symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome trapped wind and excessive gas


Trapped wind can be just an embarrassing condition, but it can also be painful and/or an indication of another underlying gastrointestinal problem suck as irritable bowel syndrome.

Trapped wind is a build-up of gas in your stomach and lower intestines. Although it is natural for your digestive systems to produce gas, the problem starts when this gas gets trapped and is not expelled naturally.

The main source of gas is carbon dioxide which is produced naturally by chemical reactions in the intestines.

Our gut contains gas because we swallow air when we swallow saliva, food and drink. The saliva contains bicarbonate which reacts with stomach acid, producing carbon dioxide gas. Approximately 500 types of bacteria live in our intestines. These act on food, releasing hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide.

Some of the intestinal gas is absorbed into the bloodstream and is eventually exhaled via the lungs. Because of social considerations we hold wind in so more passes into the bloodstream and then to the lungs. The result is that in social situations our breath contains an increased amount of hydrogen.

The greatest part of intestinal gas is gotten rid of by breaking wind, belching and flatulence.

What causes excessive wind?

Swallowing air with saliva. Swallowing air while eating or drinking.

Overeating leads to belching as the stomach attempts to relieve the discomfort and distension by expelling the stomach air.

Certain foods produce more gas. Foods that have a high proportion of carbohydrates cannot be broken down and absorbed in the intestine and will cause flatulence. Beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, raisins and prunes fall into this category. Slimming foods that contain sorbitol or fructose as well as fruit like apples and fruit juices also cause flatulence.

Smoking, chewing on pen tops etc. causes more saliva to be produced and swallowed. Chewing gum will produce more saliva plus it contains sorbitol.

Trying to belch . Some will suck a small amount of air into the stomach in trying to belch, and it could soon become an unnoticed habit.

Tight clothing increases the pressure on the abdomen and makes it much more difficult for wind to pass along normally, resulting in trapped wind.

As we get older our digestive juices are not produced as efficiently. The result is that more carbohydrate foods pass untouched to the lower bowel. Here they are fermented by the bacteria, producing gas.

Gulping drinks will result in air being swallowed. Fizzy drinks are an obvious contributor. Hot drinks tend to make you swallow air.

Intestinal disease and conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Spastic Colon) and Lactose intolerance will result in build up of wind. Intestinal spasms can result in bloatedness and the trapped wind can cause intense abdominal pain. This is normally accompanied by diarrhea or constipation.

home remedy

Trapped wind: Control and Solutions

Keep track of what foods you eat and note your reaction to them. This will help you to identify and eliminate the foods that cause you to produce the most gas.
Eat slowly. Eat smaller meals more often.
Chew your food well. Swallowing lumps of food will more likely result in you swallowing more air with it. Well-chewed food has been mixed well with saliva which helps digestion.
Minimize hot drinks and avoid fizzy drinks. Stop smoking. Avoid chewing gum. Don't suck your pen top.

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