W. Steven Pray, PhD, DPhBernhardt Professor, Nonprescription Products and also DevicesCollege the Pharmacy, SouthwesternOklahoma State UniversityWeatherford, Oklahoma 

US Pharm. 2009;34(12):16-22.

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Patients often think about pharmacists as experts to who they deserve to confide embarrassing medical problems in the hope that the pharmacist will provide some assistance. One such problem is ab bloating, often thought to be due to excess intestinal gas. However, patients may likewise experience abdominal muscle discomfort castle attribute come gas, however can be brought about by number of serious clinical conditions.

Prevalence of Bloating and also Gas

The pervasiveness of minister gas and bloating is unknown, together reliable large-scale studies do not exist. However, bloating and flatulence (defined as excessive air or other gas in the stomach and/or intestines) room two the the most usual complaints because that which patient seek clinical care.1

Manifestations the Bloating and also Gas

Bloating and also gas can cause several complaints or coexist through them. Patient complain of too much belching (eructation).2Belching is a normal response during or after ~ a meal, especially one the was consumed so rapidly that the patient additionally swallowed air. However, part patients gulp down air deliberately to facilitate belching, a practice that can develop into an unconscious habit. Thus, if civilization burp excessively, they might be chronic waiting swallowers. Patients may deny the they sloop down air as a nervous habit, forcing medical professionals to give them a mirror to watch the illustration themselves.

Flatulence is a common and logical repercussion of minister gas. Typical patients through no pathology or basic medical problem produce 1 to 4 pints of intestinal gas every day and also flatulate 14 come 23 times daily.2,3

Abdominal distention is boost in abdominal girth the is generally ascribed to extreme intestinal gas.2,4This perception is frequently incorrect, as countless such patients have normal amounts of gas. Rather, investigators believe that this patients have a heightened awareness of minister gas. Thus, even normal quantities of gas reason troublesome symptoms.

Abdominal pain is one more complaint frequently thought come be due to gas.2,3It may arise indigenous either side of the colon, mimicking such problems as love disease, gallstones, and appendicitis.

Possible reasons of Bloating and also Gas

Various resources of overfill gas have been identified, consisting of air swallowing, diet, lactose intolerance, and also irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Aerophagia:Aerophagia, or waiting swallowing, has actually long been thought to it is in responsible for bloating and gas, as previously described.5,6But there had actually been little evidence to assistance the hypothesis, as logical as it sounds. However, in 2009, investigators shown the hypothesis by assessing swallowing frequency in general and air swallowing frequency in certain in patients with suspected aerophagia.5They identified a group of patients with typical complaints that bloating, ab distention, flatulence, and/or too much belching. Abdominal x-rays evidenced the visibility of excessive abdominal gas, the presumed source of the complaints. The researchers carried out 24-hour pH-impedance surveillance on subjects, finding out that swallowing frequency because that the 24-hour period was regular (741 +/- 71 episodes), however the variety of air swallows and gastric belches was too much (521 +/- 63 and 126 +/-37, respectively). Thus, the advice presented in this month’sPatient Informationsection about air swallowing might be valuable for this patients.

Diet:Diet is a significant cause the bloating and also gas. One of the most typical dietary worries is eating foods that cannot be digested in the cradle (GI) tract because of a absence of the vital enzymes.1,2

If details food residues (mostly carbohydrates) reach the large intestine, typical bacterial occupants utilize them together food sources, creating carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and sometimes methane as by-products.1,2Exactly i beg your pardon foods reason gas different from person to person. Some patients’ bowel microorganisms destroy hydrogen, lessening your intestinal gas burden.2Nevertheless, some foodstuffs are universally established as gas producers.

Carbohydrate-containing foods are among the most common culprits in leading to intestinal gas, whereas fatty foods and proteins are rarely responsible.1,2,7Raffinose is one such complex sugar, being discovered in the indigestible particle coatings of beans, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, various other vegetables, and also whole grains.2Fructose is one more offender, discovered in onions, artichokes, pears, and wheat; the is also used together an artificial sweetener. Sorbitol is additionally an fabricated sweetener, however it is a naturally arising component of apples, pears, peaches, and prunes. Sorbitol is a reason of “Halloween diarrhea,” a phenomenon skilled by many youngsters who consume big amounts of liquid on Halloween night. Plenty of patients also report the psyllium ingested come ensure regularity causes gas (e.g., Metamucil, Konsyl). These patients may advantage by convert to methylcellulose, one FDA-approved fiber supplement that is no fermented by colonic bacteria (e.g., Citrucel).

Lactose Intolerance:Lactose intolerance (LI) is another form of carbohydrate malabsorption, questioned separately due to the fact that of its different etiologies.1Lactase uncovered in the brush border cell of the little intestine is necessary for break lactose down right into its ingredient sugars for absorption. Lactase deficiency is the underlying defect behind LI.

