What Causes Gas & Bloating
There are two main causes of gas in the digestive tract .
How Are Abdominal Bloating And Nausea Treated
Abdominal bloating and nausea related to foods you eat will typically resolve after your body has had time to digest whatever has upset your stomach. Common food intolerances include lactose and gluten. Avoid eating any foods that you determine are causing abdominal bloating and nausea.
Your doctor may prescribe medication if you have underlying conditions such as acid reflux or constipation. More serious disorders, such as congestive heart failure or dumping syndrome, may require prolonged treatments.
Causes Of Chronic Pain Gas And Bloating
Chronic pain, gas and bloating after you eat may indicate a more serious condition. Irritable bowel syndrome, IBS, causes abnormal contractions of intestinal muscles, which creates greater sensitivity to gas and bloating. Diseases that cause inflammation, such as colon cancer, GI ulcers or Crohns disease, can cause chronic bloating. Heart disease, gallstones or appendicitis can cause abdominal pain that can be mistaken for a GI problem 1.
- Chronic pain, gas and bloating after you eat may indicate a more serious condition.
- Diseases that cause inflammation, such as colon cancer, GI ulcers or Crohns disease, can cause chronic bloating.
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What Are Some Symptoms And Problems Of Gas
The most common symptoms of gas are belching, flatulence, abdominal bloating, and abdominal pain. However, not everyone experiences these symptoms. The determining factors probably are how much gas the body produces, how many fatty acids the body absorbs, and a person’s sensitivity to gas in the large intestine. Chronic symptoms caused by too much gas or by a serious disease are rare.
An occasional belch during or after meals is normal and releases gas when the stomach is full of food. However, people who belch frequently may be swallowing too much air and releasing it before the air enters the stomach. Sometimes a person with chronic belching may have an upper GI disorder, such as peptic ulcer disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease , or gastritis.
Believing that swallowing air and releasing it will relieve the discomfort of these disorders, this person may unintentionally develop a habitual cycle of belching and discomfort. Frequently, the pain continues or worsens, leading the person to believe he or she has a serious disorder. An extreme example of this is Meganblase syndrome, which causes chronic belching. This syndrome is characterized by severe air swallowing and an enlarged bubble of gas in the stomach following heavy meals. The resulting fullness and shortness of breath may mimic a heart attack.
Abdominal pain and discomfort
Slow Down: Eatings Not A Race
Eating is a marathon, not a sprint. Inhaling your food is not good if you want to avoid bloating after lunch. Thats because when you gulp down your food, youre also taking in lots of air, resulting in lots of gas after eating. It can also result in belching.
You can beat the bloat by eating slower and chewing your food. Not only will that reduce the air youre taking in, but it can also help to make you feel fuller so you take in less unnecessary food. And thats a win-win for your waistline.
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Gas Bloating And Burping
Gas, bloating, and burping are usually harmless and go away without any treatment. If gas, bloating, or burping is making you uncomfortable, take the following steps to help manage your symptoms:
- Increase the amount of fluid you drink, especially water. Avoid carbonated drinks and alcoholic beverages.
- Take a medicine that you can buy without a prescription. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label.
- Activated charcoal tablets, such as CharcoCaps, may decrease odor from gas. Charcoal is usually taken after meals or at the first sign of gas discomfort.
- Antacids, such as Maalox Anti-Gas and Mylanta Gas, allow gas to be belched away more easily. But these medicines often have no effect on gas that is already in the intestines. Be careful when you take over-the-counter antacid medicines. Many of these medicines have aspirin in them. Read the label to make sure that you are not taking more than the recommended dose. Too much aspirin can be harmful.
- Food enzymes, such as Beano, which help break down the sugars found in vegetables and grains, can be added to foods that cause you to have gas.
Rule Out Food Allergies And Intolerances To Common Foods
Food allergies and intolerances are relatively common.
When you eat foods that you are intolerant to, it can cause excess gas production, bloating and other symptoms.
Here are some common foods and ingredients to consider:
- Lactose: Lactose intolerance is associated with many digestive symptoms, including bloating. Lactose is the main carbohydrate in milk (
- 14 ).
Both lactose and fructose are a part of a larger group of indigestible carbs or fiber known as FODMAPs. FODMAP intolerance is one of the most common causes of bloating and abdominal pain.
If you strongly suspect that you have a food allergy or intolerance, see a doctor.
Food allergies and intolerances are common causes of bloating. Common offenders include lactose, fructose, wheat, gluten and eggs.
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How Is Gas In The Digestive Tract Diagnosed
Symptoms of gas may be caused by a serious disorder, which should be determined. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, your doctor may suggest the following activities to assist in the diagnosis:
Food diary. You may be asked to keep a diary of foods and beverages consumed for a specific time period, and/or to count the number of times you pass gas during the day.
