Gas is usually present in the digestive tract called the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine that comes from two sources, including swallowed air and normal breakdown of certain undigested foods by harmless bacteria naturally present in the large intestine. Air swallowing is the common cause of gas in the stomach. Everyone tend to swallow little or small amounts of air while eating and drinking. Eating and drinking rapidly, chewing gum, or smoking can cause some people to take in more air. Burping or belching is the way most air is swallowed in and causes gastric trouble later. The swallowed gas usually contains nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide leaves the stomach through burps.
Breakdown of undigested foods is also a cause of gastric trouble. When body is unable to digest and absorb carbohydrates, sugar or starches in the small intestine due to the lack of certain enzymes. The undigested food then passes from the small intestine into the large intestine, which normal is harmless bacteria break down the food, producing hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and, in other people, methane. Ultimately these gases are exited through the rectum. Foods may or may not produce gas in a person. Some common bacteria in the large intestine can also kill the hydrogen that other bacteria produce. The balance of the two types of bacteria explains why some people have more gas than others.
Most foods that contain carbohydrates can cause gas. On the other hand, fats and proteins cause little gas. The sugars that cause gas are raffinose, fructose, lactose, and sorbitol. Beans contain large amounts of raffinose sugar. However, fewer amounts are found in cabbage, broccoli, asparagus and whole grains. Fructose naturally exists in onions, pears, and wheat and is largely used as a sweetener in some soft drinks and fruit drinks. Sorbitol also causes gastric trouble. It is a sugar that naturally exists in fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, and prunes. It is also used as an artificial sweetener in many dietetic foods and sugar free candies and gums. Starches are usually present in potatoes, noodles, corn, and wheat; producing gas as they are broken down in the large intestine. Rice is the only starch that does not cause any gas.
The usual symptoms of gas include flatulence, abdominal bloating, abdominal pain and belching. The doctor will first determine the causes of gastric trouble and start with a review of dietary habits and daily activities. If lactase deficiency is the assumed as the cause of gas, the doctor will suggest avoiding milk products for some time. A blood test is used to diagnose lactose intolerance. To determine if someone produces too much gas in the colon or is unusually sensitive to the passage of normal gas volumes, the doctor may ask his patient to count the number of times they pass gas during the day and provide them with the numbers per day. After careful examination and review of dietary habits it can help diagnose the problem faced by gas.
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