Stomach gas buildup can be extremely discomforting and, sometimes, embarrassing. Understanding the cause of stomach gas and how to prevent and get rid of stomach gas can be beneficial.
Having stomach gas is normal and healthy, as it is a byproduct of the human digestive system. On average, a person can pass anywhere from a pint to 2 quarts of gas per day. Most gas, trapped in the body, is expelled via burping. The rest is absorbed by the small intestine and released through the rectum. Various problems occur when gas is not expelled properly from the body. This can result in bloating of the abdomen, nausea, abdominal pain and an acidic taste in the mouth. All these symptoms can be extremely discomforting and will need some relief. To rid yourself of stomach gas problems, the underlying cause should be understood, and appropriate medications and remedies should be used.
Causes of Stomach Gas
There are two main causes for stomach gas. These are swallowed air and gas produced as a by-product of food digestion. Air is swallowed when talking, eating and drinking. Excessive intake of air into the body can cause stomach gas. The most common reasons for excessive gas are drinking through straws, eating too fast, smoking, chewing gum etc. Foods consumed, enters the small intestines for digestion. However, fibers and carbohydrates bypass the small intestine and move onto the large intestine for digestion. Gas that results in flatulence occurs when sugar and fiber do not get digested in the large intestine. Therefore, persons suffering from constant flatulence or stomach gas should avoid the excessive intake of foods rich in carbohydrates, lactose, sucrose and sorbitol.
How to Get Rid of Stomach Gas
Although stomach gas is not life-threatening, it can be extremely embarrassing. Therefore, persons suffering with excessive gas in the stomach can rely on below measures to rid excessive gas buildup.
- Identify the culprit and change the diet. Avoiding foods that cause bloating and gas is the first method of obtaining relief from this problem. Common foods that cause gas buildup are broccoli, asparagus and onions, pears and peaches, beans and whole grains and carbonated beverages and dairy products.
- Drink plenty of water before a meal. This method ensures proper digestion and relief from gassy symptoms. Water should be consumed at least, half an hour before a meal.
- Consume food and drink slowly. Eating and drinking too fast can result in the swallowing of excessive air. Less air is swallowed when eating and drinking slowly.
- Consider taking over-the-counter gassy remedies. There are many OTC products that help reduce the buildup of gas in the stomach. Any one of these can provide relief from gas. For example, Beano, a digestive aid, contains enzyme that helps with sugar digestion in foods.
- Stop smoking, chewing gum and drinking through straws. All these factors increase air intake. Stopping these habits can help relieve gas in the stomach.
- Try natural remedies. Ginger root tea and honey and lime water can also help release trapped gas in the stomach.
- Diagnose the underlying cause. Sometimes, a medical condition may be causing the buildup of gas in the stomach. For example, lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer and gastrointestinal disorders can cause gas. Treating these conditions can help relieve gas in the stomach.
When to See a Doctor
Gas accompanied with abdominal pain, bloating and other symptoms can be due to an underlying condition that requires medical treatment. Therefore, persistent discomfort related to gas requires medical attention.