Gas - Health Center

Gas

By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

Gas / Gas Pains: Basic Overview

Gas or Gas Pains is a very common condition which affects people at a regular basis. These pains can strike at almost any time. Passing intestinal gas or flatus is not a serious problem, though it can prove to be very embarrassing in public.

Usually, constipation or diarrhoea is known to cause Gas or Gas Pains. These pains tend to occur when the gas builds up inside of the intestine and the affected person is not able to pass it out. On an average, people are known to pass out gas almost 10 times a day or more.

By following a few simple measures and steps, the formation of gas and gas pains can be easily stopped or reduced substantially. This can ease the discomfort as well as the embarrassment.

Signs and Symptoms of Gas:

The signs and symptoms of Gas are very simple to detect. Some of the most common ones are as follows:

  • Passing of Gas: This is one of the most common symptoms. This includes voluntary or involuntary passing of gas; either in the form of bletches or as flatus.
  • Pain or Cramps in the abdomen: This is another one of the simplest symptoms of Gas. These jabbing pains can occur in the abdomen or can change locations very quickly.
  • Knotted feeling in the abdomen.
  • Tightness or swelling in the abdomen.
  • Passing of Gas: This is one of the most common symptoms. This includes voluntary or involuntary passing of gas; either in the form of bletches or as flatus.
  • Pain or Cramps in the abdomen: This is another one of the simplest symptoms of Gas. These jabbing pains can occur in the abdomen or can change locations very quickly.
  • Knotted feeling in the abdomen.
  • Tightness or swelling in the abdomen

Tightness or swelling in the abdomen

  • Prolonged pain in the abdomen.
  • Bloody stools.
  • Change in the frequency or the colour of the stools.
  • Loss of weight.
  • Pain in the chest.
  • Nausea or vomiting

Treatment and Drugs for Gas:

Changes in the dietary measures and lifestyle are known to work wonders in order to treat the formation of Gas.

Changes in the Dietary Medications:

It is integral to identify the foods which are affecting the patient the most. Certain foods such as onions, cauliflowers, artichokes, pears and peaches are known to cause Gas the most. Apart from these, it is recommended to cut back on eating fried or fatty foods. Foods rich in high fibre foods also need to be cut back. For people suffering from lactose intolerance, it is recommended to use low lactose dairy foods.

Over the counter Medications are known to help quite effectively against the prevention of Gas formation. Beano is added to beans and vegetables in order to reduce the amount of gas which is produced by them. Lactase supplements are added to the diets of people who are lactose intolerance in order to allow them to digest the lactose. Simethicone helps to break up the bubbles in the gas. Activated charcoal such as charcoal tablets is often taken before and after the meal and help in the digestion of the food.

Causes of Gas/ Gas Pains:

Gas usually forms when the bacteria found inside the colon ferment the carbohydrates which have not been digested by the small intestine. The healthy and high fibre foods are the ones which are the worst causes of Gas formation. Fibre, despite of having many benefits such as regulating the blood sugar level as well as cholesterol levels at bay, also causes the formation of Gas.

High Fibre foods which cause Gas are as follows:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes, such as peas and beans

Metamucil, which contains psyllium is also one of the major causes of Gas. Carbonated beverages such as Soda and beer are also known to cause Gas. Apart from these, some of the other major reasons for Gas formation are as follows:

  • Swallowing of Air: Swallowing of excessive air by eating too fast, chewing gum as well as drinking with a straw can cause Gas.
  • Health Conditions: Formation of Gas could be a symptom of another chronic disease such as diverticulitis or inflammatory bowel disease. Excessive amount of gas or bloating can also be a sign of bacterial overgrowth.
  • Food Intolerance: Gas or bloating can occur due to eating dairy products or foods which are rich in lactose. Gluten rich foods too are known to cause Gas.
  • Constipation: Constipation can make it difficult for the affected person to pass the gas. This can lead to bloating and discomfort.

Tests and Diagnosis of Gas:

The doctor can determine the reason for the persistent pains or Gas formation on the basis of the medical history, diet chart as well as a physical exam of the affected person. During the physical examination, the doctor checks the abdomen of the affected person for signs of distension and taps the abdomen for the presence of hollow sounds.

This hollow sound is usually indicative of the presence of excess gas.

Apart from this, other symptoms are checked in order to rule out the other serious conditions such as partial bowel obstruction.

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