Middle aged Maureen visiting her ailing daughter in New Jersey wailed in the middle of the night in the grip of sudden and severe gas pain which, however, subsided with the administration of OTC painkiller after some time. The pain would have otherwise continued for longer period.
What is Gas Pain?
Sharp jabbing pain or cramps in the abdomen, associated with swelling or tightness in the tummy, known as ‘bloating’ is the hallmark of gas pain that mostly affects middle aged persons, male and female alike. Oftentimes, gas pain can become so intense and unremitting that people fear about something that has gone wrong with their lower abdomen.
What causes Gas Pain?
Excessive gas in the digestive tract gives rise to gas pain. Gas, however, forms when the bacteria (healthy) in the colon ferment carbohydrates that have not been fully digested in the small intestine. High-fiber foods that are considered to be good for the digestive system, as luck would have it, aids in forming gas. These include:
- Whole grains
- Legumes (beans and peas)
- Certain fruits
What’s more, fiber supplements that contain psyllium, such as Metamucil often tote up to the problem, if added to the diet hastily, while carbonated beverages such as Soda water, beer and soft drinks too create intestinal gas.
Apart from the above, sundry causes of excessive gas include:
- Artificial additives that are rampantly used in processed food to lengthen their shelf life creates problem in the digestive tract, giving rise to gar formation, while synthetic sweeteners such as Mannitol, Sorbitol and xylitol, present in many sugar-free foods, gums and candies create similar hazard.
- Swallowed air that goes along with food gulped down by people while in a hurry or on the go also creates gas problem in no uncertain way.
- Food intolerance is yet another factor that gives rise to excessive gas in the stomach. This is more common in some people who have consumed dairy products, while their bodies are unable to break down the sugar (lactose) in dairy food items.
- Disease condition can also cause excessive gas in the digestive tract. Examples comprise inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Excessive gas in the stomach often indicates bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine of diabetes.
- Constipation also adds to the list of what causes excessive gas as this condition makes it difficult to pas gas.
How to get rid of Gas Pain
Excessive gas can not only be embarrassing and uncomfortable but also give rise to sudden, severe abdominal pain. Here are a few preventive measures that may prove helpful in getting rid of Gas Pain.
- Do not consume gassy foods, especially fruits such as pears and over ripe apples; vegetables comprising Brussels sprouts and broccoli; whole grains like bran and dairy products that include milk, cheese, butter and ice cream. Since these food items contain fiber, sugars and starches that are not easily absorbed by the digestive system, intestinal gas is created by them. Also, eliminate from the list food items that had created excessive gas in the past.
- Do not be in a hurry when eating or drinking- When you eat or drink fast, you are likely to swallow plenty of air. So eat but do not gulp. The same is true with drinks –take small sips and make sure that you are not guzzling air with it. This way you can reduce intake of air in your digestive system that will result in lesser gas in your stomach.
- Do not drink when eating meals – Not even your favorite brand of chilled beer because fluids tend to weaken the stomach acids and as a result the food is not digested well, creating stomach gas.
- Go for OTC enzymes if you have digestion problems. These enzymes greatly help the digestive process and as a result very little gas is produced. Of course, it may take a few days to adjust the dosage, but once found and fixed, the gas problem will be Gone with the Wind.
- Go for activated charcoal because it has properties that can reduce excess gas, while effectively control bloating. But don’t make the mistake of consuming charcoal from the grill or the fireplace. Activated charcoal have been specially processed for controlling gas and sol proves helpful for those who suffer from Gas Pain.
Chronic Gas Pain can be crippling and so needs careful handling. However, if you follow the instructions given above, you may be reasonably assured of getting rid of such severe pain for life. However, if your Gas Pain turns chronic, it time to get yourself checked by an experienced endologist.