Gas is normal. Everyone burps and feels bloating from time to time. Some people have a more than normal level of gas that can impact their normal activities during the day. It may be due to something more worrisome or it may not. When you see our Brooklyn gastrointestinal doctor at our Cobble Hill or Ocean Parkway office, you’ll learn what is behind your bloating.
What Is Bloating?
There are various reasons bloating can occur.
- A diet of fatty foods can cause a delay in the stomach’s emptying process, making you feel too full.
- Eating too quickly, sucking on candy or chewing gum can cause swallowing of air.
- Stress and anxiety
- Drinking carbonated fluids
- Gastrointestinal infections, blockages, and disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome, commonly associated with abdominal pain or cramping, and changes in bowel function
- Some conditions such as lactose intolerance or celiac disease
One way to control bloating is to minimize consumption of foods that cause a higher amount of gas. These may include:
- Brussel sprouts
- Chewing gum
- Carbonated beverages
- Fruit such as apples, peaches, and pears
- Milk or dairy products
- Sugar alcohol found in sugar-free foods
- Whole grain foods
Burping is the removal of excess gas or air from the stomach. This may be due to swallowing too much air as you drink or eat. In some situations, conditions such as acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause it. This occurs when acids from the stomach move back into the esophagus. You’ll then swallow it again, leading to the development of more gas in the stomach.
Chronic burping can be a sign of inflammation of the stomach lining, called gastritis, or an infection from bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. This type of bacteria commonly leads to stomach ulcers.
Reducing burping is possible by:
- Slow down the eating and drinking process.
- Reduce the amount of carbonated drinks or beer you consume.
- Don’t smoke.
- Stop eating candy and gum.
- Ensure your dentures fit properly.
- Treat heartburn or other gastro symptoms with your gastro doctor in Brooklyn
Gas, or flatulence, is the buildup of air in the colon. This is often caused by the normal fermentation of foods in your body, especially when you consume plant fiber. It occurs in the colon and is more common when the intestines struggle to break down the components of the food, such as sugars found in dairy and fruit.
Gas can also be caused by:
- Residue from food in the colon
- Poor absorption of carbohydrates, which creates an imbalance of bacteria here
- Air that’s swallowed and moves into the colon
- Intestinal bacteria changes brought on by medications
In some situations, gas is actually due to a digestive disorder. This may include lactose intolerance or irritable bowel syndrome.
To reduce gas, consider:
- Avoid those foods that seem to produce the most gas for you. This includes beans, cabbage, onions, cauliflower, whole grain foods, mushrooms, beer, carbonated beverages, broccoli, and lentils. In some people, dairy can cause it.
- Reduce the amount of fatty foods you consume because these digest slower
- Reduce the amount of high fiber foods you consume since these produce more gas. After taking a break from them, slowly introduce them again.
- Use fiber-based products that help to reduce gas.
- Eat slower to minimize the amount of air that enters the digestive system.
- Move more, since exercise after eating can help release it.
- Over-the-counter gas products can reduce the amount of gas occurring (such as Mylanta Gas and Gas-X)
Seeing Your Brooklyn Gastrointestinal Doctor
In any of these situations, seeking help from your doctor is often advisable when the condition becomes painful, chronic, or troublesome in some other way. Your doctor can help you with more worrisome symptoms as well including:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Weight loss
- Abdominal or rectal pain
- Persistent heartburn
Don’t put off seeing your doctor for these types of treatments. Our Brooklyn digestive doctor can help you understand how to overcome them.