Is your stomach bothering you? Many individuals face gas, bloating, and toilet issues daily. Although the symptoms are frequently linked to nutrition, specific more meaningful medical concerns may be to blame.
Most people know that beans, broccoli, and onions can induce gas, but they do not often associate fruits, drinks, and milk with this problem. Gas, bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhea are frequently brought on by the sugars lactose (found in dairy products) and fructose (found in fruits and drinks).
The sensitivity to lactose is quite widespread. Between 30 and 50 million Americans are thought to have some lactose sensitivity. A greater proportion of some racial and ethnic groups are impacted than others, including 75% of African Americans, 90% of Asians, and groups including Jews, Hispanics, and Native Americans.
Although less well known, fructose intolerance is also widespread. According to a study by University of Kansas researcher Peter Beyer, RD, fructose causes gas in over half of healthy individuals, which was presented at the annual conference of the American College of Gastroenterology in Seattle. This typical fruit sugar may be found in fruit juice and is added to some soft drinks as a sweetener.
According to experts, keep a journal of your diet and how it relates to your symptoms, and present it to your physician. It may be possible to link particular meals to symptoms and gauge the severity of the issue by carefully reviewing diet and the amount of gas expelled.
Additionally, your doctor can detect lactose and fructose intolerance with certain tests. Beyer advises that individuals with these symptoms get breath testing to see whether fructose is the actual source of their symptoms due to how widespread it is.
However, other experts believe that irritable bowel syndrome may be connected to several instances of gas, bloating, and toilet issues (IBS).
Philadelphia-based independent researcher Mugdha Gore, Ph.D., has investigated the problem. She discovered that most those with intestinal disorders—more than 650 people—had IBS and that taking drugs had no effect on their symptoms.
This week, she delivered a paper at the American College of Gastroenterology’s annual meeting in Seattle.
According to Gore, IBS is among the most prevalent digestive illnesses and can be challenging to diagnose. Many folks experience frequent alternating sensations. While gas and bloating are frequent, other symptoms may include stomach pain or discomfort and abnormal bowel patterns, such as the sudden desire to urinate or being constipated for one week. According to her, the pattern differs from person to person.
IBS’s precise etiology is unknown, although experts believe stress, hormones, and disturbed brain nerve signals may be its triggers.
Many people with minor illnesses never visit a doctor for treatment. Gore tells WebMD there is “great debate as to whether this is a true condition.” “The spastic colon is key. For whatever reason, the colon starts acting strangely in certain people.”
Colon troubles can be “calmed” by prescription drugs such as Prilosec, Zantac, and Pepcid. Gore continues that antidepressants appear to help manage the discomfort. There are over-the-counter pain, antidiarrheal, anti-gas drugs, and two prescription treatments — Lotronex and Zelnorm — that may help some women with the condition.
However, Gore’s study indicated that just one-third of people with gas and bloating benefit from these. She told WebMD that “many more were claiming they weren’t working.”
Gore continues, “Most individuals try to figure it all out through trial and error.” Most patients make dietary changes, such as increasing their fiber intake if they are constipated or cutting out coffee and beans if they are experiencing diarrhea.
She claims that for some people, it affects their quality of life. “Some folks have had pain for a whole year. Some people don’t “go” for weeks on end. Many workdays have had to be missed by some. People are enduring pain. Products for these folks need to be created by the pharmaceutical industry.”
According to Radhika Srinivasan, MD, a gastrointestinal specialist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, people with those conditions typically experience weight loss, blood in the stool, and anemia. The worst-case scenario: gas and bloating might indicate colon cancer or inflammatory bowel disease