Gas - Belching, Bloating & Flatulence

What is Gas?

Belching, bloating, flatulence is a very common complaint. While these can often be annoying or uncomfortable, they rarely indicate serious pathology.

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Diagnosis

Although gas and bloating are rarely is indicative of serious pathology, if symptoms persist, other conditions should be ruled out.

Lactose intolerance should be assessed for. H.Pylori, a bacteria that can sometimes be found in the stomach, should be tested for and treated.

Celiac disease, a condition caused by an intolerance to gluten, should be excluded.

If symptoms persist, an upper endoscopy can be performed to rule out serious conditions such as ulcers and tumors.

Quick Facts

We produce gas in two ways: when we swallow air, and when the bacteria in the large intestine go to work helping to digest the food we eat.

Chronic belching or bloating may be a sign of disease.

Since diet is the main cause of gas, your doctor will want to know about the food you eat and your symptoms.

Prevention & Treatment

  • Eat slowly and chew food carefully
  • Avoid swallowing air which sometimes occurs subconsciously
  • Avoid drinking with a straw
  • Avoid chewing gum
  • Avoid dairy if lactose intolerant
  • Avoid raw vegetables that may produce more gas- i.e. brussel sprouts, beans, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, cucumber, sauerkraut, potatoes, turnips, onions, asparagus. Cooked vegetables are less likely to produce gas
  • Avoid fruits that may produce more gas- i.e. bananas, apples, raisins, prunes, peaches and apricots
  • Minimize caffeine, carbonated beverages, fatty foods
  • Consider probiotics which can sometimes help with gas and bloating
  • Antacids, Simethicone (Gas-Ex), charcoal, or Beano may be of some benefit

Learn more about the dietary reccomendations for gas and flatulence. You may also try a low FODMAP diet to decrease gas and bloating.