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Gas and Gas Pain: Causes, Symptoms, Management and Prevention
Experiencing gas and getting rid of it is quite common. It occurs because of the excess air swallowed in the stomach. Certain food habits or lifestyle changes can lead to gas. Gas pain occurs when gas accumulates in the intestines and puts pressure on the abdominal wall, causing discomfort and pain.
The pain can be relieved by passing gas, using over-the-counter remedies, or engaging in physical activities to help move gas through the digestive tract. If gas pain is persistent or accompanied by other symptoms, such as bloating, diarrhea, or constipation, it is best to consult a doctor for further evaluation and treatment.
Read this article to learn the causes and symptoms of gas and gas pain and how one can manage and prevent its occurrence.
Causes of Gas
Gas is formed in the body when we take up more air by mouth while drinking or eating. Later, it can be released when burping.
The food that we eat has certain components that when reacting with the digestive system form gas. For instance, cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, lentils, cauliflower, etc., are high in raffinose, a sugar that is only digested by gut microbiota. When the bacteria ferment it, gas is produced which causes bloating too. Other foods like dairy products have lactose sugar that is intolerant to some people who lack the enzyme lactase. Since sugar cannot be digested, the body releases gas.
Fried or packaged foods and drinks make things worse since they have high levels of preservatives and carbon dioxide gas used in carbonated beverages highly contribute to gastric problems. Hence, less absorption of carbohydrates in many cases may lead to the formation of gas. Certain gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), can cause increased gas production and discomfort.
The practice of certain habits such as using a straw while drinking allows more air to go inside the stomach. For those who don’t chew their food properly, it is difficult for the digestive organs to break down larger chunks of food. This ends up leaving behind undigested food in the digestive tract and gas. Gastric problems are also very common for people who talk while eating. Our lifestyle habits define our health. Heavy smokers or drinkers experience gas problems very often as compared to those who smoke occasionally or not at all.
Symptoms of Gas Issues
If a person is suffering from gas or gas pain, he or she may experience certain symptoms related to the condition. The symptoms include −
Bloating − Bloating is when a person experiences a feeling of fullness when consuming any kind of food. Even when a person hasn’t eaten much, the gas inside the stomach fills up a certain amount of space and causes a feeling of fullness.
Flatulence − Flatulence is the release of gas through the rectum. It is when too much gas is produced in the body that a person may need the urge to pass it.
Nausea − Nausea is characterized by a feeling to vomit but isn’t the same as vomiting. It is an unpleasant feeling a person may experience when the overproduction of gas takes place in the body.
Cramps − A person having gas pain may experience pain in the stomach or abdominal region known as cramps.
Distension − Distension is a feeling of swelling of the abdominal region caused due to bloating.
Burping − Burping or belching is the release of gas in the stomach through the mouth.
Changes in our daily habits and routines may help us manage excess gas production and gas pain.
Eating slowly allows us to chew the food properly and aids in efficient digestion of the food. This will also not allow excess air intake while eating.
Taking up healthy habits like regular exercise will not only allow movement of the body but also help relieve gas that is trapped inside the body.
Smoking and drinking frequently or eating food outside more often can develop gastric problems. Cutting down on these habits will help manage excess gas production.
Prevention of Gas
Gas and pain caused by its production can certainly be prevented if regular habits are observed.
Cut down a little on eating cruciferous vegetables and try not to eat food from the stores or junk more often. Homemade food is the best to prevent digestive problems.
When having a feeling of gas in the body, holding it won’t solve the problem. Instead, not allowing gas to pass will cause bloating and pain. Thus, it is always best to release gas either through the mouth by burping or through the rectum by flatulence. If the gas has a pungent odour, it is considered as a sign of digestive infection, and consulting a doctor would be good.
Taking up healthier choices such as exercising over sitting for too long, or intaking probiotics and herbal drinks over junk and processed food will not only help prevent gastric disorders but will also benefit the digestive system for a longer period.
Gentle walking can help stimulate digestion and reduce gas.
Certain yoga poses, such as the Wind-Relieving Pose or Child's pose, can help alleviate gas
Gently massaging the abdominal area can help move trapped gas and reduce discomfort.
Engaging in regular aerobic exercise, such as running or cycling, can help improve digestion and reduce gas.
Gentle stretching can help relieve gas and improve digestion
Regular movement of the body is as equally important to allow excess gas in the body to be released either by belching or flatulence. Gas pains are often misinterpreted as a heart stroke or colon medical conditions such as appendicitis. Therefore, it is important to be aware of gastric conditions and how to prevent, or deal with gastric issues.
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