Gastric / Gas Problem
Every one of us has gas and removes it by burping or passing it through the rectum. However, people tend to think that they have too much gas when they have normal amounts of gas. Normal people produce about 2 to 3 pints in a day and pass gas around 15 times a day.
Gas is the collection of odorless vapors include – carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen and in some cases methane. The odor comes from the bacteria situated in the large intestine that releases small amounts of gases.
Having gas is common among human it is uncomfortable and embarrassing. Understanding the causes help to reduce the gas with effective treatment.
What causes gas?
Gas in the digestive tract – the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine comes from two sources, which include:
- Swallowed air
- Normal breakdown of certain undigested foods by harmless bacteria naturally present in the large intestine
Air swallowing is the common cause of gas in the stomach. Everyone tend to swallow little or small amounts of air when eating and drinking. Eating and drinking rapidly, chewing gum, or smoking can cause some people to take in more air.
Burping or belching is the way most air is swallowed in, which contains nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide leaves the stomach.
Breakdown of Undigested Foods
When body is unable to digest and absorb carbohydrates – sugar or starches in the small intestine due to the shortage of certain enzymes.
The undigested food then passes from the small intestine into the large intestine, which normal is harmless bacteria break down the food, producing hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and, in other people, methane. Eventually these gases are exited through the rectum.
Foods may or may not produce gas in a person. Some common bacteria in the large intestine can kill the hydrogen that other bacteria produce. The balance of the two types of bacteria may explain why some people have more gas than others.
Which foods cause gas?
Most foods that contain carbohydrates can cause gas. By contrast, fats and proteins cause little gas.
The sugars that cause gas are raffinose, lactose, fructose, and sorbitol.
Beans contain large amounts of raffinose sugar. However, fewer amounts are found in cabbage, broccoli, asparagus and whole grains.
Fructose is naturally exists in onions, pears, and wheat. It is largely used as a sweetener in some soft drinks and fruit drinks.
Sorbitol is a sugar naturally exists in fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, and prunes. It is also used as an artificial sweetener in many dietetic foods and sugar free candies and gums.
Starches usually are in potatoes, corn, noodles, and wheat, produce gas as they are broken down in the large intestine. Rice is the only starch that does not cause any gas.
What are some symptoms and problems of gas?
The usual symptoms of gas include:
- Abdominal bloating
- Abdominal pain and belching
- The above may or may belong to gas symptoms.
What diagnostic tests are used?
The doctor will usually start with a review of dietary habits and daily activity. If lactase deficiency is the suspected cause of gas, the doctor will suggest avoiding milk products for some time. A blood test is used to diagnose lactose intolerance.
To determine if someone produces too much gas in the colon or is unusually sensitive to the passage of normal gas volumes, the doctor may ask patients to count the number of times they pass gas during the day and provide them with the numbers per day.
After careful examination and review of dietary habits it can help diagnose the problem faced by gas.
How is gas treated?
The treatment can be any of the following:
Doctors will ask you to eat less food that causes gas. However, this usually means reducing the amount of healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and milk products.
Doctors may also suggest reduce high-fat foods to reduce bloating and discomfort.
Unfortunately, the amount of gas caused by certain foods differs from person to person. Effective dietary process can help reduce gas.
Several nonprescription, medicines are available to help reduce signs and symptoms, including antacids with simethicone. Digestive enzymes, such as lactase supplements, actually help digest carbohydrates and may allow people to eat foods that normally cause gas.
Antacids, such as Mylanta II, Maalox II, and Di-Gel, contain simethicone, a foaming agent that joins gas bubbles in the stomach so that gas is more easily belched away. However, these medicines have no effect on intestinal gas. Dosage varies depending on the form of medication and the patient’s age.
Reducing Swallowed Air
For people who have chronic belching doctors may suggest them to reduce the amount of air swallowed. The doctor will ask you to avoid chewing gum and hard candy.
Points to remember
- Everyone has gas in the digestive tract
- Source of gas involves: swallowed air and normal breakdown of certain foods by harmless bacteria naturally present in the large intestine.
- Foods with carbohydrates can cause gas. Fats and proteins cause minor gas.
- The Foods that normally cause gas include:
- Vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, onions, artichokes, and asparagus
- Fruits, such as pears, apples, and peaches
- Whole grains, such as whole wheat and bran
- Soft drinks and fruit drinks
- Milk and milk products, such as cheese and ice cream, and packaged foods prepared with lactose, such as bread, cereal, and salad dressing
- Foods containing sorbitol, such as dietetic foods and sugar free candies and gum
- The common symptoms of gas are belching, flatulence, bloating and abdominal pain. The ways to reduce the discomfort caused by gas are changing diet, taking nonprescription medicines and also reducing the amount of air swallowed