All people have intestinal gas, which could lead to discomfort and sometimes, pain. While uncomfortable, intestinal gas is an entirely normal part of digestion and is merely a byproduct of the foods you eat daily. But could you tell when too much intestinal gas might be something else? More serious perhaps? Generally speaking, other symptoms would indicate when intestinal gas is not the real culprit.
When Intestinal Gas is the Culprit
First off, take note that there are people who pass gas up to 20 times daily, and this is usually normal for them. Unless you have other underlying health issues or distressing symptoms, including severe stomach pain, unexplained weight loss, blood in your stool, difficulty swallowing, very high fever, vomiting, extreme nausea, or a history of malignancy in the family, you probably don’t need to worry, explains an experienced gastroenterologist from a top walk-in clinic in Miami. Below are some telltale signs that indicate that your discomfort and bloating is due to intestinal gas:
You feel the need to belch or pass gas and feel better once you do.
Your feelings of bloating and abdominal pain don’t get worse or persist.
Your symptoms improve with diet changes, such as limiting your intake of fiber, foods high in fat, and dairy.
Your symptoms get better when you take in less air, like when eating quickly or chewing gum.
If It’s Not Intestinal Gas… Then What?
While not typically a warning sign of a more serious health problem, excessive intestinal gas could be a red flag for an underlying health issue, such as:
Indigestion or GERD, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Food allergies or intolerance, including lactose intolerance
IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Inflammatory bowel disease or ulcerative colitis
Inflamed gallbladder, gallstones, or kidney stones
A blockage in your bowel
With these conditions, you’ll likewise feel other symptoms aside from bloating and gas. For example, with appendicitis or a ruptured appendix, your stomach would feel immensely tender, yet very stiff, and you’d feel an extreme abdominal pain that won’t go away and only worsen. It’s likewise vital to note that pain from intestinal gas doesn’t make your abdomen tender to touch, meaning that if you feel extreme abdominal pain, it’s best to get medical help ASAP.