Gas and Indigestion

Gas and Indigestion

Everyone has experienced bouts of Gas and Indigestion in their lifetimes.

Who likes the associated symptoms of Abdominal Pain, Gas, Nausea, Heartburn/Acid Indigestion, Bloating, Decreased Appetite and Constipation? Off course no one. A happy stomach promotes a happy mind and vice versa. A well established link has been discovered between healthy stomach and healthy mind by researchers. Over thinking over some issues of life? Kindly stop over thinking, your upset stomach may be due to this reason.

Now, What is Indigestion?

The first definition defines it as the inability to digest or difficulty. The second definition defines it as of experiencing an array of gastrointestinal problems including gas (belching, bloating or flatulence) and upset stomach.

A famous French poet has something to share with us; the axiom goes like this-

 

`Those who give themselves indigestion or get drunk, do not know how to eat or drink’     ~ Jean-Antheleme Brillat-Savarin

 

Sedentary lifestyles, not taking care of your eating habits, not drinking enough water, not doing exercise and taking unwanted stress –these all factors contribute in giving you bouts of gas and indigestion.

When indigestion happens, one may consider it to be a part of acid reflux problem. It is not always acid reflux that is responsible for your indigestion; a constant gas problem too can contribute to the indigestion problem. Gas indigestion problems make you feel as if you are having acid reflux problem. The crux is that everything is related, from your constipation to acid reflux to indigestion to gas problems. Refer this for understanding acid reflux .

Causes of Gas and Indigestion  

As already described Indigestion is a feeling of fullness or discomfort in the upper abdomen accompanied by other associated problems of gas, acidity, upset stomach, nausea etc.Let us try to understand causes of Gas and Indigestion. These are as follows:

Causes of Gas and Indigestion

1- Stress

2- Binging on excessive medications/nutritional supplements

3- Alcohol intake

4- Smoking habits

5- Tea and coffee(both have good caffeine content) on empty stomach

6- Constipation

7- Underlying disease condition like bowel obstruction or Crohn’s disease.

Now from where gas comes and takes a secure place in our digestive tract system? It comes from two sources-

The first one is swallowed air and the second one is from breakdown of undigested foods by harmless bacteria (our compatriots).

Small intestine bacterial overgrowth

Have you heard the term small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)? Ok before answering the curiosity related to SIBO, did u know your gut is a home to many symbiotic bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium etc? .Your gut is healthy only when micro flora of your gut is working in balanced and synchronized way. They improve your digestion by secreting enzymes and vitamins.

  • Now back to the term SIBO. Small intestine bacterial overgrowth is the overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. Whether it is stomach, esophagus or large intestine, these are all component of gut system and each of these parts hosts a particular set of bacteria. Small intestine too has a particular set of bacteria and it is good for small intestine but when bacteria of other parts of digestive system takes residence in small intestine, they end up multiplying giving you stomach discomfort. Stomach discomfort will give you symptoms like upper abdominal bloating and cramping, Gas, Constipation or alternating constipation and diarrhea.
  • An imbalance in micro flora in the gut is indeed the Small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Have you been eating unhealthy food having high proportion of starchy foods? Wait, you are giving bacteria their favorite food. They will perform the biochemical process of fermentation and give you upper abdominal bloating and cramping, Gas, Constipation or alternating constipation and diarrhea.

Are you aware of the term Immune Response?

The defense system of our body constitutes immune system. Immune system consists of proper defense fighting cells [heard of white blood cell (WBC’s)], these cells detect foreign harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses etc. This detection is called immune response system of the body.

A constant small intestine bacterial overgrowth leads to immune response in the gut. Immune response is marked by inflammation which further leads to tissue damage. Joint pain and food allergies can appear as additional symptoms of tissue damage reactions.

One can Improve Digestive System by-

  • Eating Balanced Diet
  • Doing Exercise Regularly
  • Keeping the gut micro flora in balance and synchronization

 
Gas and Indigestion? If you have any other information, Please add in Comments.

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