What Causes Gas?

As much as we struggle to stop it from happening, and have that apologetic look on our faces after all of our efforts don’t bear fruit, it is normal to fart. There is not one human being who doesn’t fart as much as some people will deny it. Actually, it is found that, on average, we fart fifteen to twenty times per day. While it might be normal to pass gas, we also know how uncomfortable it can be to be gassy. It gets worse when you have to be around people. Are you sick and tired of having gas issues every so often? All is not lost. In this article, you will find out the causes of gas and how you can overcome the problem.

What Causes Gas?

1. Excessive Gas Causes: Food

If you have excessive gas problems, then you are probably familiar with the feeling you get after you have a certain type of food, or have a meal and later on suffer from bloating or excessive gas. Some foods are known to be the major cause of bloating and gas. While most of us know beans are first on this list, there are also other foods known to cause gas.

Other examples include dairy products, prune juices and prunes, bananas, apricots, raw apples, onions, food that contain artificial sweeteners like sorbitol, sauerkraut, cabbage, peas, corn, celery, carrots, potatoes, wheat, pasta, oat bran, etc.

Most of the foods above contain starch, artificial sugar and are also high in fiber. They cause gas because your body finds it difficult to break them down during digestion. Therefore, start paying attention to the foods you eat and how your body reacts to them. If you notice that you develop gas issues after consuming certain types of foods, then try to minimize intake or completely cut it off your meal plans.

2. Taking In too Much Air

You are probably wondering how this could be a cause of gas. While you may not particularly make it a priority to often consciously gulp air, you ingest quite an amount of air when you’re drinking and eating. 50% of the gas you experience happens after you swallow too much air.

There are several well-known activities that you can indulge in that will make you swallow too much air. They include smoking, drinking or eating in haste, wearing loose dentures, gum chewing, sucking on food or sweets, swallowing too often, especially when you’re nervous, etc.

3. Health Conditions and Medications

What causes gas? It's possible that gas is a side effect of some medications. A good example is precose. This is a type of medication used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Medications that contain lactulose or sorbitol can also cause gas. Also, supplements for fiber can lead to flatulence and gas.

Health conditions that can lead to gas, bloating and flatulence Include irritable bowel syndrome, intolerance to lactose, gluten intolerance or also known as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux, etc.

4. Surgery

Without a doubt, there have been a lot of advances in the medical world over the years. These days, there are noninvasive or minimal invasive ways through which surgery can be done. However, there are still procedures that can only be done invasively. A simple routine surgery can sometimes lead to reconstruction. There are patients who have experienced increase in gas and bloating after undergoing surgical procedures for gastroesophageal reflux.

5. Unnatural Additives

There are instances where your digestive system finds it difficult to tolerate unnatural sweetening agents like xylitol sorbitol and mannitol. These are common additives in candies, gums as well as sugar free foods. There are cases where people develop diarrhea and gas after consumption of these products.

When to See a Doctor

Once you have learned what causes gas, it is important to know when to see a doctor. While most gas issues can clear after a while or after using medication, there are some cases that require medical attention.

Please seek medical help when you experience symptoms that are more than just flatulence. These symptoms include:

  • Abdominal discomfort with unbearable cramps
  • Gas pain
  • Bowel movement habit changes
  • Blood in stool
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Swelling and abnormal pain, most particularly on the lower right abdominal side
  • Fever
  • Chronic flatulence

How to Soothe Excessive Gas

1. Watch What You Eat

Once you identify the foods that make you gassy, you can make dietary changes to reduce their effects and allow gas to be passed quicker through your system.

  • It is advisable to avoid foods that bring about gas. Some of these foods were highlighted earlier in this article.
  • It is also advisable to reduce your intake of fatty foods as they also cause bloating.
  • Cut down on high fiber foods for a while. You can start adding them to your diet gradually after a few weeks.
  • Also be conscious of how much fiber supplement you take. In case you realize the symptoms remain even after cutting down on fiber, it is advisable to try a different supplement.
  • Ensure you take these supplements with a glass of water. Also drink a lot of water in the course of the day. This goes a long way in aiding in digestion.
  • Stop or moderate your intake of products made from dairy. If you must, ensure you consume them with other meals to make digestion easier. You can also try using products that aid in the digestion of lactose such as lactaid.

2. Take OTC Medications

Some helpful over the counter medications include:

  • Beano – you can add this to veggies and beans as it helps to reduce the gas amounts these foods produce. Take beano with the first bite of food if you want it to be effective.
  • Lactase enzyme supplements – these are simply supplements that make it possible for your system to digest lactose. If you are lactose intolerant, these can also help. Also, consider taking lactose free dairy products.
  • Simethicone – this is a component that aids in breaking the bubbles in gas. However, their effectiveness in soothing gas pains has not been medically proven.
  • Charcoal tablets – these can be taken before you eat and after you eat for effectiveness.

3. Other Methods

Finding what causes gas is the first step and solving this problem is the real work. And here are more ways of making gas less annoying for you.

  • Moderate food quantities – some foods that cause bloating are healthy. Since you cannot completely cut them off, consider consuming them in smaller portions.
  • Take your time to eat.
  • Avoid drinking through straws, sucking on candies or chewing gum.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Ensure your dentures are well fitted.
 
 
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