You try to treat your body like a temple, but sometimes it feels more like a prison, complete with its own gaseous chamber. All that trapped air gurgling around in your gut makes you feel uncomfortable and bloated. Relief, when it comes, often has its own embarrassing sound effects. In some cases, gassiness can be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as an ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). But more often than not, belching and flatulence do not signal anything more than a social blunder. In fact, passing gas anywhere from 14 to 23 times a day is considered quite normal. there's no need to feel trapped by bloating, belching, or flatulence. Read on for more information about how you can escape the grip of gas pain.
Causes of Intestinal Gas
Gas sneaks into your body in two ways. First, you swallow air when you eat or drink too quickly, smoke, chew gum, have loose dentures or even sigh deeply. Even then, some carbohydrates — starches, and soluble fiber — aren't completely processed until they reach your large intestine. There, bacteria finishes breaking them down, producing gas in the process. Most of the gases, including hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane are odorless. But the bacteria may also release sulfur, which has an unpleasant smell.
How Does Intestinal Gas Cause Pain?
Sharp pain and discomfort is the result when gas does not move through the intestine in a normal fashion. Some digestive conditions can cause excessive gas production, as can eating certain foods. You may need to pass on beans, broccoli, and cabbage. Foods made up of insoluble fiber, the kind that won’t dissolve in water, produce no gas at all. This fiber passes through the digestive system without being broken down. You can find insoluble fiber in whole grains, wheat bran, vegetables, seeds, and brown rice. Munching on fiber is still a good move. It just takes a few days for the bacteria in your digestive tract to adjust. Don’t give up.
Reducing levels of Intestinal Gas
While most people suffer only occasional gas attacks, others suffer every day. Americans spend millions of dollars every year on over-the-counter treatments for gas attacks. But costly tablets and liquids don’t have to be the only answer to gas problems. Instead of looking in your medicine cabinet, try one of these safe, inexpensive home remedies.
- Increase fiber intake slowly - If you’re increasing your intake of high-fiber foods, try slowly increasing the amount of fiber over a period of time. This makes it easier for your digestive system to adjust.
- Don’t eat so fast - Many people experience gas pains with bloating because they swallow too much air while eating. By simply slowing your eating, you can often relieve problems that develop from excess air in the stomach.
- Watch out for the worst food offenders - Some foods are hard to break down and digest. Beans, broccoli, cabbage, bran and dried fruits are notorious for causing gas attacks in many people. These foods usually aren’t completely digested and absorbed as they pass through the stomach and small intestine.