Gas in the stomach is a common problem among all of us. Even though the topic has often been viewed as a joke, sufferers of this condition know that there is nothing amusing about it. If you are always having gas and bloating issues, you probably feel embarrassed to bring up the topic to healthcare providers and your friends. A recent study revealed that 20% of adults complain of belching or flatulence occasionally. The good news is that these conditions do not necessarily point to a health problem.
Trapped gas in your body gets expelled through burping, abdominal bloating and flatus. Bloating is often a result of trapped air in the colon or small bowel. The most common causes of bloating and gas are eating behaviors, medical condition or food fermentation. Bacteria, yeast and fungi found in the colon are responsible for the breakdown of undigested food in carbohydrate form. You may be lactose intolerant, meaning you do not have the enzyme needed for carbohydrate digestion, thus causing gas production.
Another main cause of bloating and gas is eating behaviors, food choices and activity. Habits like gum chewing, drinking while eating and hasty swallowing of food might cause air to get trapped and result in bloating. Bulky foods like cabbage and bread need to be chewed into fine pieces otherwise they might result in swallowed air resulting in uncomfortable feeling. Other foods which are notorious for causing discomfort include beans, broccoli, fruits, sodas, and milk. Here are some behaviors which often lead to gas and bloating;
- Eating when upset or hurriedly- It is advisable to eat slowly in order to consume smaller meals.
- Deep sighing
- Chewing gum- Avoid the habit of chewing especially on an empty stomach.
- Tight fitting garments- Wear loose fitting clothes especially on hot weather.
- Over-eating- Eating large portions of food can cause a lot of discomfort and bloating.
Since individuals vary in gas production sensitivity, you may need to keep a food record and give this info to your doctor. This can help you to decide whether food or behaviors aggravates your situation. In addition, there are certain tests a doctor may perform to diagnose your lactose intolerance.