Gas and Bloating

1 in 10 Americans report that they suffer from regular bloating even when they haven’t eaten a large meal.

Eating too much food is a common reason for bloating but isn’t the only cause. There are numerous things that can cause gas and bloating and removing foods from your diet isn’t always the answer to address the root cause of the problem.

Symptoms may include (but not limited to):

  • Nausea
  • Belching
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Abdominal pain/discomfort
  • Abdominal distention
  • Flatulence
  • Foul smelling stools or gas
  • Diarrhea and/or constipation

Causes May Include:

  • Underlying Infection – Infections like Helicobacter Pylori can live in the stomach lining. This can affect your body’s ability to produce appropriate levels of acid which make it difficult to digest proteins. Undigested proteins can cause fermentation in the GI tract causing gas and bloating.
  • Lack of digestive enzymes—If your body isn’t breaking down foods appropriately, these foods can begin to ferment and create gas in the GI tract. This can lead to gas and bloating.
  • Food Sensitivities – Certain foods, specifically dairy and gluten, can cause excess gas and bloating.
  • Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)—Overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine can cause gas and bloating, this may occur with or without eating meals. Bloating may be above the belly button, below the belly button, or both.
  • Sweeteners—Certain sweeteners, like sorbitol, aspartame, and xylitol can change your microbiome and can increase the amount of gas produced in the GI tract.
  • Antibiotics—Antibiotics can change the microbiome and can lead to yeast overgrowth or SIBO.

Complications May Include:

  • Diarrhea and/or constipation
  • Poor absorption of nutrients
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Increased food sensitivities
  • Weight gain/inability to lose weight
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Poor sleep/insomnia
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Leaky Gut

To make a diagnosis, your doctor may order extensive laboratory testing and perform a physical. Your doctor will use this information to create a treatment plan that is specific to YOU.

Treatment May Include:

  • Addressing Lifestyle Changes
    • Improving diet
    • Weight loss
    • Exercise recommendations
    • Stress management techniques
  • Addressing Underlying GI infections
    • Antimicrobials- To eliminate bacterial infections
    • Antivirals- To eliminated viral infections
    • Antifungals- To eliminated fungal infections
    • Antiparasitic- To eliminate parasitic infections
  • Improving Digestion
    • Digestive Enzymes—to help break down food more efficiently
    • Probiotics—To balance normal gut flora
    • Removing Food sensitivities—to reduce overall symptoms while healing the gut

Although bloating and gas are common, it’s cause can vary from person to person. People may or may not have all of the symptoms listed above. That’s why it’s important to work with someone who can take a thorough approach to managing your case. It is NOT normal to have gas and bloating regularly. Schedule a call with one of our doctors to discuss this further.