Everyone has gas and bloating from time to time, but when they cause chronic, painful symptoms, they can indicate a serious underlying medical issue. Dr. Basseri helps patients in and around Los Angeles, CA, understand the causes of their gas and bloating and determine when medical treatments are needed.

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Gas and bloating occur naturally as your body breaks down food and releases enzymes during the metabolic process. Bloating occurs when gas builds up inside your belly and is usually relieved by passing gas rectally or by burping and releasing gas through your mouth.

What causes gas?

There are lots of factors that can cause gas, including:

  • swallowing air, especially when rushing through a meal
  • consuming specific foods known to cause gas
  • intolerance or sensitivity issues, such as lactose intolerance
  • certain medications and dietary supplements
  • constipation
  • hormone fluctuations
  • medical conditions that block the bowel or cause it to become inflamed or irritated

How can I prevent gas?

There is no way to prevent gas completely – it’s a natural part of digestion. But you can reduce the amount of gas you have by avoiding certain foods that cause gas – especially foods high in fiber like beans or cabbage. Carbonated beverages are also common causes of gas buildup. Taking your time while you eat and avoiding rushing through a meal can help you avoid swallowing air.

How are chronic gas and bloating treated?

While some gas and bloating are normal, when you become uncomfortable from chronic, persistent bloating, it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as gallbladder problems, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). If you have painful gas or bloating o a regular basis, it’s a good idea to schedule a consultation to rule out underlying conditions which could be serious if left untreated. During your office visit, a medical history, physical exam and a description of your symptoms can determine any additional steps that may need to be taken to help relieve painful symptoms of gas and bloating.