Causes Stomach Bloating – Stomach bloating and gas are common digestive complaints that can cause discomfort and embarrassment. Bloating is the feeling of fullness or tightness in the abdomen, often accompanied by visible swelling, while gas refers to the presence of air or gas in the digestive tract that can cause belching, flatulence, or abdominal pain. Although everyone experiences these symptoms from time to time, frequent bloating and gas can be a sign of an underlying problem. In this article, we will explore the various factors that can cause stomach bloating and gas, and offer tips on how to manage these symptoms for better digestive health.
Your pants fit when you put them on in the morning. But come late afternoon, they’re uncomfortable and tight—and you don’t even overeat at lunch.
About one in six people without the health problem and three in four people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) report having problems with bloating. In fact, for people with IBS and constipation, bloating is their most bothersome symptom.
Bloating is, of course, a feeling of increased abdominal pressure, usually associated with gas. Bloating may (or may not) be accompanied by a visible enlargement of the waist (known as abdominal distention).
But contrary to popular belief, flatulence, and abdominal distention are not caused by excess gas production in the intestines.
Causes Stomach Bloating Gas in the upper intestine can come from swallowed air, chemical reactions (from neutralizing acids and alkalis) triggered by food, and dissolved gases moving from the bloodstream into the intestines.
Food products that are not properly absorbed in the small intestine can travel lower to the large intestine, where they are fermented by bacteria. This process can produce carbon dioxide, hydrogen, or methane gas.
Gas from the intestines can escape by belching or passing gas, or by being absorbed into the blood or consumed by bacteria.
How Much Gas is Normal?
In 1991, researchers in England tracked the farts produced by ten healthy volunteers. The volume of gas expelled in a day varies from 214 milliliters (on a low-fiber diet) to 705 ml (on a high-fiber diet).
The participants breathed an average of 14 to 18 times per day, and most of it consisted of carbon dioxide and hydrogen.
In the fasted state, a healthy digestive tract contains about 100 ml of gas, which is distributed equally among the six digestive segments: the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, transverse colon, descending colon, and lower (pelvic) colon.
After eating, the volume of gas in the intestine can increase by about 65% and tends to be located around the large intestine and the pelvis.
When the stomach is stretched and the small intestine is stimulated, the flow of gas accelerates, and you may feel the urge to fart.
But for people on a high-fat diet, fat in the small intestine can delay this passage and make you retain gas.
People with Bloat Don’t Produce More Gas
A 1975 study compared the amount of intestinal gas between people who reported experiencing bloating and those who said they did not.
The researchers pumped inert gas through a tube directly into the participants’ intestines at a relatively high flow rate of 45 ml per minute. Then they draw gas through a plastic tube from their rectum.
The researchers found no difference in the level of gas collected between the bloated and healthy subjects.
A more recent study using abdominal CT scans showed that bloated people have the same volume of intestinal gas as those who are not bloated.
Likewise, although people with IBS experience more flatulence, they do not produce more gas in their intestines than other people.
This leads us to believe that the volume of gas in the gut itself is not the primary mechanism for bloating.
When Gas is Trapped in the Body
Most people tolerate intestinal gas very well because they can push and evacuate gas very efficiently. As a result, only a small amount of gas remains in the intestines at any given time.
In one study, researchers pumped more than 1.4 liters of gas in two hours into the small intestines of healthy participants. It causes only a small change in waist circumference—no more than 4 mm.
On the other hand, people with stomach conditions such as IBS or functional dyspepsia (indigestion) exhibit impaired transit of gas – in other words, the gas ends up trapped in various parts of the intestine and cannot move easily.
Studies show people with indigestion in the stomach tend to retain a relatively large proportion of gas pumped into the small intestine. They may even have a significant increase in waist circumference without any gas being pumped in.
This damage was confirmed in a study that compared 20 participants with IBS to a control group of 20 healthy participants. All the gas received is pumped directly into the small intestine.
About 90% of participants with IBS retain gas in their intestines, compared to only 20% of control subjects. The researchers found that abdominal distension was directly correlated with gastric retention.
Some people also have problems evacuating this gas or farting. People with IBS and chronic constipation, for example, may have difficulty relaxing and opening their anal sphincter muscles to release farts.
This can cause intestinal gas retention and symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain, and abdominal distention.
Pain Without Looking Distended
Despite feeling very bloated, some people have a little or no distended stomach.
Research among people with IBS suggests this pain and discomfort may be due to increased sensitivity in the gut when the stomach is stretched.
One study found that those who had gas alone felt more stomach pain than those who had symptoms of gas and abdominal distention.
If you’re sensitive to this stretching, can’t move gas throughout your intestines, and can’t get rid of it, you’re likely to feel bloated and sick, with or without visual signs.
Various Foods Containing High Gas
Foods that are high in carbohydrates and lactose can produce more gas in the digestive tract. Meanwhile, foods that contain fat and protein produce less gas.
The following are some types of foods that can produce gas in the digestive tract:
Nuts are one type of food that can produce large amounts of gas in the digestive tract. This is because nuts generally contain raffinose sugar, which is difficult for the body to digest.
