The Effects of Intestinal Gas & Bloating

Intestinal gas, abdominal pains and bloating are typically produced when food is broken down in the digestive system or when too much air is swallowed. Some people may be affected by gas and bloating occasionally, while others have frequent bouts. Sometimes this problem can be resolved through changes in eating habits. Gas and bloating may also be an indication of gastrointestinal problems such as acid reflux disorders or Crohn's disease. See a doctor if symptoms persist and become problematic.


People who have trouble with intestinal gas build-up often pass the gas through belching or flatulence. When gas is not expelled, it can build up in the stomach and intestines, resulting in bloating. Sometimes the bloating is accompanied by abdominal pain or cramping. There may be a dull pain, or pain can be sharp, jabbing and intense. The pain is eventually relieved through belching, flatulence or a bowel movement. Serious underlying causes of bloating might include irritable bowel syndrome, gastrointestinal infection or intestinal blockage. People who are lactose intolerant and cannot digest certain foods may suffer from bloating. Smoking, stress, anxiety and eating fatty foods (that delay the digestive process) can also cause the disorder.


Your body gets rid of excess air from your stomach through belching. The excess air gets into your stomach by eating or drinking too fast, talking while eating, drinking carbonated beverages or swallowing too much air, according to the Mayo Clinic. An unusual amount of belching could be the result of acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease, which causes a person to clear his throat, resulting in the excessive swallowing of air. Gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach lining, or ulcers may also lead to excessive belching.


Constipation and swallowing air are also causes of gas build-up and excessive flatulence. Passing excessive gas may be the result of eating fiber-rich foods too quickly. Certain foods may not be broken down properly by the digestive system, including the sugar in dairy products and fruit. Sodas, like fruits, contain fructose that can cause intestinal gas problems when consumed too often. Foods that may cause intestinal gas trouble include cabbage, broccoli, onions, beans, eggplant, celery, pears, apples, bananas and citrus fruits, according to The Diet Channel's website. Eating more slowly may help reduce flatulence. Using anti-gas products may also help prevent flatulence.

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