Gas pain: this is what you can do
The best way to avoid gas pain is to have an adequate diet, avoiding foods against which you have some intolerance or that cause flatulence. It is always advisable to consult a doctor to rule out more severe health problems.
Gas pain becomes extremely bothersome in some cases , to the point where it can become disabling. It is even not uncommon for doctors to mistake it for appendicitis, gallstones, or sometimes a heart problem.
The appearance of gases is normal during the digestive process . It is estimated that a person expels, on average, between 13 and 21 gases per day, through belching or flatulence. Gas pain occurs when gas is blocked.
Gas pain is generally not considered a serious problem and is usually resolved with just small changes in the diet. However, there are also cases where this is a symptom of a more serious health problem.
Everything you need to know about gases
Gases are formed in the large intestine or colon , by the action of bacteria. These ferment carbohydrates that are not digested in the small intestine. Such carbohydrates comprise some starches, sugars and fiber.
Gases are formed by various causes. Among them are some such as the following:
- Swallowing air . Without realizing it, people swallow air when eating or drinking. That air usually remains in the stomach and is then released through belching.
- Foods high in fiber . These increase the production of gases . Within them are beans, peas, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
- Carbonated drinks . Sodas or beers increase gas production.
- Supplements and substitutes for sugar . Fiber supplements and artificial educators also increase gas production.
- Inappropriate habits . Eating too fast, chewing gum or drinking through a straw, among others, are habits that lead to swallowing more air and causing more gases.
- Medical disorders . Chronic intestinal disease, food intolerances , constipation, and the overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine are also causes of high gas production.
- Medication use . Some drugs alter the intestinal flora and increase gases.
Gas pain occurs when they become trapped or cannot move easily through the digestive system. This pain is acute and is often accompanied by cramps in the abdominal area, a feeling of tightness, bowel sounds and inflammation in the belly.
Passing many gases is rarely a sign of a medical problem; instead, retaining them can be a symptom of digestive difficulties. When gas pain is very intense or occurs very frequently, it is necessary to consult the doctor.
It is also necessary to consult the specialist when the pain is accompanied by any of the following symptoms :
- Change in the frequency of bowel movements .
- Modification in stool consistency.
- Blood in the stool.
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Recurrent nausea or vomiting.
What to do to eliminate the discomfort?
The most advisable measure to eliminate gas pain is to make changes in the diet , avoiding those foods that favor the problem. It is best to reduce or eliminate fiber-rich foods, dairy, sugar substitutes, carbonated drinks, fried and fatty foods, and fiber supplements.
Changes in diet are usually enough to solve the problem. Keeping a journal for at least a month is highly recommended. This should record the food consumed and the digestive reaction they cause. In this way, triggers of gas pain can be better identified.
It is always very convenient to visit the doctor so that he determines if there is any other pathology that is the origin of this problem. Likewise, it is important to be aware of food intolerances.
Other helpful tips for gas pain
To solve this problem, it is convenient to adopt healthy habits , such as the following:
- Eat smaller portions of food and chew slowly.
- Avoid chewy products like chewing gum.
- Exercise regularly.
- Quit tobacco.
- Do not voluntarily retain the gases, nor resist the desire to defecate.
- Do not drink through straws.
- Drink natural water frequently.
- Drink tea, especially anise, chamomile, mint, or ginger.
- Consume probiotics .
When gas pain occurs, it is helpful to put a warm cloth on your abdomen. The heat helps the muscles of the intestine to relax and this facilitates the circulation and expulsion of gas. Likewise, heat helps reduce the sensation of pain.