In the intestine, raffinose will be processed by bacteria into various gases, such as hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane. When the amount of gas in your intestines increases, you will feel bloated and pass gas more often.
Several types of vegetables contain high amounts of gas, including asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms, and onions. These types of vegetables contain a natural sugar called fructose. Similar to raffinose in nuts, fructose sugar in vegetables can also produce gas in the intestines.
Grains such as oats contain fiber, raffinose, and starch. These three substances can produce gas after being digested in the large intestine. However, some grains do not produce gas. One of them is rice.
4. Milk and its Processed Products
Milk and dairy products, such as cheese and ice cream, contain a natural sugar called lactose. To digest this sugar, the body needs to produce the enzyme lactase. The body, however, is unable to produce enough of this enzyme in people with lactose intolerance.
As a result, lactose that has accumulated will be processed into a gas by bacteria in the intestine. This is what makes milk and its processed products, including foods that contain high amounts of gas, so nutritious.
Apples, pears, peaches, and plums are types of fruit that contain sorbitol, sugar, and fiber. The fruit’s sugar and fiber content will be converted into gas by bacteria in the intestine.
The various types of foods that contain high gas above are generally included in the types of foods that contain FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides, and polyols), namely carbohydrates and sugars that cannot be digested properly.
FODMAPs will undergo metabolic processes in the large intestine, producing gas. In people with irritable bowel disease or inflammatory bowel disease, FODMAPs can exacerbate symptoms of digestive disorders, such as stomach pain, diarrhea, and flatulence.
Not only consuming foods that contain high amounts of gas but also air entering the digestive tract can occur due to smoking habits and frequent chewing of gum, especially those containing artificial sweeteners, such as sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol.
To prevent excess gas production in the digestive tract or overcome a full stomach, you are advised not to eat foods that contain gas in excess. If you often feel bloated, have stomach pain, or feel nauseous after consuming these foods, you can consult a doctor to get the right treatment.
Causes of Stomach Gas
Stomach pain from gas can be caused by a variety of factors. However, these health problems are usually caused by the following:
Causes Stomach Bloating is affected by what you eat, how fast you eat, how much air you swallow when you eat, and the combinations of foods that can cause flatulence.
For some people, eating certain types of foods such as beans, oats, cabbage, and broccoli can cause excess gas, which can become trapped and cause stomach upset and can cause Stomach Bloating.
The next Causes Stomach Bloating is Constipation. This is one of the most common digestive problems. This health problem is characterized by bowel movements that are less than three times a week and hard, dry stools. Well, one of the common symptoms of constipation is the inability to pass gas.
Indigestion due to the body’s inability to digest lactose (lactose intolerance) and the body’s inability to digest gluten (gluten intolerance) can cause excess gas. This is one of the Causes of Stomach Bloating
Another thing to note that Causes Stomach Bloating is Bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine occurs when bacteria that normally grow in other parts of the intestine start growing in the small intestine. This can cause more than normal intestinal gas.
Many habits can cause excess gas production in the body, especially behaviors that allow a lot of air to enter when eating. Example:
- using a straw to drink.
- Talking while eating.
- Chewing gum.
- smoking or using chewing tobacco.
Some women may also experience more gas during certain times of their cycle. Hormones can affect digestion and a person’s sensitivity to gas.
In addition, several factors can cause abdominal pain due to excess gas, including:
- Using a postnasal drip regularly, causes more air to be swallowed.
- Some medications, such as over-the-counter cold medicines, are used long-term.
- Fiber supplements containing psyllium.
- Artificial sugar substitutes, such as sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol.
- Previous surgery or pregnancy that changed the pelvic muscles.
However, be careful if you experience stomach pain due to prolonged gas or if you experience other symptoms because you could have a more serious digestive problem.
Some medical conditions that cause stomach gas pain include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Crohn’s disease.
- Ulcerative colitis.
- gastric ulcer.
How to Prevent Stomach Pain from Gas
You can prevent stomach pain due to gas by avoiding things that can cause excessive gas production in the stomach. You are encouraged to pay attention to what and how you eat. Keeping a food diary might help you keep track of what foods and conditions cause excess gas production. Then you can avoid these foods or conditions.
Here are ways to prevent stomach pain due to gas:
- Stay hydrated by drinking enough water.
- Avoid consuming carbonated drinks.
- Drink drinks that are not too hot or too cold.
- Avoid foods known to cause excess gas.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners.
- Eat slowly and chew your food well.
- Don’t chew gum.
- Do not smoke or chew tobacco.
- Increase your physical activity.
Stomach bloating and gas can be caused by a variety of factors, including diet, lifestyle habits, medical conditions, and medications. While occasional bloating and gas may not be a cause for concern, persistent symptoms or accompanying symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation should be evaluated by a healthcare professional. Simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can often alleviate symptoms, but in some cases, medical treatment may be necessary. By understanding the causes and taking steps to manage symptoms, you can reduce the discomfort and inconvenience of stomach bloating and gas and improve your overall quality of life.