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Gas in the digestive tract: a common health problem

Maharani Devi Medical Center

Maharani Devi Medical Center

  Kalyan nagar, Bengaluru     Dec 20, 2018

   2 min     

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Formation of excessive gas in the digestive tract is a very common health problem faced by a large number of people all over the world. Formation of gas is inevitable as it is a natural byproduct of the functioning of the digestive system. Though gas is mostly harmless, in some cases, it can be a symptom of something more serious.

Symptoms: 

The most common symptoms of gas are:

  • Burping: burping once in a while, especially after meals is completely normal.
  • Passing gas a few times per day.
  • Bloating: the feeling of fullness or swelling in the abdomen, especially after meals. It is also caused due to excessive formation of gas in the digestive tract.
  • If the gas does not move normally, or if an excess amount of gas is formed, it may also cause pain in the abdomen.
  • Causes:

Gas is formed primarily due to two reasons:

  • Swallowed air: some amount of gas is swallowed every time while eating or drinking something. While chewing gum, drinking aerated drinks, smoking etc. one tends to swallow a larger amount of air, leading to the formation of gas.
  • Digestion: the undigested food from the stomach and the small intestine passes on to the large intestine where it is broken down by the action of the bacteria and gas is formed as a byproduct.

Health risks:

Certain health conditions can lead to excessive formation of gas. Some of these are:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): it is a group of symptoms causing pain and discomfort in abdomen and changes in bowel movement patterns.
  • GERD: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is another chronic condition that leads to the formation of excessive gas in the body.
  • Bacterial overgrowth: increased bacteria count in the small intestine can also lead to excessive formation of gas.
  • Other: diseases like Crohn’s disease, colon cancer, hernia etc. may also cause excessive gas.

Treatment: 

  • By changing the diet and lifestyle, one can reduce the amount of gas.
  • Over-the-counter medications like antacids, probiotics etc. may also help in relieving gas.

If the condition does not go away even after a controlled diet and using medications, it is highly recommended to visit a doctor for further diagnosis and treatment.

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Tags:  Digestive disorder,gas,bloating,GERD,

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