Ok, so bloating and gas is definitely not as romantic as floating away in a hot air balloon but the image expresses very well the unpleasant sensation of being full of gas and having a distended stomach. You know you’re suffering from gas and bloating if you have the following digestive discomfort:
Signs & Symptoms
- Abdominal bloating and swelling
- Abdominal cramps, discomfort and pain
What causes bloating, gas and flatulence?
Bloating, gas and flatulence is a result of undigested food fermenting in the digestive tract. Inadequate digestion can be caused by stress and low levels of stomach acid as well as dietary choices and bacterial overgrowth in the intestine. Poor digestion starves the body of essential nutrients and is the underlying cause of all stomach problems.
Stomach problems are digestive problems
When food is not digested properly in the stomach, it ferments in the digestive tract which leads to a build-up of gasses and alcohols. This creates pressure in the stomach and causes bloating and discomfort.
Factors which inhibit digestion
Stress: digestion is dramatically impacted by stress. The body produces adrenaline and cortisol in reaction to stress – the body’s adrenaline response increases the heart rate and redirects blood from the digestive system to the muscular system. Without sufficient blood flow to the digestive system, food is unable to digest.
Low levels of stomach acid: Many people with digestive problems are under the misconception that they are OVER producing stomach acid, but more often they are not producing ENOUGH stomach acid.
Medication & Dietary Choices: Long term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or pain medication causes inflammation of the stomach and the erosion of the gastric mucosal lining. This inhibits the secretion of digestive juices so leading to food fermenting in the stomach. Certain foods also predispose one to gas and bloating: carbonated drinks, spicy, fried or fatty foods, broccoli, cabbage and onions, beans, dried fruits and anything containing sorbitol, mannitol and maltitol, non-nutritive sweeteners found in sugar-free foods.
Bacterial Overgrowth: low levels of stomach acid allow certain bacteria such as H. pylori and E-coli to survive and proliferate inside the stomach and digestive system which can lead to serious stomach problems such as chronic low level inflammation in the stomach as well as ulcers.
In our next blog we’ll be giving you some tips in how to manage or prevent bloating & gas.