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4 Steps to Naturally Eliminate Gas and Bloating

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There are two places where intestinal gas can collect: in the large intestine and in the small intestine. Some gas is always produced during the digestive process.

What happens to this gas?

  • It is absorbed into the bloodstream and eventually exhaled.
  • It is released. This is known as flatulence or just "gas."
  • It is recycled by other microbes in the gut.
  • It accumulates and creates pressure against the intestinal wall.
If your body is producing excessive gas, this is sign that large quantities of food are going through the gut undigested.

Dr. Fernando Azpiroz of the Hospital General Vall d'Hebron in Barcelona, Spain, points out that some intestinal gas is entirely normal. As part of the digestive process, everyone experiences gas in the digestive tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine.1 If your inner ecosystem is healthy, your body can evacuate this gas without any discomfort. It's when gas causes pain and other symptoms that it becomes a problem.

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Gas in the Small Intestine

Gas produced in the small intestine typically means something entirely different than gas produced in the large intestine. Because gas in the small intestine has nowhere to go, it easily accumulates and puts pressure against the intestinal wall. When enough pressure builds, your body reads this as pain. This mostly occurs somewhere above the belly button, where much of the small intestine is found.

Symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Cramping
  • Intense pain

The small intestine should be relatively free of microbial communities that can create gas. Thus, gas in the small intestine could indicate that something has gone awry. Small intestinal gas is a pretty sure indication of bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine—otherwise known as SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth).

Mark Pimentel, Director of the Gastrointestinal Motility Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, discovered that gas produced by bacteria in the small intestine might cause either constipation or diarrhea.2 Research published in the journal Gastroenterology & Hepatology asserts that while SIBO is still poorly understood in the medical community, it is more prevalent than ever. Patients with SIBO may experience mild to severe symptoms, as serious as chronic diarrhea, weight loss, and malabsorption. Effective SIBO treatment must address the underlying cause, offer nutritional support, and treat bacterial overgrowth.3 

Gas in the Large Intestine

Gas in the large intestine is a normal byproduct of large microbial communities.

Gas in the large intestine is mainly expressed as flatulence. Typically, there is little pain associated with gas in the large intestine. Any sensation we feel is usually its movement down the tract until it eventually is released.

Remember, the microbes in our gut form strong communities, mostly within the large intestine. So, some amount of gas or flatulence is normal. However, if your body is producing excessive gas, this is sign that large quantities of food are going through the gut undigested. It can also be a sign of fermentation, or essentially the rotting of food within the gut.

What does this mean? It could mean a number of things, and the reason will be different for each person:

  • Your body does not have the enzymatic power to digest food.
  • You are consuming too much of one food, which can overwhelm all the elements necessary to fully break down food material.

In this case, following the Body Ecology Principle of 80/20 is especially useful because it means that your digestive system will have all the tools its needs to properly handle foods.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, exciting new research into some digestive conditions (like IBS) that may cause gas is on the horizon. A medical probiotic has been tested for safety and efficacy in the phase 1 Safety Study of Probiotics in Adults with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, funded by the NIH. An acupuncture/moxibustion clinical trial for IBS, also funded by the NIH, is in progress. The results from these trials may give patients the tools to play a more active role in their healthcare—by addressing the underlying cause of chronic gas.5

How to Remedy Gas and Bloating in 4 Steps

  1. Find the source

In the case of gas, it is important to first determine where the gas is being made:

  • If it is produced in the small intestine, there will be intense abdominal discomfort because gas is trapped in the small intestine. Small intestinal gas indicates bacterial overgrowth.
  • If gas is produced in the large intestine, there is flatulence. Flatulence tells us to look at diet and food combining principles.
  1. Use Body Ecology principles

Following the 7 Principles of the Body Ecology Diet, especially the Principle of 80/20, may be enough to control excessive gas in both the large intestine and the small intestine.

  1. Starve bad bacteria

If there is still too much gas produced in the small intestine, you may want to try to starve the bacteria that have taken over this area.

This means to:

  • Eliminate sugars from the diet.
  • Hold off on adding a prebiotic supplement to your diet or consuming too many soluble fibers from food.
  1. Replenish good bacteria

Adding beneficial bacteria and increasing enzymatic power in the gut assist both the small and large intestine:

What To Remember Most About This Article:

Gas in the small intestine is different from gas in the large intestine. Gas in the small intestine will build up and put pressure on the intestinal wall to cause bloating, cramping, and pain. For this reason, gas in the small intestine could be an indication of bacterial overgrowth, also called SIBO.

To remedy gas naturally, use these simple steps:

  1. Determine where the gas is being made—in the small or large intestine.
  2. Follow the principles of the Body Ecology Diet to control gas in the small and large intestines.
  3. Starve bacteria in the small intestine to stop gas from being produced.
  4. Add beneficial bacteria to increase the enzymatic power of the gut, improving digestion in both the small and large intestines.
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REFERENCES:

  1. Adapted from IFFGD publication #214 by Fernando Azpiroz, MD, PhD, Chief Section GI Research, University Hospital Vall d’Hebron, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
  2. Mark Pimentel, et al. Methane, a gas produced by enteric bacteria, slows intestinal transit and augments small intestinal contractile activity. AJP - GI June 2006 vol. 290 no. 6 G1089-G1095.
  3. Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2007 Feb; 3(2): 112–122.
  4. Trinidad P. Trinidad, et al. Dietary fiber from coconut flour: A functional food. Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies 7 (2006) 309–
  5. NIH Publication No. 13–883. November 2012.

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  • Georgina osineye

    Thanks for this I have learnt a lot am gonna be very careful

  • Corey Devine

    You mentioned that Grain-Like seeds such are not allowed if SIBO is the culprit, however are starchy vegetables like Red Potatoes, winter squash, ore corn ok to consume?

  • Ann Marie Giorgi

    I read article in Bottom Line and I want to try food chart to see if it can help.

  • http://www.ferriercustomhomes.com don

    Over the past year I have accumulted some belly fat for the first time in my adult life and added 10 pounds to my normal weight. I am now 194 pounds at 6' 1". Over the past 8 months, for the first time, I have experienced bloating regularly and more recently, a lot of gas. I am 60, in very good physical shape & eat very, very healthy. I will try your recommendations. Thanks!

  • http://Http://www.naomirules.com Naomi

    Thank you for clearing this up. I'll be sharing this information with my clients. As you get leaner, bloat shows all the more.

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