Stomach Cramps and Flatulence, Gas Problem in Stomach


Stomach cramps or gas problems make us belch or fart in public and it just happens in an instant. It makes us feel embarrassed and at times the cramps and bloating can be painful too. When we burp or fart we release gas in the atmosphere. This gas is made up of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen and methane. Gas problem in the stomach make us feel uneasy and uncomfortable. If we are able to understand the causes of gas, we will be able to find remedies to avoid it. Though farting is a healthy human activity, there is problem when there is gas problem or excessive flatulence or burping.

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Causes of gas problem in the stomach

There are two main causes;

• Swallowing too much air.

• Normal breakdown of certain undigested foods by harmless bacteria naturally present in the large intestine.

Swallowing too much air

When we eat and drink we swallow small amounts of air but if we eat and drink fast we take in more air. Thus, gas is built up in the stomach. Air swallowing is called Aerophagia. This condition causes abdominal bloating and occasional belching and may cause pain. If air is belched out immediately, gas problem in the stomach can be avoided. If air goes to the digestive system, you will experience a bloated feeling in your stomach until gas passes through the rectum. Aerophagia is common among those who eat or drink too fast, have anxiety problems, have loose dentures and are smokers.

Normal breakdown of undigested food

If there is too much food in the stomach, there might not be enough enzymes to digest it. Undigested food remains unabsorbed. The undigested food then enters the large intestine where harmless bacteria break down the food, producing hydrogen, carbon dioxide and sometimes methane. Gas will be accumulated in the large intestine and remains there until it is expelled through the rectum in the form of flatulence. Those who have low level of food metabolizing enzymes suffer more than others in relation to gas problems in the stomach.

Symptoms of gas problem in the stomach

Gas problem in the stomach make us feel miserable. Understanding and knowing the symptoms will help us resolve the problems immediately. Most common symptoms are belching, abdominal bloating, abdominal pain and flatulence. The degree of the symptoms may depend on;

• How much gas the body produces

• How many fatty acids the body absorbs

• A person’s sensitivity to gas in the large intestine

Belching

Belching, also known as burping, involves the releasing of gas from the stomach through the mouth. It is normal to belch during or after meals. It will release gas if the stomach is full. Frequent belching is a result of swallowing too much air and releasing it before air enters the digestive tract.

Flatulence

It is the releasing of the mixture of gas that passes to the large intestine and exiting through the rectum. Incomplete digestion of food by the stomach and by the small intestine may cause flatulence.

Abdominal Bloating

This condition is the abnormal swelling of the abdomen (belly). The most common cause is the excessive accumulation of liquids and intestinal gas. Bowel obstruction better known as Crohn’s Disease can also contribute to the amount of stomach bloating disorder. Too much intake of fatty foods will also delay stomach to empty and can cause bloating.

Abdominal Pain and Discomfort

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When we have a gas problem in the stomach we sometimes experience pain and discomfort. If pain continues to exist in the left side of the large intestine, it can be falsely associated with heart disease and if it is on the right side of the large intestine, it could be mistaken as appendicitis.

Gassy foods that cause flatulence and burping

Some of the most common are;

• Beans

• High fiber fruits, vegetables and cereals

• Carbonated drinks

• Dairy products

Foods that consist of carbohydrates cause more gas than fats and protein. Sugar also causes gas problem in the stomach such as raffinose, lactose, fructose, and sorbitos. Raffinose can be found mostly in beans, Lactose is found in milk. Fructose is found in fruits, vegetables, including sugar cane, and honey. Sorbitol is found in apples, pears, peaches, and prunes. Most starches, including potato, corn, pasta and wheat, except for rice, also produce gas when broken down in the large intestine. Food like oat bran, peas, beans and most fruits contain soluble fiber which can easily be dissolved by water. It is broken down when it reaches the large intestine unlike insoluble fiber where it remains unchanged when it passed the intestines and only produces little gas.

Diagnostic tests used to find the cause of gas problem in the stomach.

A patient’s medical history is very important because it directs the evaluation of the patient. The doctor will usually start with a review of dietary habits and daily activities. He will ask the patient to list the food he eats and drinks during a specific time period. If lactase deficiency is the cause of the gas problem in the stomach, the doctor may advise the patient to avoid milk products for some time. A blood test is used to diagnose lactose intolerance.

When individuals complain of flatulence, it may be useful for them to count the number of times they pass gas for several days and include the information in the diary. Careful evaluation and review of dietary habits can help diagnose gas problems in the stomach.

Treatment of stomach cramps and gas problems

Doctors may advise you on improving your diet by avoiding foods that cause gas. This means you should cut some of the healthy foods like fruits and vegetables and milk products.

Doctors may also suggest limiting high-fat foods to reduce bloating and discomfort since with less fat the stomach can easily digest food. The amount of gas caused by certain foods differs from person to person. Through dietary observation one can learn what foods he can handle.

Digestive enzymes are available as non-prescription supplements that can help digest carbohydrates. Intake of this medication may allow people to eat foods that cause gas problems in the stomach. Non-prescription drugs include antacids with simethicone. The enzyme lactase and beano are also non prescription drugs that aid digestion. Doctors may also prescribe medicines in reducing the symptoms especially for people who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Doctors may suggest reducing the amount of air swallowed for those people who have chronic belching. Gas problem in the stomach or stomach cramps can be avoided by eating at a slower pace and avoiding carbonated drinks and chewing gums. Here are home remedies for gas and flatulence.

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