Gas and bloating. Belching and gas pains. All of these can be embarrassing and uncomfortable for anyone.
These are natural parts of the digestive process when you swallow air or experience the breakdown of food. Sometimes they occur occasionally. Other times they can happen multiple times throughout the day. When they begin to interfere with your daily activities, it may be time to see your doctor.
Gas in the digestive tract
Gas is air in your digestive tract. This is the large, muscular tube that extends from your mouth to your anus. The movement of muscles — known as peristalsis — along with the release of enzymes and hormones, allows for your food’s digestion. Gas is released through burping through the mouth or passing the gas through the anus.
The gas is made up of mainly of carbon dioxide, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and sometimes methane. Flatus, the gas passed through your anus, may also contain small amounts of gases that contain sulfur. Unfortunately, flatus that contains more sulfur gasses has more odor.
The production of excess gas is caused by:
- chewing gum
- drinking carbonated or “fizzy” drinks
- eating or drinking too quickly
- sucking on hard candy
- wearing loose-fitting dentures
Bloating in the digestive tract
When gas doesn’t pass properly, it can build up in your stomach and intestines and lead to bloating. Gas and bloating is very often accompanied by abdominal pain. This can be mild and dull or extending to intense and sharp. Passing the gas or having a bowel movement may relieve the pain.
Bloating can be caused by numerous reasons. These include:
- eating fatty foods that delay stomach emptying
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) which causes abdominal pain, cramping, and changes in bowel function
- a gastrointestinal infection, disease, or blockage
- conditions such as lactose intolerance or celiac disease where the intestines cannot digest and absorb certain components of food
You can reduce bloating by removing your consumption of gas-producing items such as these:
- baked beans
- broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower
- carbonated drinks
- chewing gum
- fruits such as apples, peaches, pears
- hard and sugar-free candy
Managing gas and bloating
Activated charcoal can provide relief from the symptoms of gas ad bloating. It’s safe and gentle to your system. Available from CharcoCaps.