The sensation of gas in the stomach manifests with pain in the belly, bloating and a feeling of dizziness and feeling “full”.

Symptoms of stomach or intestinal gas often occur after a large meal . Sometimes the air can be in the belly, but it can also be the symptom of a disease . What could be causing stomach gas and what can you do about it?

Natural causes of gas in the stomach

Having gas in the stomach and intestines is quite normal, since the entire gastrointestinal tract is a hollow organ . When we eat fast, it can always happen that we swallow a large amount of air, which is perceived as an uncomfortable swelling in the abdomen .
In addition, the physiological bacteria of the intestinal flora, such as Lactobacilli and Bifidokeime, produce air in the intestine . Their job is to break down food and this produces digestive gases.

The amount of gas depends on the diet

How much air will be produced during the digestion process depends on the composition of the diet and how easy or difficult it is to digest. High- fiber foods like cereals are barely broken down by stomach acid and reach the large intestine almost undigested, which means there is more work to do for gut bacteria.

Normally, the resulting air is simply exhaled, enters the bloodstream, or is excreted through the rectum, sometimes manifesting as noticeable bloating ( flatulence ). For at least half an hour after its formation, the gas has left the body through these processes. However, if the intestinal transit is disturbed, the air accumulates and causes abdominal pain and a feeling of bloating.

What is the cause of excess intestinal gas?

The natural bacterial flora of the intestines can easily become unbalanced. Through direct contact with the outside world the intestine is often the first point of attack for infections. To avoid this, intestinal bacteria act as a barrier. For this reason, exogenous bacteria can multiply. These “bad” bacteria produce fermentation in the intestine, and are what cause intestinal gas and diarrhea .

Chronic diseases

The intestinal flora is often affected by certain medications, poor diet and chronic diseases out of balance. In the latter case, one should think above all about a malfunction of the pancreas, liver and gallbladder . Dangerous and occurs suddenly is an intestinal obstruction (ileus). This symptom is usually accompanied by vomiting and abdominal pain.

Food intolerances

Food intolerances can also lead to gas formation in the stomach . Such intolerances cause severe indigestion, abdominal pain, and nausea. Often gluten intolerance , fructose, and lactose intolerance .

Bloating from eating the wrong foods

People who often have problems due to gas in the belly, should consult a doctor . Since there are many different causes of air in the abdominal cavity, some tests must be carried out to determine the causes that provoke it and treat them, in some cases you can avoid health complications by treating them in time.

First, it should be explored whether particular eating habits could be causing the problem. The consumption of greasy food, fast food, often leads to the accumulation of air in the intestine , because the large amount of fat is processed generating these intestinal gases and often bad smells. But even supposedly healthy foods, like raw vegetables or whole grains, can easily bloat from the fiber content and create a lot of intestinal gas .

How to examine the causes of stomach gas

Before invasive investigations are carried out, a belly monitoring must first be done. Bowel sounds can already provide information about whether the amount of air in the abdominal cavity is too high . Also, a rectal exam is necessary so as not to miss any process of constriction of the rectum.

To rule out organic causes, a complete blood count is recommended to be performed . The revised figures indicate, among other things, the functioning of the liver, gallbladder and pancreas . It can also be determined if inflammation is present.

stool exam can reveal a parasite or bacterial infection. The presence of blood in the stool is an indication of serious diseases such as colon cancer for example, and it is necessary to detect it in time. An imaging study shows structural changes in the gastrointestinal tract. These include ultrasound, colonoscopy, or CT scan. If there is a suspicion of food intolerance, a similar test can be performed.

How to prevent stomach and intestinal gas

The following tips to avoid stomach gas should be carried out together and permanently , since the formation of air in the intestines, in addition to being a natural process, is something constant, and you can only avoid it effectively if you adopt new eating habits and behaviors.

Diet should be evaluated:

Do not use flatulent foods, such as raw vegetables (in the wrong combinations and without chewing well) or fatty meat . In addition, the consumption of carbonated drinks is not advisable. Eat five small meals a day, drink at least two liters of water a day and take time while you eat, which means chewing your food well, avoiding talking, and not drinking in small sips while eating because this creates air in your stomach .

The movements distribute the air in the intestine:

A short walk after dinner stimulates digestion and facilitates the elimination of air. Also relaxation exercises like yoga and autogenous training can help prevent and treat abdominal inflammation .

Use heat

A hot water bottle on your stomach can soothe an overloaded and inflamed intestine. The heat also helps well against abdominal pain and can stimulate the exit of flatulence more naturally, which helps with the reduction of inflammation of the belly.

Useful herbs

A natural herbal tea, such as cumin, fennel tea , anise and chamomile have properties that help relax the gastrointestinal tract and are recommended after a large meal, but you should allow half an hour to pass before taking them.

Seek medical advice

If all else fails, you will need to see a doctor for advice. Prolonged gastrointestinal symptoms should be evaluated to rule out organic causes or serious health problems.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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