There space two significant types that LI. Castle share the very same consequences, in the undigested lactose will the minister tract, where the colonic microbiota digest it, developing gas, diarrhea, bloating, borborygmus, and also a hold of other complaints, start as early on as 30 minute after ingestion.8,9The more common form of LI is the major form, skilled by many of the world’s peoples, including those that African, aboriginal American, and also Asian heritage. In main LI, lactase task drops high solution after weaning from breast milk, till it is virtually absent. Drink milk or ingesting dairy product products reasons the symptoms to begin.

Some people likewise suffer from second LI. Lock normally develop lactase together adults, but an environmental insult or surgical procedure compromises their capacity to execute so. Feasible causes of second LI incorporate chemotherapy, diarrheal diseases, small intestine resection, or celiac disease.1Pharmacists can direct patients v suspected LI to lactase-containing supplements (e.g., Lactaid) or lactose-free dairy products products.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome:IBS causes abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, constipation, and also diarrhea.10-12About 20% of Americans suffer from IBS, perhaps due to colonic hypersensitivity to certain foods or in solution to stressful situations.11Pharmacists have to refer patients v suspected IBS come a medical professional for a full evaluation, however they can additionally advise patient to store a food diary to assist identify dietary causes of IBS. Elimination of details foods and drinks (e.g., chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, cola, tea, peppers, onions) might be all the is needed to carry out relief.


Nonprescription Products

Pharmacists have the right to recommend two varieties of nonprescription products other 보다 lactose-intolerance products. One group of products contains simethicone, a nontoxic and also hypoallergenic ingredient that is FDA approved together safe and also effective in breaking under bubbles or froth in the GI tract, return the total amount of gas continues to be the same.1Simethicone’s usefulness might be due to several factors. Some patients might experience abdominal discomfort together normal quantities of intestinal gas move through them. To reduce froth may enable the gas to happen through an ext readily. Further, patients using simethicone may be able to eliminate gas in several bigger episodes, reducing the perception of extreme gas. Commodities with simethicone incorporate Mylanta Gas, Phazyme, and also Gas-X. The dosage is typically 1 or 2 devices as needed after meals and at bedtime.

Alpha-galactosidase is another means to protect against bloating and also gas.1,13This is an enzyme acquired fromAspergillus niger, and also it has the ability to failure the oligosaccharide linkages that people cannot digest. The patience is then able to absorb the single-component sugar residues. In research experimenting the enzyme’s efficacy, subjects ingested 2 meals that meatless chili created of several varieties of beans, cabbage, cauliflower, and also onions.14They were given either a placebo or the commercially available alpha-galactosidase product, recognized asBeano. Beano reduced the number of flatulence occasions at every times except for 2 hrs postingestion. The effect was most pronounced 5 hours after the meal.14

To usage Beano solution, the patience places approximately 5 autumn on the very first bite of difficult food, such together beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, grains, cereals, nuts, seeds, and also whole-grain breads.13That amount typically covers a half-cup serving of food. If the meal consists of 2 or 3 servings the the food, the patient should ar 10 to 15 fall on the meal. However, if the patient still experiences flatulence, the amount deserve to be readjusted upward till an reliable dose is reached. The patient may additionally swallow or chew a Beano tablet computer with the an initial bite of food or crumble the onto the very first bite. One tablet computer usually digests a half-cup serving; much more tablets have the right to be provided for bigger portions. Patients cannot cook with Beano due to the fact that of heat-induced enzyme degradation. Patients through galactosemia need to consult a physician prior to use due to the fact that enzymatic deterioration of oligosaccharides to produce galactose. Beano is labeled only for patients aged 12 years and above. While it appears to it is in safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding, there space no studies to confirm that observation. In ~ one time, the manufacturer recommended the patients allergic to molds not use Beano, however the present view is that the caution is not supported by clinical literature.13

Addition Diets

Pharmacists can also advise patient to experience an enhancement diet.15With this method, the patience eliminates all foods and drinks that space thought to produce symptoms. If symptoms improve, the patient proceeds the diet for numerous days until reaching a viewed normal level, a state well-known asnormoflatulence.15Then one brand-new food or drink is added, and the patient documents the results in a diary, paying particular attention come the intensity of the symptoms. Patients must discontinue any troublesome food because that the duration of the enhancement diet and add another doubt food or drink after 48 hours. After several weeks of complying with this simple procedure, the patient begins to construct a file of daunting foods. Eventually all suspected foods will it is in identified, and the patient will have actually a much far better idea of exactly how to choose foods and also drinks, also when visiting a restaurant.



Swallowing Air

When friend swallow air, it have to either it is in burped up or expelled as gas. Several troubles can cause one come swallow air. Dentures that perform not fit well reason you to swallow more saliva, i m sorry is blended with waiting bubbles. If this is a possible cause, you have to see the dental skilled who fitted her dentures to have them adjusted. If you have postnasal discharge, you often tend to swallow more than normal, allowing more air to get in your stomach. Cautious use that a nasal decongestant (e.g., Sudafed, Afrin) might help. Smoking cigarettes cigarettes, cigars, or pipes and also using chewing tobacco can increase salivation and also contribute to excessive bloating, as can talking as well much.

