Abdominal Pain And Gas
Why Am I Having Stomach Pain And Gas?

The feeling of significant abdominal pain and gas or bloating after eating or indeed at any other time is often due to the presence of trapped wind or bowel gas. See a wide range of conditions that causes abdominal pain and bloating from intestinal gas and how to relief such stomach pain and gas.

abdominal pain and gas

The food we eat travels from our mouth down to the stomach and then through the length of the small and large intestines, some 6 to 10 meters.

In the course of doing this, various types of chemicals are released at different points in our bowel to help break down the food so that we can extract nutrients into our body.

As these chemicals react with the food we eat, gases are formed. We also have many forms of bacteria inside our gut that help process the food we eat, so that the undigested food material are broken down and passed out as faeces. This action also produce gases.

As we eat, we all inadvertently swallow wind. This also contributes to the amount of gas that pass through us. So, in effect, we all have gas going through our bowels at any given time naturally - some 150mls to 2000mls ( half a pint to four pints of gas), depending our your build and the type of food we eat and amount of air we habitually swallow when taking, eating, drinking or smoking.

Sadly though, sometimes, the free low of the gas through our bowels is hampered. This leads to the distention and stretching of the wall of our bowel, much like blowing wind into a balloon stretches the balloon, making us feel abdominal pain and bloating. Do you suffer with abdominal pain and gas distention every now and then? The following might be what is causing you pain in the abdomen with bloating.

Causes Of Abdominal Pain And Bloating

the digestive tract

Certain conditions could make us produce more amounts of gas in our intestines than normal, leading to these gases getting trapped inside the bowel causing pain, or producing excessive flatulence or farting.

According to the Mayo Clinic research, it is normal to fart or release intestinal gas between 10 to 23 times a day. If you are farting more than this, or frequently having abdominal pain and gas or feeling of distension or bloating or even excessive burping, then you may be producing too much intestinal gas.

The following are common causes of abdominal pain and bloating due to excessive intestinal gas production. Most times, such excessive gas production are not due to harmful conditions, but you must look out for those few conditions that causes abdominal pain and bloating.