Colonoscopy. For people 50 years of age and older, and for those with a family history, the possibility of colorectal cancer is considered. Colonoscopy is a procedure that allows the doctor to view the entire length of the large intestine, and can often help identify abnormal growths, inflamed tissue, ulcers, and bleeding. It involves inserting a colonoscope, a long, flexible, lighted tube, in through the rectum up into the colon. The colonoscope allows the doctor to see the lining of the colon, remove tissue for further examination, and possibly treat some problems that are discovered.
The Microbiome And Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Over 90% of people who have IBS experience bloating. Also, IBS is more common than youd think. In fact, IBS is the most common stomach condition gastroenterologists encounter.
Bacteria is crucial for the health and development of your gut. Sounds kind of strange, right? We’re used to bacteria being bad and causing sickness, but when it comes to the gut there is actually good bacteria that is essential to staying healthy.
The bacteria in your gut is responsible for delivering essential amino acids, vitamins, and fatty short-chain acids to promote the normal function of the intestinal immune system. However, an imbalance of these bacterial communities in your gut can lead to gas and bloating.
An ongoing imbalance in the gut can lead to what we know as IBS. IBS feels like an upset stomach often times after you eat.
Some of the symptoms of IBS include:
-change in bowel habits
-urgent need to use the restroom
Studies have found that people with IBS have higher bacterial counts in the small intestine. What researchers are still trying to figure out is if the overgrowth is a direct cause of IBS or just a symptom.
Recent research has shown that diet and lifestyle have a greater impact on the gut microbiome than genetics. So if you experience IBS or frequent bloating, it isn’t always as easy as blaming your genes.
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What Causes Bloating After Eating
Bloating occurs in the abdominal area. It happens when large amounts of air or gas build up in the gastrointestinal tract.
Eating is a common cause of bloating because when the body digests food, it produces gas. People also swallow air when eating or drinking, which then enters the gastrointestinal tract. Flatulence and burping usually help to relieve buildups of gas and air in the gut.
Bloating is a symptom of many health conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome or a food intolerance. However, most cases of bloating are avoidable.
Bloating after eating is a widespread experience and usually not a cause for concern. People with bloating can often treat their symptoms at home, such as by using one of the methods highlighted in this article.
However, bloating can sometimes also be a symptom of an underlying health condition that may require medical attention.
Anyone with bloating accompanied by other symptoms should see a doctor. These symptoms might include:
- abdominal pain
Lifestyle Changes To Reduce Gas
Some lifestyle adjustments can help reduce gas, gas pains, and bloating.
- Eat smaller portions Many healthy foods can also cause gas. Eating smaller portions may help reduce excess gas.
- Chew completely and slow down If you eat too fast, it could cause gas. Tip: put down your fork between each bite.
- chewing gum
- sucking on hard candies
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How Is Bloating Diagnosed
Your doctor can generally diagnose the cause of your bloating through a physical exam in the office. They will ask you questions about your symptoms. They will want to know if your bloating is occasional or if it occurs all the time.
Temporary bloating is usually not serious. If it happens all the time, your doctor may order other tests. These could include an imaging test to look inside your abdomen. This could be an X-ray or CT scan.
Food Intolerance And Bloating
Food intolerance can lead to bloating when:
- your bowel does not empty properly
- the food causes gas to be trapped
- too much gas is produced as a reaction to the food
The most common foods to cause problems are wheat or gluten and dairy products.
The best approach if you have a food intolerance is to eat less of the problem food or cut it out completely.
Keep a food diary for a couple of weeks, noting everything that you eat and drink and when bloating troubles you most. But do not get rid of food groups long-term without advice from your GP.
Find out more about food intolerance.
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What Causes Bloating And Gas
The number one digestive complaint I hear about from people I work with is bloating. For most people who suffer from bloating, gas comes along with it, and this makes sense because most bloating is caused by gas production so the two come as a package deal.
The million dollar question is always WHY am I so bloated and gassy, and what causes it?
If you are struggling with bloating and gas, keep reading, because this post is going to cover what actually causes that bloating and gas, and understanding the root cause of it is the key to overcoming it.
What Causes Bloating And Gas After Eating
Bloating is a term thatâs often used to describe a feeling of uncomfortable fullness, having a tight, swollen belly, and feeling gassy after eating. Bloating happens when large amounts of air or gas get trapped in your gut.
So, what causes bloating?
Eating is a common cause of bloating because our bodies produce gas as they digest food.
We can also end up swallowing air when we eat, which gets trapped in our digestive system. The fizzy gas in carbonated drinks and beer can also make you feel bloated, although it often comes out through burping rather than from the other end of your digestive system.