Some world belch excessively, either as a nervous habit or possibly as a source of humor. To attain intentional belching, the person often very first swallows air, complied with by the belching. However, that or she rarely releases all of the swallowed air, and it becomes flatulence.

Dietary Issues

Eating too rapidly causes you come swallow extra air. You must slow her eating and chew the food thoroughly before swallowing it. Chewing gum and sucking on difficult candy also increase the quantity of swallowed air, so this practices have to be reduced.

An easy way to help minimize bloating and gas is to emphasis on carbonated beverages (e.g., Coke, Pepsi). Manufacturers intentionally add carbonation to every one of these sodas to offer the products their “fizz.” as soon as the party or have the right to is agitated before being opened, anyone knows what the an outcome will be—a an excellent deal of bubbly drink top top the floor. Together a human drinks the beverage, the carbonation bubbles get in the stomach. If they are not belched out, they come to be excess flatulence. Many people could mitigate gas problems dramatically by simply eliminating every carbonated beverages. If a person refuses to take it this basic step, maybe he or she have the right to be encouraged to enable the drinks to sit out on the counter at room temperature for number of hours, which enables them to go flat and also thus reduce the amount of swallowed gas.

The very same advice can be provided to beer drinkers. Beer consists of gas, as shown by the frothy head that develops when it is poured. Friend should completely eliminate it from her diet to see if her symptoms improve.

A major dietary reason of gas is beans, and also other foodstuffs with indigestible components, such together cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli. Her intestinal bacteria usage these components as foods, producing gas together a by-product.

Lactose intolerance likewise contributes to gas and also bloating. It is finest to prevent dairy products or to take it supplements the contain lactase, such as Lactaid.

Consult your Pharmacist

There are numerous OTC commodities you have the right to take to aid relieve symptoms. Her pharmacist have the right to assist you by advising top top the use of simethicone (e.g., Gas-X, Mylanta Gas, Phazyme), i m sorry eases removed of gas. Beano, a product that reduces the amount of gas, is a liquid solution that deserve to be used directly to food or taken as a tablet prior to eating

Remember, if you have actually questions, Consult your Pharmacist.


1. Pray WS.Nonprescription Product Therapeutics.2nd ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006.2. Gas in the cradle tract. NIDDK.http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gas/. Accessed October 29, 2009.3. Gas—flatulence. MedlinePlus.www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003124.htm. Accessed October 29. 2009.4. Agrawal A, Whorwell PJ. Testimonial article: abdominal muscle bloating and distension in sensible gastrointestinal disorders—epidemiology and also explorations of feasible mechanisms.Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2008;27:2-10.5. Hemmink GJ, Weusten BL, Bredenoord AJ, et al. Aerophagia: too much air swallowing demonstrated by esophageal impedance monitoring.Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009;7:1127-1129.6. Azpiroz F. Intestinal gas dynamics: mechanisms and also clinical relevance.Gut. 2005;54:893-895.7. Hernot DC, Boileau TW, Bauer LL, et al. In vitro fermentation profiles, gas production rates, and microbiota modulation as impacted by specific fructans, galactooligosaccharides, and polydextrose.J Agric Food Chem. 2009;57:1354-1361.8. Saulnier DM, Kolida S, Gibson GR. Microbiology the the human being intestinal tract and approaches for its dietary modulation.Curr Pharm Des. 2009;15:1403-1414.9. Ozdemir O, Mete E, Catal F, et al. Food intolerances and eosinophilic esophagitis in childhood.Dig Dis Sci. 2009;54:8-14.10. Gasbarrini A, Lauritano EC, Garcovich M, et al. Brand-new insights right into the pathophysiology that IBS: intestinal microflora, gas production and gut motility.Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2008;12(suppl 1):111-117.11. Irritable bowel syndrome. NIDDK.http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/ibs/. Accessed October 29, 2009.12. Rana SV, Sharma S, Sinha SK, et al. Incidence of primary methanogenic flora in irritable bowel syndrome patients and also apparently healthy and balanced controls from north India.Dig Dis Sci. 2009;54:132-135.13. Beano FAQs. GlaxoSmithKline.www.beanogas.com/FAQ.aspx. Accessed October 29, 2009.14. Ganiats TG, Norcross WA, Halverson AL, et al. Walk Beano avoid gas? A double-blind crossover examine of dental alpha-galactosidase to treat dietary oligosaccharide intolerance.J Fam Pract. 1994;39:441-445.15. Clearfield HR. Clinical intestinal gas syndromes.Prim Care. 1996;23:621-628.16. Adolf Hitler had negative table manners and also suffered flatulence.

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Telegraph. February 17, 2009.www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4678840/Adolf-Hitler-had-poor-table-manners-and-suffered-flatulence.html. Accessed October 29, 2009.