Gas and bloating happens to all of us at some point. Knowing the symptoms as well as knowing how to avoid it can alleviate some of the discomfort if you ever find yourself experiencing the discomfort and or embarrassment of having gas or bloating. How it affects each person varies based on diet and other health-related factors.
Gas is formed when food is broken down during the digestion process and occurs both in the stomach, upper and lower intestines. Too much gas build up actually expands the abdomen in often uncomfortable and painful ways and is known as bloating. Gas can also occur and build up when excess air is introduced into the stomach or if stress levels increase.
Bloating is noticed by uncomfortable tightness in the abdomen region coupled with pain both sharp and dull. Some individuals experience the pain only when attempting to move in certain ways and stop mid-movement because the stretchy feeling is too painful. Belching more often than normal and passing gas more frequently in any given period also indicates there may be a build-up of gas in your system.
Foods are the most common causes. Famous foods for causing gas and then possible subsequent bloating include fatty foods, which are known for causing slowdowns in the digestion process, starchy substances and sugary foods. Sugar feeds the natural yeast that lives inside your intestines and the yeast then expels gas back into your system as a result.
Consider avoiding eating beans, cabbage, candy and carbonated drinks. Try not to drink with straws as that can introduce extra air into your stomach. Chew slower to aid the digestive process. Reduce your stress levels when possible. Don't hold back belching or passing gas too long as this can further cause build up and discomfort.
Gas and bloating can also be caused by more serious health conditions such as smoking, an infection of the intestines, an intestinal blockage, or irritable bowel syndrome. Some conditions like being lactose intolerant also bring on cases of sharp gas and bloating as the lactose in dairy products cannot be processed by the body in some individuals. Be sure to drink plenty of water every day as constipation is accompanied by gas and bloating. Check with your doctor if symptoms do not subside or you notice an increase in the symptoms that seem abnormal to you. Also ask your doctor or pharmacist if any medications you are taking or are considering taking are known to cause gas or bloating. Seek medical attention if your symptoms include fever, nausea and vomiting, or rectal pain.