We know that the gas in the digestive system is a part of the normal process of digestion. Also, it is normal to want to get rid of the excess gas, either by passing gas (flatus) or burping. Gas pain can happen when the gas is trapped and it is not moving well through the digestive system. When you eat foods that are more likely to produce gas, then you can notice an increase in gas or gas pain.
In many cases, relatively simple changes in your eating habits can lessen this bothersome gas. Also, some digestive system disorders, such as celiac disease or irritable bowel syndrome (in addition to the other signs and symptoms of the gas) can cause an increase in gas or gas pain.
The signs and symptoms of gas or gas pain are next:
- A passing gas
- A burping
- The feeling of fullness or pressure in your abdomen (also known as bloating)
- The observable increase in the size of your abdomen (which is also known as distention)
- Knotted feeling, pain, or cramps in your abdomen
The burping is normal when happening during or right is after a meal. In most cases, people pass gas up to 20 times a day. The gas can be embarrassing or inconvenient, but burping and passing gas are rarely themselves a sign of some medical problem. You should talk with your doctor if your gas or gas pain is so persistent or severe and they interfere with your ability to function well in your everyday life. Gas or pains that are accompanied by other signs or symptoms may indicate that you have a more serious condition. You should see your doctor if you experience some of the next additional signs or symptoms:
- Recurrent or persistent nausea or vomiting
- Bloody stools
- Diarrhea or constipation
- A change in the consistency of stools
- A weight loss
- A change in the frequency of bowel movements
You need to ask for immediate medical help if you have:
- A chest pain
- A prolonged abdominal pain
Primarily, the gas in your stomach is caused by swallowing air when you drink or eat. When you burp, most stomach gas is released. Gas is forming in your large intestine (known as the colon) when the bacteria ferment carbohydrates, fiber, some sugars, and some starches, which are not digested in your small intestine. Also, bacteria consume some of that gas, but the remaining gas is released when you pass gas from your anus.
- Foods that cause gas: The most common foods, high–fiber foods, which cause gas include:
- Whole grains
- Beans and peas (legumes)
The high–fiber foods increase gas production. Fiber is essential for keeping your digestive tract in good working order and regulating blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Dietary factors: There are other dietary factors that can lead to increased gas in the digestive system, such as
- Sugar substitutes: Sugar substitutes or artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, mannitol, and sorbitol, which are found in some sugar–free foods and beverages can cause excess colon gas.
- Fiber supplements: Those fiber supplements that have psyllium, such as Metamucil, can increase colon gas.
- Eating habits: When you are talking while chewing, when you are sucking on candies when you are chewing gum when you drink through a straw, or when you eat too quickly, then this can result in swallowing more air.
- Carbonated beverages: It is noticed that carbonated beverages, like beer and soda, can increase stomach gas.
- Medical conditions: There are some medical conditions that can increase gas pain, bloating, or intestinal gas, such as
- Constipation: This condition can make it difficult to pass gas.
- Food intolerances: The bloating or gas can happen if the digestive system cannot break down and absorb certain foods, such as proteins (such as gluten in wheat and other grains) and the sugar in dairy products (such as lactose).
- Small bowel bacterial overgrowth: The change or increase in the bacteria in the small intestine can cause weight loss, diarrhea, and excess gas.
- Chronic intestinal disease: Often, excess gas is a symptom of chronic intestinal conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or diverticulitis.