Gas passage is a normal process of the body to excrete by-products of metabolism. On the average, a human passes gas 10 or more times a day. However, there are situations when the body produces too much gas. This is not a very serious condition, but may still result to abdominal discomfort and even embarrassment.
Causes of gas pain
Gasses are by-product of carbohydrate fermentation in the colon when the food is not digested in the small intestine. Ironic as it may be, high-fiber foods are the most common cause of gas pains. Other causes may include intake of too much air due to laughing and talking while eating, or eating rapidly.
Signs and symptoms
The signs and symptoms of gas pains include:
- Passing of gas voluntarily or involuntarily
- Muscle cramps in the abdomen
- Abdominal pain
Gas pains are merely gas that is difficult to excrete by the body. However, most often, it is mistakenly confused with appendicitis, peptic ulcer, gallstones, and heart diseases. Thus, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis of the condition. It is not a simple gas pain anymore when it is accompanied by fever, nausea, vomiting, blood-streaked stools, weight loss, chest pain, severe abdominal pain, and rigid abdomen. Seeing a doctor may be necessary because frequent gas pains that affect and alter activities of daily living because gas pain may also serve as warning signs for other conditions.
There is no definite treatment of gas pain for every individual. There are various methods of relieving gas pains which usually includes changes in diet, lifestyle, and medications.
- Avoid gas-forming foods such as Brussels sprouts, beans, broccoli, asparagus, prunes, bran, peaches, apples, and pears.
- Avoid gas causing drinks such as beer, milk, carbonated beverages, and sodas.
- Stay away from chewing gums.
- Keep away from fried and fatty foods.
- Reduce intake of high fiber foods for a moment.
- Follow a low-lactose or lactose-free diet temporarily.
- Over the counter medications such as lactase supplements.
- Avoid laughing hard with mouth open.
- Eat moderately in a moderate pace.
Gas pains may become an uncomfortable condition. Learning these proper managements for a gas pain will help reduce the discomforts caused by its symptoms. When more serious conditions are suspected that may be causing the pain in the abdomen, make sure to consult a doctor immediately to diagnose other medical conditions that may accompany the symptoms of gas pain.
Pillitteri, A. (2007). Maternal and Child Health Nursing. NY: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.