Intestinal gas pains or bloating is caused by the fermentation of undigested food in the large intestines by the “friendly” bacteria. Fermentation can result to gas which stretches and bloats the intestines and result to discomfort. Foods that cause difficulty in digesting such as insoluble plant fiber, excessive amounts of fructose, gluten protein and milk sugar.
Anything that causes intestinal gas, constipation or diarrhea can result to gas pains. The pain happens with the build-up of gas in the intestines which could not be expelled. Some people eliminate gas at least 10 times every day.
Symptoms of gas pains
- Sharp or jabbing pain felt in the abdomen. This pain can happen anywhere in the abdomen and suddenly changes location and gets better fast.
- Voluntary or involuntary passing out of gas either as belches or flatus.
- Knotted feeling in the abdomen
- Swelling and tightness of the abdomen or bloating
- Sometimes, gas pains can be constant and severe that it can be mistaken for conditions such as gallstones, heart disease and appendicitis.
Gas develops when bacteria found in the colon ferment carbohydrates that are not digested in the small intestines. Fiber keep the digestive tract in working order and also regulate the blood sugar and cholesterol levels, but it can cause the formation of gas. Foods that are rich in fiber such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes can cause gas pains.
Other possible causes
- Certain conditions such as diverticulitis or inflammatory bowel disease.
- Might be symptoms of overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestines due to diabetes.
- Swallowing air when eating or drinking
- Food intolerance after eating dairy products or incapable of breaking down sugar or lactose in dairy foods.
- Artificial additives such as sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol
- Eat only small portions of the foods that cause gas to prevent the production of excess gas.
- Eat slowly and chew food properly as well as avoid gulping.
- Avoid chewing gum, sucking hard candies and drinking using a straw since these can cause swallowing of air.
- Avoid smoking to prevent the swallowing of air.
- Perform regular exercises to move gas through the digestive tract.
- For easy passing out of gas, take a leisurely walk outside and slighly massage the abdomen in a downward way to push gas out of the large intestines.
- Take probiotics supplements that contain strains of healthy bacteria that are usually found in the large intestines. These bacteria are eliminated by using antibiotics, laxatives and drinking plenty of alcohol. An imbalance of these healthy intestinal bacteria can result to digestive problems and gastrointestinal symptoms. Probiotics can be taken in tablets, capsules or powders regularly to maintain the colonies in the large intestines.