Harmless pain or is it more dangerous?

Everyone experiences intestinal gas, which can lead to annoying bloating and even pain. But how do you know that excess gas can be more dangerous?

There are simple ways to tell if your symptoms are due to gas or something more serious. Gas is a normal part of the digestive process, but it can often be uncomfortable. It is a by-product of many of the foods we eat. But sometimes the same swelling and pain can be a symptom of a health problem, in which case it’s a good idea to go to the doctor. Usually, other signs suggest intestinal gas is not the cause.

Is it just intestinal gas?

Keep in mind that some people pass gas more than 20 times a day, and this may be considered normal depending on the individual. You probably only need to worry if there are underlying problems or worrisome symptoms, such as blood in the stool, weight loss, abdominal pain, a family history of malignancy or difficulty swallowing. Thus, what you think is excess gas may be a somewhat normal amount. Keeping and reviewing a food diary can easily help you identify the source of the problem, which is one of many gas-producing foods.

Here are some easy ways to find out if intestinal gas is causing bloating and discomfort:

  • You feel the need to pass gas or burp.
  • Swelling and pain go away when you have gas.
  • Your pain and bloating do not persist or worsen.
  • Excess gas and bloating subside when you make certain changes to your diet, such as eliminating dairy products, reducing fiber, or limiting foods high in fat.
  • Pain and bloating improve when you swallow less air, which happens, for example, when chewing gum or eating too quickly.

What else could it be?

Although excess gas is not usually a sign of serious illness, it can be a warning sign of an underlying medical problem. Excess gas could be a sign of a digestive malfunction, such as gastroparesis, for example. Plus, what you think of as gas pain may actually be one of many health issues.

Here are some possible causes of abdominal pain and bloating:

Intolerance to lactose or other foods or allergies
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or indigestion
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Kidney stones, gallstones, or cholecystitis
Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease).
– Ulcer in the digestive system
Intestinal obstruction
Abdominal tumor

In most of these cases, you will notice symptoms other than gas and bloating. For example, in the case of appendicitis, there will likely be changes in your abdomen, including stiffness and extreme tenderness. Gas pains do not make your stomach ache to touch, so if you notice severe pain, always see a doctor.

If your pain, bloating, and excess gas problems persist, take steps to find out the cause.

Diagnose the problem

A physical exam and diagnostic tests may be done to help rule out other, more serious medical conditions that may mimic excessive gas pain. If lactose intolerance is suspected, your doctor may perform a breath test. Depending on the possible causes, other tests may be done, including blood tests, imaging tests, such as X-rays or CT scans, and endoscopy. If your doctor suspects an imbalance in your small intestine bacteria, probiotics may help.

If you’re constantly experiencing excessive gas, abdominal pain, or bloating, and can’t get relief, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. If the problem is caused by intestinal gas, he can recommend ways to eliminate yourself. And if the problem is more serious, you can quickly diagnose it and start treatment.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In any case, the information provided cannot replace the advice of a health professional.

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