How to help treat stomach gas pain

October 28, 2014

Stomach gas pains can be uncomfortable, so here are a few ways to help treat it.

Why do I have stomach gas pain?

Stomach gas pain may occur from any condition that causes diarrhea or constipation. The pain results because gas accumulates in the intestine and causes it to swell up. It may be associated with cramps in the abdomen, a knotted sensation in the abdomen or swelling of the abdomen (bloating).

When the person is unable to expel the gas, pain occurs. In general, most people have no trouble expelling gas and do it many times a day.

Production of gas in the bowels occurs in all people, and there is no way to stop that. Gas usually develops in the large bowel when the resident bacteria start to ferment carbohydrates that have not been broken down by the small intestine. Some of the worst offenders of gas are the healthy high fibre foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, peas and whole grains. While high fibre can help regulate bowel movements and also lower blood cholesterol, it also leads to excess gas when taken in large amounts.

Other causes of gas include drinking carbonated beverages, swallowing air while eating, intolerance to certain foods (dairy products), and use of artificial sweeteners. Another common cause is constipation, which makes it difficult to pass gas.

How to treat stomach gas pain

Treatment for gas pain differs depending on what is causing it. If your gas pains are from a medical disorder, then you may find relief once the condition is treated. For non-medical gas pain, there are several measures you can take. This means changing lifestyle, using over the counter medications and dietary measures. What works in one person may not always work for you, and it is a matter of trial and error.

Dietary changes

Dietary changes may help decrease the amount of gas produced in the abdomen or may help move the gas faster. This in return will help relieve and treat the pain caused by gas. Keep a food diary and avoid foods that affect you the most.

Foods that are known to cause problems include broccoli, beans, onions, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, artichokes, apples, pears, peaches, prunes, chewing gum, candies, bran, cereals, whole wheat bread, dairy products, beet and carbonated beverages. Decrease the amount of fried and fatty foods as they delay emptying of gas. Cut down on fibre supplements or change to a different brand. When you consume fibre, make sure you drink ample water throughout the day.

Over-the-counter medications

Over the counter products like Beano, lactase supplements and simethicone may work in some people. For Beano to work, you need to take it with the first bite of food. Lactase supplements help breakdown lactose. Simethicone can help break up the bubbles of gas but often does not work well. Another product that can provide relief from gas pains is activated charcoal. These tablets have to be taken before and after a meal to be effective. Unfortunately, activated charcoal can stain your clothes and a large dose is usually required.

How to help treat stomach gas pain
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