Excessive Gas in Chicago, IL
Dealing with excessive gas can be not only uncomfortable but also embarrassing. Thankfully, there are ways to manage the intestinal gas that is cramping your style. This may feel awkward to discuss but rest assured that help is on the way.
About Excessive Gas
We all have gas throughout our intestinal tract, but each of us responds to it differently. Too much can cause bloating, belching, cramps, and flatulence.
Symptoms of Excessive Gas
Symptoms are usually brief and disappear as the gas is passed through belching or flatulence.
Belching: When you swallow air and it accumulates in your stomach, it needs to release through belching or flatulence.
Bloating: Bloating results from gas and/or food accumulating in the stomach and causing a feeling of fullness.
Flatulence: This gas is often a combination of swallowed gas and gas that is produced when colon bacteria combine with undigested carbohydrates.
Pain: When gas accumulates in the right upper portion of the colon, it can cause pain that radiates up the chest, feeling like cardiac pain or gall bladder pain.
Causes of Excessive Gas
Swallowing Excess Air
Most of us do not realize how much air we tend to swallow as we eat, drink from straws, chew gum, and suck on hard candies. It is the air this enters out stomach and lower intestine that can lead to bloating, belching, and flatulence. Air can also accumulate in our stomach when we drink carbonated beverages, are experiencing anxiety, wear ill-fitting dentures, or have chronic postnasal drip.
Eating Food that Does not Break Down
Some carbohydrates, such as bran, cabbage, avocados, cauliflower, and broccoli, have a harder time being digested by the enzymes in your small intestine. So, when they reach the colon, the bacteria metabolize them to hydrogen and carbon dioxide gases, resulting in excess gas. Also, milk, certain cheeses, and ice cream can be the cause of excess gas because of the lack of an enzyme that helps the body digest milk sugars. Lactose intolerance can cause cramps, bloating and flatulence.
Having Bacterial Overgrowth and Constipation
Bacterial overgrowth is when you have an excess of bacteria in the small intestine, which produces increased intestinal gas. Constipation can also contribute to bloating.
GI Disorders That Cause Excess Gas
Belching or flatulence more than 20 times a day could indicate one of the following:
- Ulcerative colitis
- Autoimmune pancreatitis
- Peptic ulcer
- Celiac disease
- Lactose intolerance
- Crohn’s disease (a type of inflammatory bowel disease)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Gastroparesis (a condition in which the muscles of the stomach wall don’t function properly, interfering with digestion)
- Intestinal obstruction
- Dumping syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Eating disorders
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
When to See a Doctor
Remember that belching and flatulence are normal body processes, but if you’ve experienced an increase in frequency or severity of symptoms, seek out immediate medical attention. If you’ve tried to treat your symptoms by altering your diet with no success, call us to schedule an appointment. We can rule out any GI disorders and underlying abnormalities.