It might be embarrassing, but passing gas is a completely healthy and normal function of our digestive systems. Most people pass gas 13 to 21 times a day. That’s because when we eat, we swallow air in addition to whatever foods we’re eating, and eventually that air needs to get out. Gas can also occur when undigested food is being broken down by bacteria in the large intestine. In both instances, our bodies are helping to expel excess materials we don’t need in our systems.
So how do you know if your tummy troubles are gas pain versus something else, like an upset stomach? You’ll have some tell-tale signs that come with gas, said Marvin Singh, MD, an integrative gastroenterologist in San Diego, CA. “If you feel bloated, your stomach is distended, you have a sense of fullness, and more than expected belching or flatulence, this could be an indication of having excess gas,” Dr. Singh said. “Many people get pain and discomfort as a result of this.”
Even if you’re not belching or passing gas, you may still experience gas pain. Pay attention to what’s happening to your stomach, particularly after eating. “Gas pains can feel like a stretching sensation and sometimes people get sharp pains,” Dr. Singh said. How intense gas pains are can also vary. “It can be a low-grade dull feeling and at times it could get worse and bring about more of a pain,” Dr. Singh said.
Most times, gas pain is completely normal and will subside shortly thereafter. But if you have abdominal pain, a change in your bowel habits, vomiting, or any other concerning symptoms associated with gas, it’s worth a visit to your doctor to rule out a more serious issue like an obstruction or blockage in the intestine, Dr. Singh said.
For those occasional times when gas is a pain, try Gas-X Ultra Strength Softgels. Fast-acting with an easy-to-swallow softgel coating, Gas-X Ultra Strength Softgels help you get relief from gas and bloating when you need it most!