The amount of gas formed in the human digestive system varies from person to person and according to food. Therefore, the definition of "normal" gas is also difficult. Gas (intestinal gas) builds up in every individual's digestive tract, but removing gas can be embarrassing and uncomfortable.
Those who have excessive gas problems are asked the following questions;
• Do you eat your food fast or in stress?
• Do you over-consume gas-producing foods such as dry beans, cabbage and bananas?
• Do you smoke cigarettes or cigars?
• Do you have loose dentures?
If your answer to one of these questions is yes, you should fight the Excess Gas problem.
In fact, everybody emits a mixture of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane at least 12 times a day or more. However, some people often complain of excessive gas. In some cases, gas that you cannot remove, or gas due to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), hypersensitivity to lactose, celiac disease, or stomach flu (gastroenteritis) can cause strong and intermittent pain.
We cannot prevent intestinal gas formation, but you can reduce your discomfort and embarrassment by producing the gas you produce with a few simple precautions.
In most people, signs and symptoms of excessive gas and gas pain are very evident. These;
Swelling in the abdomen (Distension)
Voluntary or involuntary flatulence in the form of burping or flatulence
• Sharp, stinging pain or cramps in the abdomen. These pains can be anywhere in your abdomen and their location can change rapidly. You may feel a "knotting" feeling in your stomach.
Causes of Intestinal Gas
Gas in the gastrointestinal tract is produced by two sources. One is the swallowed air and the other is the gas created by harmless microorganisms in the intestine from food residues.
Air swallowing (Aerophagia) is the most important cause of gas in the stomach. Everyone swallows a small amount of air while eating or drinking water. However, eating fast, talking while eating, chewing gum, smoking and using loose dentures increase the amount of air swallowed.
Most of the air swallowed by burping exits the stomach through the mouth, the remaining gas passes into the small intestine, some is absorbed in the small intestine, the rest passes into the large intestine and leaves the body from the anus.
Harmless microorganisms in the large intestine produce gas from food residues. These microorganisms can digest non-digestible complex carbohydrates (sugar, starch, fiber) and cellulose in the upper parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Meanwhile, gas is released. Everyone has a certain amount of harmless microorganisms in their large intestine.
Excessive gas may occur in some acute illnesses, such as stomach cold or food poisoning. Gas may be one of the few symptoms in more severe chronic conditions with inflammatory bowel disease, such as diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, or ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.
The use of antibiotics can play a role in gas formation as it disrupts the normal bacterial flora in your gut. Overuse of laxatives or constipating medications can also contribute to the problem.
If gas and bloating occur mainly after eating dairy foods, your body cannot burn sugar (lactose) in dairy products. Most people cannot process lactose well after the age of 6, and some newborn babies are hypersensitive to lactose. In particular, hypersensitivity to other foods, such as gluten found in wheat and some other grains, can also cause gas, diarrhea, and even weight loss.
Anything that causes intestinal gas, or constipation or diarrhea, can also cause gas pains. These sharp and stinging pains usually occur when gas builds up in your intestines and you cannot remove them. Gas pains are generally severe and short-lived. When the gas clears, your pain will often go away.
Gas Producing Food
Carbohydrate-containing foods are responsible for the formation of gas. Oils and protein cannot cause gassing but can affect the smell.
Sugars that cause gas production are raffinose, lactose, fructose and sorbitol.
They are abundant in beans, but in small amounts in cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, other vegetables and cereals.
Lactose is the natural sugar found in milk. It is also found in dairy products. (Milk, cheese, cream, ice cream etc.)
Onions, artichokes, pears, and wheat are also found. Fructose is also used as a sweetener in some beverages and juices.
It is found naturally in fruits. There is sorbitol in apple, pear, plum, peach. Sorbitol is also found in food, chewing gum and candies as an artificial sweetener.
Potatoes, corn, vermicelli, and wheat cause gas production in the large intestine. Rice does not cause gas to be produced in starches.
Fibers (Pulp foods - Fiber)
Most foods contain soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fibers are digested in the large intestine and produce gas. Beans, dried peas, soybeans, lentils, oat bran, most fruits contain soluble fiber. Insoluble fibers are excreted in the feces without being digested in the large intestine. For this reason, gas production is very low.
Excess Gas Treatment
To reduce the sensation of burping, bloating and excessive gas;
• A food diary is kept. It should be tried to determine which foods affect the person.
• The person should not force himself to burp.
• The intake of air-forming food should be reduced. Baked foods, finely ground creams, sulfate and carbohydrate foods should be avoided.
• Smoking, chewing gum, sucking sugar, drinking beverages using straws or drinking from narrow-mouthed bottles should be avoided.
• Food should be eaten in equal proportions at every meal.
• Eating fast food should be avoided.
• Loose dentures should be corrected.
• Do not go to bed right after eating.
• Fat-rich foods, fried foods, cream and sauced foods and pastries should be avoided. (With fat restriction, the load on the digestive system decreases and the amount of gas produced decreases)
• If there is no constipation problem, fibrous foods that cause gas and bloating should be avoided.
• Regular physical exercise should be done.
• The person should not eat foods that make you feel bad (everyone has a different tolerance for food).
• Milk and products should be consumed in a tolerable amount. (Those with lactase deficiency can only tolerate half a glass of milk or yogurt)
• Food containing diabetic products such as diet products, sorbitol, mannitol, chewing gum and sweets without sugar (made with sweeteners) should not be consumed too much.
• Activated charcoal (carbon) tablets or capsules can be used. These collect gas on their large surface. (Charcoal gives stool black color, activated carbon is sold in pharmacies as medicine)
Time to Consult a Doctor
Call your doctor if you have severe, prolonged or recurring pain in your stomach, especially if you have nausea, vomiting, bleeding, weight loss or fever. Also, if your gas or gas-related complaints prevent you from living your normal life, talk to your doctor. In most cases, treatment alleviates or eliminates the problem.
Things to Remember in Extreme Gas Situations
• Gas occurs in the digestive tract of every individual.
• The number of patients presenting with burping, excessive bloating and flatulence problems is quite high. Although this problem is annoying, it is generally a harmless and preventable problem.
• The gas in the gastrointestinal tract is produced by two sources. One is the swallowed air and the other is the gas created by harmless microorganisms in the intestine from food residues.
• Many foods can cause gas shortages.
• The most obvious symptoms are burping and abdominal pain. However, it should not be forgotten that some other digestive system diseases (IBD) can give the same symptoms.
• Talk to your doctor in case of a situation that bothers you.