Gas is a normal part of life, but excessive gas accompanied by an upset stomach might interfere with daily life. The inability to expel gas can lead to intense stomach pains. Although gas cannot be prevented, you can reduce the amount of gas you produce. If you have tried to minimize your gas and upset stomach without success, see a doctor.
Although constant gas can be frustrating, it is not life-threatening. By monitoring what foods affect you most, you can reduce the gas your body produces and alleviate your discomfort. An upset stomach caused by gas can be uncomfortable and can cause bloating. Abdominal pain that is sudden or sharp or radiates to other areas and does not improve by changing positions should be assessed. The Mayo Clinic recommends seeking immediate medical attention for severe upset stomach accompanied by bloody diarrhea, vomiting or chest pain.
Generalized stomach discomfort might be caused by gastroenteritis, or the stomach flu. This type of pain also might be cause by irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis or appendicitis. Individuals with celiac disease can experience bloating, gas and abdominal pain. Celiac disease causes intestine inflammation in patients unable to tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat. The American College of Gastroenterology reminds people with upset stomachs that most patients with these symptoms do not have celiac disease.
Swallowed air might cause constant gas and upset stomach. Eating or drinking too quickly, smoking, chewing gum or wearing ill-fitting dentures can lead to ingesting excess air. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says that some of this gas is eliminated through belching. The rest is mixed with digestive juices and enters the digestive system, leaving the body through the rectum, or lingering in the body and causing discomfort. Constant gas can be caused by your body's inability to properly digest carbohydrates because of missing enzymes. One common cause is a lactose intolerance.
"Nonulcer stomach pain is common and can be long-lasting," according to the Mayo Clinic. Nonulcer stomach pain, or functional dyspepsia, describes an upset stomach similar to indigestion that has no cause. Signs and symptoms might be similar to ulcer pain, such as bloating and abdominal discomfort. For relief, sit upright after a meal, avoid trigger foods and beverages such as high-fat or spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine. Eat small meals during the day, and avoid having your stomach become completely empty.
Irritable bowel syndrome likely will be treated with medication. Otherwise, treatment for constant gas is often trial and error. Doctors might recommend avoiding common gas-producing foods such as milk products. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, consuming a low-fat diet will help foods move through your intestines faster, allowing gases to move along with them.
Over-the-counter digestive enzymes might help you digest the foods that give you discomfort. Lactase, which aids in the digestion of lactose, can be taken just before consuming dairy products. Another over-the-counter digestive aid, Beano, can help your body digest sugars in beans and certain vegetables.