A normal human being passes gas at least 10 to 20 times a day, passing gas can be an embarrassing yet alleviating affair, depending on the circumstance one is in. You do not want it catching up with you in the office, elevator or a room full of people, but most people do not mind letting it rip when they are in the comfort of their own privacy.
Failure to relieve your body of intestinal gas (flatus), results in accumulation of gas and eventually gas pain, a sharp, short lived and intense pain which quickly shifts about in the abdomen.
Gas pains are usually caused by anything that causes intestinal gas as well as constipation and diarrhea.
The most common symptoms of gas pan include;
- Passing of gas whether intentionally or unintentionally.
- Sharp piercing pain and cramping in the abdomen.
- A knot like feeling in the abdomen.
- Bloating and tightness in the abdomen.
Causes of Gas pains.
Intestinal gas can be caused by a number of things, related and unrelated to food. The most common being foods that are difficult for the body to digest, this includes starchy foods, dairy products, artificially sweetened foods like sodas, highly carbonated drinks like alcohol, and some fruits like pears, bananas and raw apples.
Other causes include, chronic health conditions like an inflammatory bowel, swallowing air while eating or drinking, eating and chewing food quickly and in a hurry hence not allowing it to be properly broken down for digestion, intolerance to some foods like beans or other dairy products, laxatives, antibiotics, and constipation.
Common remedies for gas pains.
We cannot rid ourselves of gas nor completely cure gas pain, but we can treat and prevent gas pains. The most common prevention and treatment methods range from both medical and conventional fields; here are some prevention tips;
- Let it rip, do not hold gas in your body for too long, find time to go to the bathroom or a private place and relieve yourself of intestinal gas.
- Take short walks after meals to enable stimulation of the passage of gas through the digestive tract.
- Eat, drink and chew your food slowly and thoroughly.
- Avoid foods that are a common source of gas.
- Drink 30 minutes before meals.
- Take beano, a digestive aid sold in chemists that allows the body to digest sugar in beans and vegetables. Take it before meals. Heating it degrades its effectiveness, so do not cook it with your food.
We cannot always manage to avoid and prevent gas pains, so how do we treat gas pains in the event that it has already caught up with us;
- Antacids which usually contain simethicone, this is a foaming agent that mixes with the gas bubbles and enables one to burp out the excess gas easily.
- Herbal remedies like drinking hot water with some peppermint or tea with ginger or chamomile.
- Activated charcoal tablets. Although this may result in constipation or a black stool.
- Drink plenty of water.
If your gas pains are accompanied by nausea or vomiting, a bloody stool, weight loss, fever and chest pains, it is recommended that you seek immediate treatment from a doctor. Severe, prolonged and recurrent abdominal pain might not be the usual gas pain and one should also seek medical attention.