Who cut the cheese? You've probably heard this thrown around during grade school, a time when the accidental toot was equal to social suicide. Fast forward to today and it’s still a hush hush topic. But sometimes we need to discuss it, especially if it means our health may be in jeopardy. What exactly is gas and is it ever a concern? We did some digging to find out when you should take notice and talk to your doctor.
Gas is a totally natural result of our digestive system doing its job, which is to essentially release excess air that builds up inside our bodies when we eat. As we know, certain foods are bigger culprits than others, but even swallowing excess air can cause gas. There is an entire medical branch devoted to the study of the digestive system which handles excess gas called gastroenterology.
If you find yourself experiencing one of the following, you may want to consult your doctor who could refer you to a gastroenterologist.
Extremely Stinky Gas
Depending on the source, (food or swallowing excess air) your gas may or may not carry an odor. It’s totally normal to have a moderate amount of gas that “stinks” but if it becomes excessive or smells exceptionally foul, it may mean something. It could be linked a . Either way, it’s time to get it checked out if you’re clearing rooms. food sensitivity or possibly a bacterial overgrowth
We’ve all had days when we experience light to moderate cramping due to excess gas. We typically find relief after a bowel movement. We could have eaten something particularly “gassy” that day, or our menstrual cycle could play a role. Yet when the pain won’t subside after a bowel movement or lasts longer than usual, it could signal a bigger problem. Sometimes it can mean there’s
of some kind and the gas isn’t finding the exit door like it should. a blockage
Excessive Gas & Bloating
Sometimes where there’s gas, there’s bloating. When gas builds up in your body, it can cause your abdomen to expand from the pressure and lead to that dreaded “bloat”. It’s only a concern when excessive and causing more pain than it should be. It’s possible that is at play which can mean severe bloating, inflammation and pain. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Once in awhile, your bowel movements will be accompanied by some “farts” throughout the process. It’s normal, but a lot of farting could indicate something else is at play. In addition, if your
, excess gas or other factors could be the culprit and should get checked out. It’s possible your stools "float" instead of sink and the result could be super gassy stools. Your pancreas is an extremely important organ that needs to be at its best, so get it looked at if there’s any concern. pancreas isn’t digesting food properly
Some people just can’t seem to cut a break in the gas department. If your body’s producing more gas than it should, you’ll find yourself continually struggling to hold it in or running to the bathroom on the regular. If it interrupts your daily life, it’s time to see what the problem might be. It could mean a simple diet change is in order, or something more severe such as IBS.
Occasional burps aren’t a big deal. What you should pay attention is when the burps taste or smell like sulfur, better known as “sulfur burps”. These stinky ruptures can smell like rotten eggs and are a possible sign of IBS. Even worse, they could be associated with the parasite Giardia . Your doctor will be able to know what’s causing the issue so don’t hold back in letting them know about it.
We’ve covered the pain associated with gas and cramping, but if it’s painful to pass gas itself, there could be a reason why. A burning or stinging sensation during the pass is particularly concerning as it might indicate anal fissures or hemorrhoids. Don't worry, these aren't serious, but they’re painful and could become serious if left untreated.