It’s an embarrassing condition.
Unfortunately, it’s also very common.
Most people don’t think too much about passing gas, unless they’re out in public or in church.
And, for those around you, it can be just as horrific.
So, if you’re having gastrointestinal issues, it’s time to face the music.
Here’s how to get things under control.
What Causes Gas?
There are a lot of things that can cause short-term flatulence issues. The occasional fried food binge or a night of boozing can give you a short-lived stomach and clear the room. But, when the problem is chronic, it’s time to worry.
Most people with gastrointestinal issues (stomach and gut problems) want to know how to stop farting right now. Unfortunately, there are very few quick fixes. Part of the reason it’s so hard to stop is because the causes are almost always rooted in diet and lifestyle – which are hard for most people to change.
Common causes include:
● A diet of fried or greasy foods
● Too much fiber in the diet (yes, it’s possible)
● A diet rich in indigestible sugars and starches (called “resistant starches)
● SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
● Insufficient water intake
● Too many spicy foods
● Lactose intolerance
● Parasite infection
The only way to know what you’re suffering from, and the root cause of your problems, is to go to a gastroenterologist that is familiar with various digestive disorders.
A variety of tests now exist that can help diagnose various gut health problems.
They can be broadly classified as:
● Gut pathogen screenings
● Methane breath tests
● Hydrogen breath tests
● Stomach acid tests
A gut pathogen screen tests for various gut pathogens, like parasites and bacterial overgrowth. When your gut is infected with a parasite, it can alter how your body processes food. Sometimes, your body has a diminished ability to properly digest food, and so native gut bacteria go into “overdrive” and produce excess gas from undigested food particles.
There is also a condition known as “SIBO” or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. This is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder in which pathogenic bacteria, which are normally kept in-check by beneficial gut bacteria, take over and grow out of control – they end up colonizing the small intestine (gut bacteria are supposed to reside mostly in the colon) and causing gastrointestinal problems.
The most common overgrowth is e.coli, which results in an e.coli infection. It can produce symptoms like diarrhea, gas, and bloating that are very difficult to treat.
But, other bacteria can grow out of control like klebsiella or C. difficile.
Methane and hydrogen breath tests are often used to detect the presence of methane or hydrogen gas. These are the gases typically produced by bacteria when sugars or starches are not fully broken down and are instead fermented in the gut (which leads to gas). It’s this fermentation process that produces excessive flatulence and belching.
Some of the gas is absorbed into the bloodstream from the bowel and then travels to the lungs, where it is breathed out. This allows specialized instruments to capture and measure the the concentration of it in the body.
Malabsorption, and gastrointestinal problems, can be uncovered when methane or hydrogen gas rises significantly above a baseline level.
Finally, there’s a stomach acid test. The gold standard for this is the The Heidelberg Stomach Acid Test. Your doctor will instruct you to fast for 8-12 hours, and take no acid-suppressing drugs for at least 4 days prior to the test.
You will swallow a small capsule that contains a radio transmitter. This capsule measures the pH in your stomach.
Your doctor then gives you a solution of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to drink. The test then starts, and your pH is recorded over a set period of time determined by your doctor. At the end of the test, your doctor will have a graph showing your specific stomach response to the sodium bicarbonate challenge.
Because baking soda is a base, and your gastric acid is an acid, your stomach should respond to the introduction of that base. A chemical reaction takes place when the baking soda mixes with your stomach acid, producing carbon dioxide gas, which causes burping.
Your doctor can assess whether you have hyperchloridia, hypochlorhydria, or achlorhydria.
The List Of Foods That Are Most Certainly Causing Or Contributing To Your Problem
Once you’ve gotten your test results back, you can take action. Some common food triggers include:
● Sugary fruits
● Coconut milk
● Brussel sprouts
● greasy or fatty foods
You may not necessarily have to eliminate these foods entirely unless your doctor recommends that you do, but you need to be aware of foods which may trigger your symptoms.
What You Need To Do To Fix The Problem
In many cases, if you have an infection, the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic, or anti-parasitical, or a natural remedy to eliminate the problem. In addition, you may have to make lifestyle and dietary changes.
If the problem is low stomach acid, you may also be prescribed HCL tablets, or ox bile, which will help your body produce more stomach acid and bile salts, which will help you digest your food more thoroughly and minimize or eliminate gas and bloating.
About the Author:
Rick Somer works as a nutritionist. He is personally committed to a healthy lifestyle and is passionate about sharing his knowledge with others. He mainly writes for lifestyle and healthy eating websites.
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