Ever feel more gassy than usual? According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website, having excessive gas is rare. Gas is caused by swallowing air while eating or drinking, and the bacterial break down of food in the large intestine. However, gas is also absorbed in the stomach and small intestine. Both the stomach and small intestine absorb most of its gas. However, if an overgrowth of bacteria occurs in the small intestine, the result is excessive gas. Because few bacteria live in the small intestine, when an overgrowth of bacteria occurs, it is usually caused by a disease or disorder that affects how the digestive system works.
Many people often believe that they are experiencing excessive gas, but in many cases, the gas that is experienced is normal. According to the National Institute of Health, people pass gas on average of 14 times a day. So, if you are within these limits, the gas that you are experiencing is not abnormal, and actually healthy. Where there should be a cause for a concern is if you are experiencing persistent embarrassing gas, along with pain that interferes with your normal daily activities.
Identifying where gas starts and stops in the body can help eliminate symptoms of excessive gas. Symptoms of excessive gas included excessive belching, bloating, or flatulence. Belching is a result of excessive air in the stomach. Conditions like Acid reflux, where stomach acids travel to the esophagus, and gastritis, the inflammation of the stomach lining, can also cause belching. Bloating, when severe, can cause swelling or increased tension in the abdomen. Overeating, eating too fast, or eating extremely rich fatty foods can cause bloating. Flatulence, the passing of gas through the anus, results when their is a build up of gas in the colon. Typically, either undigested food has fermented in the colon, or food products such as gluten or the sugar from dairy products has failed to break down. In addition, the poor absorption of carbohydrates, and the affect of antibiotics on intestinal bacteria, can also cause Flatulence. To aid you in your efforts in reducing gassiness, we recommend following the steps below:
Change What You Eat
We suggest that you create a simple food journal and track what you eat for a week. In addition, take note of persistent symptoms such as excessive bloating, belching, or flatulence after each meal. This will help you to identify what potential foods, or combinations of foods that could be causing the issue. The following week attempt to either reduce or eliminate the offending foods from your diet. Viola! If you notice a significant reduction in excessive gas, you will have successfully identified the culprits.
Reduce Swallowed Air
Belching is a direct result of the amount of air that you swallow. Thus, if you are experiencing excessive belching, you may want to reduce a few common activities such as drinking through a straw, eating too quickly, sucking on hard candy or suckers, drinking soda, chewing gum, and smoking. All of these activities cause more air to be taken in through the mouth, which can result in a persistent feeling of gassiness.
Review Your Medications
If you are currently on prescription medications, you may want to visit your primary care physician to discuss your symptoms. Excessive gas can be caused by the affect of prescription medications on your body. Only a Doctor can determine if this is the case. We do not recommended making any changes to the medications that you are taking until you talk to your Doctor.
Symptoms of excessive gas normally disappear on their own, especially if there is an accompanying change in one's eating habits. However, if symptoms persist, and new symptoms such as Diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, weight loss, chest pains, or a bloody stool are also present, please see your primary care physician. Normally, there is another medical concern.