Thursday, February 28, 2013

Constipation Side-effects - Stomach Bloating and Excessive gas

Intestinal and stomach gas

Stomach bloating with excessive gas is one of the very common harmful constipation side
effects. There can be many reasons for stomach gas, constipation is one of them.
Stomach and intestinal gas consists of 3 components:

  1. Air swallowed during eating and drinking, that includes drinking carbonated drinks like beer, soda and other soft drinks.
  2. Gas generated during 2. digestion process.
  3. Gas generated inside the colon.
Much of the air swallowed comes out by belching, but not all of it. Some of it gets trapped in food and gets carried into the intestines. Gas that comes out by belching normally has no offensive smell.

Gas generated inside during digestion process travels into the colon and goes out through the rectum. It is flatus, meaning, mixture of gases. The process of flatus coming out of the rectum is called farting or flatulence. Unless you are constipated, flatus doesn’t smell bad.

It is natural that some amount of gas is produced during digestion of food. On the average, a healthy adult produces a liter of gas. This doesn’t form part of constipation side effects.

Excessive flatus that causes stomach bloating is produced due to the following reasons:

  1. Health of your digestive system. Sluggish digestion process produces more gas. For example, if you drink good amount of water just before, during or immediately after food, the digestive juices get diluted. It makes the digestion process slow and causes fermentation of food. Fermentation releases gas.
  2. Proteins: Food rich in proteins, starch and fat makes the digestion process slow and cause release of more gas.
  3. Mixing foods: Eating slow and fast digesting foods together. For example, fruits get digested very fast. Vegetables, pulses etc take more time. Non-veg food is much slower. If you eat them together, fast digesting food gets fermented since it stays along with other food. Fermentation causes release of gas.
  4. Health of the small intestine. Movement of food in the small intestine is facilitated by the peristaltic movement of intestine muscles. Dehydrated body or unhealthy intestine can make the muscular movement sluggish or irregular. Slow movement of food causes fermentation and release of gas.
  5. Constipation. More gas is generated inside the colon because of constipation.
  6. Health of your colon. Once the undigested food, toxins, dead cells and bacteria enters the colon, it is garbage and should be removed from the body as soon as possible. If you are constipated, the waste stays much longer inside the colon than required, may be more than a week. This stool gets putrefied and cause release of offensive gas.
  7. Medicines: Certain medications can cause release of gas. For example, Precose or Acarbose used for diabetes can cause excessive gas.
 Let us have more details about point no.5 and 6 since it is the subject of our discussion.- Constipation side effects.

How constipation causes gas and stomach bloating?

If you don’t have regular and complete evacuation, you are constipated. Constipation causes are many. Two major ones are:

  1. Dehydrated body. If you are habitually drinking less water, the stool has less water content and moves much slower in the colon. As it moves, more water gets absorbed from it and becomes hard and dry. Dry stool stays longer in the colon. Germs and bacteria cause fermentation and rotting of stool, causing more gas.. Peristaltic movement of the colon, which makes stool move forward, is also sluggish and irregular in a dehydrated body, making things worse.
  2. Low fiber diet. Lack of enough fiber in the food. Fiber makes the stool bulky and helps to retain more water in the stool, making it soft and movement easy. Insufficient fiber results in hard compacted stool, making its movement difficult.
How to reduce stomach gas caused by constipation?

 Whether stomach bloating is the result of constipation or not, if you have constipation, get rid of it.
  • If your constipation is long standing, your colon surely has stool stagnated for days, may be weeks. The immediate action is, clean your colon. The best colon cleanse is colon cleansing enema with plain water.
    • It is safe
    •  No side effects
    • Not habit forming
    • You can do it yourself at home
    • No need to abstain from work
    • Doesn’t pinch your pocket. You just need an enema kit.
You need to repeat the process for 6 to 7 days so that the hardened stool sticking to the walls of the colon gets softened and dislodged.
  • Once you colon is clean, you have less chance of stomach bloating since gas produced because of constipation also gets cleaned up. Now you need to make sure that constipation doesn’t come back. Since one of the main causes of constipation is dehydration, it is important to be aware of

    • The importance of drinking water.
    •  Benefits of drinking water.
    • How much water to drink?
    • When to drink water and how to pass stool twice?
  • Make sure that you have enough fiber content in your diet. Low fiber diet is another major cause for constipation. Reduce non-veg food, as it has zero fiber.
  • Eat good amount of fruits, vegetable juices, vegetables and green leafy vegetables.
  • Alcoholic beverages make your body dehydrated. Avoid them. Chances of stomach bloating is more serious with regular use of alcohol.
  • Have reasonable amount of physical activity. Physical exercises are very important for a healthy body.
  • As far as possible, don’t hold stool. You get habituated and your body stops giving indications.
  • If you ever feel stomach bloating, lie down and relax. Flatus escapes when you lie down. You can try 3 positions – lie on your back, on your right side and on your left side, 5 minutes in each position. Flatus escapes this way.
  • Pavanamuktasana is effective in releasing flatus. Press you thighs and knees against the chest and belly. This asana releases gas trapped in the colon.
 Tips for proper bowel movement: Keep your mind on the colon a few minutes before and during evacuation. Don’t carry a book, news paper, cell phone etc. into the toilet. They divert your mind.

The only effective way to treat constipation side effects like stomach bloating and excessive gas is to get rid of constipation. Go for medication only when it is a must. A number of health problems can be solved through modification of eating habits and lifestyle. It is more safe, effective and permanent this way.


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  3. Thank you Jana you are right because he is better now so I will watch to see if he gets worse again cause as of yesterday I stopped immodium... Thank you for talking about how to stop farting fast using home remedies . again thanks!

  4. Great blog post and really helpful...... and your blog are very interesting and inspiring.