to diagnose and manage their condition.
Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis, may cause people to experience bloating. Irritable bowel syndrome , can also cause this symptom.
People with these symptoms should discuss them with a doctor, who will also want to know about any relevant family medical history and other medical conditions. The doctor may order diagnostic tests to look for any problems. These may include an X-ray, ultrasound, colonoscopy, or blood tests.
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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So Can I Eat Whatever I Want
I know what you might be thinking right now does this mean I dont need to follow a restricted diet any more even though I have SIBO? I can just take a supplement?
Finding and following your own customized diet is critical to the success of any supplement.
You cant out-supplement the wrong diet.
If you dont have your diet dialed in to your needs, no supplement will help.
But for those who already know what foods do and dont work for you, are working with a great practitioner, have your stress well-managed, and are STILL dealing with SIBO symptoms, take note. This supplement might be something to try.
What Causes Gas & Bloating
There are two main causes of gas in the digestive tract .
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Does Constipation Cause Gas
Yes, Veloso says. Anything that slows down the digestive process, such as a low-fiber diet, use of opioid medications or an anticholinergic drug can put the brakes on timely bowel function.
Veloso says eating a diet rich in fiber, staying hydrated and exercising is a good long-term approach for beating bouts of gas and cramping. If these measures dont improve constipation and gas, a polyethylene glycol laxative can help, she notes.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Could a medical condition be making me gassy?
- What tests can determine the cause of intestinal gas?
- What steps can I take to cut down on intestinal gas?
- What foods or drinks should I avoid?
- Whats the best treatment for my gas symptom?
- How can I tell the difference between gas and something more serious?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
While intestinal gas is common, the symptoms belching, flatulence, bloating and stomach discomfort can be embarrassing and even painful. Gas is sometimes a symptom of a more serious health problem. Talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns. The right treatment can ease gas symptoms so you can go about your day in confidence.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/11/2020.
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Diagnosing Gas Gas Pains And Bloating
Even though gas and bloating are common, a medical evaluation may sometimes be necessary. If you experience blood in the stool, diarrhea, fevers, anemia, or weight loss, you should talk to a doctor.
Medical History & Physical Exam
First, your doctor will review your medical history and ask questions about your symptoms and dietary habits.
The doctor may also examine your abdomen for tenderness or anything that feels abnormal. A stethoscope may be used to help the doctor determine how well the digestive tract is working.
The results of these preliminary tests will help determine the next level of diagnosis if necessary.
Additional Tests for Gas, Gas Pains, and Bloating
- Breath tests Breath tests can help determine problems of malabsorption or intestinal bacteria overgrowth.
- Colonoscopy In patients 50 or older, or who have a family history of colorectal cancer, the possibility of colon cancer may be considered.
- Imaging If chronic belching is a problem, x-rays may be used to inspect the small intestine, stomach, and esophagus. This is known as an upper GI series
Weak Abdomen Or Poor Gas Handling
In some people, the anterior abdominal muscle operates abnormally, whether from weakness or poor posture.
When operating normally, the diaphragm should relax, and the abdominals contract. Instead, the abdominal wall relaxes while the diaphragm contracts, causing the anterior abdominal wall to expand and the gut to protrude outward. The gas gets pushed around within the abdomen, leading to feelings of being bloated, even if gas volume remains the same.
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Get More Active Every Day
Exercise helps your body move stool and gas out of the colon and may make bowel movements more regular. Exercise also releases extra sodium from the body through sweating, which can help to relieve water retention.
It is vital to drink plenty of water before and after exercising to stay hydrated, as dehydration can make constipation worse.
How To Have Less Gas
While Gas-X can help whenever gas bubbles up, there are a few ways to lessen the chance of having to deal with it in the first place.
See if you notice a pattern when it comes to particular foods and gas, as certain fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products can be gas creators. Since high-fat foods leave the stomach slowly , you may want to consider lessening these types of foods as well.
It may be helpful to talk to your doctor about adding probiotics to your diet, as sometimes probiotics can help change the bacterial flora in your stomach, easing gas symptoms.
Lastly, dont forget exercise! Its great at stimulating the intestines to help get excess gas moving in the right direction.
Occasional gas can be a nuisance, but slight tweaks to your daily life may be able to make it less so. And for those unexpected moments, Gas-X is a safe and efficient way to find relief fast!
As always, its best to talk to your doctor before starting to take any new drug, over the counter or not, and to start with a small dose to make sure there is no allergic reaction.
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Other Reasons For Bloating
There are also functional reasons that can cause bloating: You may have low levels of digestive enzymes, bile, or gastric juices which prevents efficient breakdown of your food.
The more undigested food that ends up in your intestines, the more gas and bloating you will experience. Digestive enzyme supplements can help these issues and as for increasing your stomach acids, your best bet is to limit the use of antacids.
An imbalanced gut microbiome can also influence digestive function and health. Undigested foods that make it to your gut will be broken down by bacteria, but not always the beneficial ones.
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SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, is a similar problem that commonly causes gas, burping, acid reflux, and bloating. SIBO can result from a lack of stomach acid or when the resident bacteria grow out of balance.
Probiotics can help to regenerate a healthy balance, but you also need to avoid foods that trigger disruptions in the digestive tract.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
SIBO, or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, is a type of dysbiosis with even higher levels of bad bacteria, located not only in the colon but in the small intestine.
Just as with dysbiosis and irritable bowel syndrome, there are also distinct differences in the gut bacteria of patients with SIBO with bloating versus Healthy Controls. SIBO is also strongly associated with IBS, with some studies showing an up to 78% correlation.
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