Gas and Bloating During Pregnancy
Why do I seem to have so much gas now that I’m pregnant? Everyone, pregnant or not, has some gas. You may be shocked to learn that the typical person produces in between 1 and 4 pints of gas each day and passes gas about 14 to 23 times a day. When you’re pregnant, you might find yourself belching or passing gas a lot more than normal or needing to unbutton your trousers to ease bloating weeks before you start to show.
Why do you make more gas during pregnancy?
The primary factor is that you have much higher levels of progesterone, a hormone that unwinds smooth muscle tissue throughout your body, including your gastrointestinal tract. This relaxation decreases your digestion, which can cause gas, bloating, burping, and flatulence and usually develop miserable sensations in your gut, specifically after a big meal.
In later pregnancy, your growing uterus crowds your abdominal cavity, additional slowing digestion, and presses on your stomach, making you feel a lot more bloated after eating.
For the same factors, you might also begin to experience heartburn or constipation during pregnancy, even if you’ve never ever been troubled by them before.
Where does gas come from?
Gas gets captured in the digestive tract in two methods: when you swallow air when bacteria in your colon (big intestinal tract) break down undigested food. The majority of stomach gas arise from swallowing air and is normally launched by burping, though a small amount can continue down to the big intestinal tract to be released as flatulence.
The majority of the gas that causes flatulence is produced when bacteria in the big intestine break down food that was incompletely absorbed by enzymes in the stomach and small intestine. Certain carbs are the main perpetrators. (Protein and fat produce little gas directly, although fats, since they decrease food digestion, can add to a sense of bloating and gassiness.).
Some individuals get a great deal of gas from foods that do not trouble others at all. For instance, lactose intolerant folks get bloated and gassy if they have dairy products like milk or ice cream. That’s since they do not make sufficient lactase– the enzyme that breaks down lactose (the sugar in dairy products). Individual variation in the balance of bacteria in the colon may also affect how much gas you make.
Can I get some relief by changing my diet?
The most reliable method to reduce gas may be to cut back on the foods that are more than likely to cause it. However if you got rid of everything that may cause gas, it would be hard to eat a balanced diet.
So start by eliminating the most likely culprits, and if that provides you relief, start including those foods back into your diet one by one to attempt to determine what’s causing the problem for you. Keeping a food diary can help you see the relationship between eating certain foods and having more gas.
Beans, entire grains, and particular veggies– such as cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and asparagus– are common offenders. They consist of the sugar raffinose, that makes a lot of people gassy.
Some people have problem if they have too much fructose, a sugar present in numerous foods. A fairly high amount of naturally happening fructose is present in leeks, onions and scallions, artichokes, dried fruit, pears, apples, honey, and wheat.
Many sodas and fruit beverages are sweetened with a form of fructose called high fructose corn syrup. (It’s a good idea to avoid sodas and fruit beverages anyhow due to the fact that they’re empty calories and the carbonation in sodas can add to bloating.) Many processed foods are likewise made with high fructose corn syrup.
Certain starches (such as wheat, corn, and potatoes, however not rice) can cause gas for some people. And certain fiber-rich foods (such as oat bran, beans, peas, and numerous type of fruit) cause gas since they’re typically broken down in the big intestinal tract.
Wheat bran, on the other hand, essentially travels through your digestive system without getting broken down. This makes wheat bran a good option if you have constipation and require more fiber but also experience flatulence.
People who are lactose intolerant will discover that dairy products give them gas. If you’re highly lactose intolerant, you most likely understood this prior to you got pregnant, considering that dairy may give you diarrhea and abdominal pain.
If you’re only somewhat lactose intolerant and have not been aware of dairy having any impact on you, a dramatic boost in your intake of dairy products during pregnancy might cause you some distress. To prevent this problem, look for lactose-free milk or calcium-fortified soy milk in your grocery store. (If you aren’t consuming any sort of milk, you’ll probably need to take a calcium supplement.).
Finally, attempt to steer clear of high-fat and fried foods.
What else can I do to obtain relief?
These recommendations might lessen the frequency and seriousness of your symptoms:
- Do not eat huge meals. Instead, eat a number of small meals throughout the day.
- Take your time and chew thoroughly. Do not talk while you’re eating.
- Limitation how much you drink during meals. You can offset it during the rest of the day.
- Drink from a cup or glass — not from a bottle or through a straw– and don’t gulp your drinks.
- Prevent soft drinks.
- Avoid anything sweetened with sorbitol, an artificial sweetener.
- Sit up while you’re eating or drinking, even if you’re just having a small snack.
- Wear loose, comfy clothing, and avoid any tightness around your waist and belly.
- Do not chew gum or draw on hard candies.
- Get moving. Even a brisk walk can help your slow digestive tract.
- Care for constipation, since it can contribute to flatulence and a sensation of abdominal bloating.
- Do not smoke. In addition to adding to a host of serious health issue, cigarette smoking boosts stomach level of acidity. (Ideally, this is a routine you must break before getting pregnant. If you’re still smoking and having difficulty giving up, ask your caretaker for a recommendation to a smoking-cessation program.)
- If these relief procedures do not help, ask your practitioner whether you can take an over the counter gas remedy which contains simethicone. (Don’t take triggered charcoal tablets, since they aren’t safe during pregnancy.)
Can gas pain ever be a sign that something is wrong?
Call your specialist if your intestinal discomfort ever feels more like abdominal pain or cramping or is accompanied by blood in your stool, severe diarrhea, constipation, or an increase in (or a new bout of) queasiness and vomiting.
Last modified: September 14, 2016