GI Health | Gas & Bloating
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Symptoms and Treatment

Gas and Bloating: The Basics

The occasional bout of gas or bloating is quite normal and nothing to be concerned about. But it’s important to understand these symptoms as they can occasionally be indicative of a more serious underlying condition.

GAS

Gas is a normal condition in which excess air is present in the large or small intestines. For most people, gas is not a serious condition. Burps and flatulence are the body’s way of ridding itself of gas. Some people with persistent bloating and distension can feel discomfort and should seek GI care. Burps release swallowed air and flatulence releases gas created during digestion. Gas can be caused by a variety of foods and illnesses, including– cruciferous vegetables, lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, beans, carbonated drinks, chewing gum, SIBO, celiac disease and artificial sweeteners. The treatment for gas depends on the underlying cause. Many times, gas can be reduced through diet and lifestyle changes. But if you experience excessive gas, it could be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition – including small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which is excessive bacteria in the small intestine.

Bloating

Bloating is an unpleasant feeling created by excess air in the abdomen. Swallowing air, air moving the wrong way towards the stomach, gasses released by bacteria in the gut, medications, constipation and certain foods and beverages can cause bloating. If you find that your gas or bloating is becoming very uncomfortable, occurring more often, and accompanied by other symptoms including blood in stools, weight loss, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, contact your GI doctor, as bloating may be a symptom of an underlying condition – including small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which is excessive bacteria in the small intestine.

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