  • Excessive Air Swallowing. When we eat our meals in a rush, like during short lunch breaks, or chew gums a lot, or drink fizzy drinks often, or even talking for several hours, we may swallow loads of air, leading to accumulation of gas in our stomach and intestines. Do you suffer with excessive gas pains? Think this might be the cause of your wind pain? Why not make a change and see what happens after a week?
  • Certain Types Of Food. Consumption of certain types of food rich in dietary fibre of complex carbohydrate may make you produce more gas than normal and lead to excessive flatulence or burping and belching. Foods that causes excessive gas production include cabbage, beans, broccoli, onions, dried fruits, soya beans and soy products, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, asparagus, dairy products, artichokes, pasta, scallions, boiled or roasted corn and foods rich in sorbitol.
  • Lactose Intolerance. As just mentioned, some people may notice that they tend to feel bloated and develop abdominal pain and gas distension after consuming food containing milk, or cheese or chocolate, ice cream, yogurt, or perhaps certain types of biscuits. If this is happening to you, it might just be that you have intolerance to lactose in milk and such meals are best avoided to prevent excessive flatulence or burping.
  • Coeliac Disease. Coeliac disease is a form of intolerance to certain food items containing wheat or barley or rye. It is also referred to as gluten sensitivity. If you surfer with this condition, eating foods like bread or biscuits or cakes and things made from wheat could cause you abdominal pain, bloating with loose stools and sometimes weight loss, and skin rash. You can read more about coeliac disease here.
  • Gall Bladder Disease. Gallstones and gall bladder disease causes abdominal pain and gas distension in upper right abdomen. Such pain often comes on after eating rich or fatty meals like fries. See here to determine whether gallstones are what might be causing your upper right abdominal pain and bloating.
  • Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD). This is an umbrella word covering conditions like gastritis, acid reflux and hiatus hernia, that could cause upper stomach cramps and bloating after eating.
  • Peptic Ulcer. This is a word used to describe a number of conditions including stomach ulcer and duodenal ulcers. This causes upper abdominal pain and bloating above the belly button or umbilicus. The pain is often brought about by eating in some cases, and the pain might spread to the upper back.
  • Constipation. Constipation is the infrequent passage of stool or the passage of hard stools more than what is normal for you. Severe constipation could lead to trapped wind and abdominal pain and gas. Have you noticed a decrease in the number of times you go to the toilet in a day or week recently? If yes, constipation may be the cause of your lower abdominal pain and bloating.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the most common causes of lower abdominal pain and gas or bloating. This condition can occur in any sex and age, but it is more common in young women in their late teens up to mid thirties (when the diagnosis often becomes apparent). If you have frequent lower left abdominal pain and bloating, constipation or diarrhoea, on and off for more than six months, you most likely have irritable bowel syndrome. Many suffers are able to pinpoint that certain food types, or stress triggers such pain.
  • Diverticulitis. This is a condition more often seen in older people 50 years and more. It causes a lower abdominal pain and bloating and diarrhoea and there may be associated blood in the stool.
  • Crohns Disease. This is another cause of lower abdominal pain and gas and the passage of blood and mucus or slime in the stool over an extended period of time. There is usually a family history this condition. Crohn's disease is often associated with weight loss too and can be confused with many other conditions.
  • Intestinal Obstruction. Intestinal or bowel obstruction is very common. It characteristically causes a central or lower abdominal pain, bloating, with cramping pain that comes and goes away in intervals of minutes. If this condition progress, the abdomen becomes distended and swollen and the sufferer might find out that he or she belches or burps a lot, feels nauseated, and may actually vomit. It is also associated with inability to open ones bowel (constipation) or even break wind (fart). If you suspect that you might be having bowel obstruction, call you doctor immediately. It is a serious condition that needs emergency attention.
  • Bowel Cancer. Cancer involving the bowels or intestines can cause abdominal pain, bloating with weight loss and diarrhea. If you are over 50 years of age, and have, in the last 3 to 6 months noticed change in the way you go to toilet (whether constipation or diarrhoea), and have been having abdominal pain and gas, whether with weight loss or not, it is advisable that you see your doctor for an check up. Bowel cancer is not the most common cause abdominal pain and bloating, especially in young and middle aged persons.

Treatment Options

The good news is that if you suffer with excessive flatulence with our without abdominal pain every now and then, there is something you can do about it.

The first step is to be sure that your abdominal pain and bloating is not caused by a potentially serious condition. The key to knowing this is that the usual abdominal pain and gas from excessive intestinal wind lasts for only a few minutes, not hours and days. If your abdominal pain and bloating goes on for more than an hour or two, it might be necessary to get a professional opinion from your healthcare provider.

Recurrent trapped wind or intestinal gas or excessive farting should on it's own not be a cause for great concern. The following are the common steps to remedy this condition.

  • Diet. Keep a food diary. Once you identify a pattern or sets of food that seems to be causing you to fart a lot or have abdominal pain with bloating, voila; eliminate it from your diet! See the list of foods that causes excessive farting above.
  • Food Enzyme Dietary Supplements. If excessive gas after eating is really really a problem for you and you want to stop with, then trying one of the range of food enzyme supplements could change everything for you. Many people have found Bean-zyme Anti-Gas Digestive Aid very useful.
  • Probiotics. Probiotics are naturally occurring good bacteria. They are often added to some food to help counter the effect of bad bacteria in our bowel that produce too much gas. If you have tried the above two steps and still has no joy, adding probiotics to your meal or taking it a a capsule might help to overcome troubles with abdominal pain and gas. You can get a good selection probiotics from reputable online natural health supplement shops like Holland & Barrett
  • Peppermint Oil Capsules. These are good for trapped wind or excessive intestinal gas too. You can get some ordered online too.
  • Consult Your Doctor. If you have tried all teh above and fails, a review with your doctor again might help. He or she will be able to decide whether the us eof other medicines for abdominal pain and gas like antacids, simethicone containing medications, antispasmodics, or high fibre bulk forming medicines might be good for you, once other potentially serious causes of abdominal pain and bloating or stomach gas has been excluded.

Abdominal Pain And Gas - Let's Hear From You

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Last Updated: 2nd December 2012


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