The gas lower down the gut mainly comes from the trillions of microbes that make up your gut microbiome. As our gut microbes break down components in our food, they release lots of different molecules, called metabolites, as well as gases that we usually get rid of by farting.
Several factors affect how much gas brews up in the gut. The most obvious is what youâve eaten, as well as the types and numbers of different microbes living in the gut. Another is the length of time food takes to travel through your gut, known as transit time.
This gut gas is mostly made up of nitrogen, hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide, which donât smell. The classic fart stink comes from the tiny amounts of strong-smelling hydrogen sulfide and other sulfur-containing compounds that are also in there.
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Is It Normal To Feel Bloated And Gassy After Eating
Gas from our gut bugs is normal and a sign that we are giving them the foods they need to thrive. We are all different and have unique gut microbes and diets, so some people will produce more gas than others.
Episodes of gassiness and bloating are often due to specific foods or particularly large meals triggering lots of microbial activity and, in turn, lots of gas.
Some people can be more sensitive to the feeling of gas pushing against the walls of the gut , causing pain and discomfort, even if their microbes arenât producing an unusually large amount of gas.
Excess gas and bloating can sometimes be caused by food intolerances, including lactose intolerance and celiac disease, or certain conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or small intestine bacterial overgrowth .
Rarely, bloating and gut pain can be a symptom of something more serious, including some types of cancer.
If you experience persistent bloating or pains that cannot be explained by a change in your diet or circumstances , you should speak to your physician.
Behaviors Food Choices And Activity
Eating behaviors and other habits such as gum chewing, gulping foods and drinking with eating can cause us to swallow air. Bulky foods such as lettuce, cabbage, and dense breads not chewed into small enough pieces increase swallowed air.
Typically, swallowed air contains oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. It tends to not have a foul smell, but it does contribute to the discomfort associated with gas.
People vary widely in how sensitive they are to gas production. Keeping a food record to document incidences of gas in relation to foods eaten can shed light on whether food or behavior may be aggravating the situation.
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Everything I Eat Gives Me Gas Why
When you get gas from everything you eat, there are a number of conditions or foods that can cause this to happen. The best way to find out is to eliminate any foods that may cause gas, first. If this doesnt solve the issue, you may need to see your doctor to be evaluated for any conditions that may be causing the problem. Some causes of gas after eating include:
1. Fluid in the Abdomen
If you have a condition that causes fluid buildup, you may experience excess gas in the abdomen. These include cirrhosis of the liver, congestive heart failure, or even your monthly period that causes bloating.
2. Intestinal Obstruction
A hernia or scar tissue in the abdomen may cause excessive gas. An intestinal obstruction keeps waste products from leaving the body, which continues to break down in the body. This will cause too much air in the intestines no matter what you eat.
3. Digestive Diseases
“Everything I eat gives me gas, why?” You ask. Certain digestive diseases will slow down digestion and create excessive gas in the abdomen. These include gallbladder disease, pancreatitis, Crohns disease, cystic fibrosis, and abdominal cancers.
4. Digestive Bacteria
Bacteria aid our digestive system and help to break down the foods we eat. Some bacteria can have the ability to produce increased gas from digestion. Everyone handles bacterial digestive actions differently. While one person may not experience any gas, another may be more sensitive to the waste products of the bacteria.
Avoid Swallowing Air And Gases
There are two sources of gas in the digestive system.
One is gas produced by the bacteria in the gut. The other is air or gas that is swallowed when you eat or drink. The biggest offender here is carbonated beverages like soda or fizzy drinks.
They contain bubbles with carbon dioxide, a gas that can be released from the liquid after it reaches your stomach.
Chewing gum, drinking through a straw and eating while talking or while in a hurry can also lead to increased amounts of swallowed air.
Swallowed air can contribute to bloating. A major cause is drinking carbonated beverages, which contain gases that are dissolved in the liquid.
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A List Of High Gluten Foods
- Bread made with wheat
- Most coated and battered products
- Wheat based snacks
While grains like oats and corn start out as gliadin-free, its important for people with wheat sensitivity or allergy to check the packaging on products like instant oats or polenta for added wheat or potential cross-contamination.
Can Bloating Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many ways to prevent and avoid bloating:
- Avoid the foods that are known to cause gas. These include cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turnips, beans, and lentils.
- Avoid chewing gum.
- Avoid using straws for drinking.
- Reduce or avoid drinking carbonated drinks .
- Reduce or avoid eating and drinking foods that include fructose or sorbitol. These artificial sweeteners are often found in sugar-free foods.
- Eat slowly.
- Eat more foods high in fiber to prevent constipation. If foods alone dont help, consider taking a fiber supplement.
- Avoid dairy products if you notice they cause gas and bloating.
- Quit smoking.
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