There is nothing fun about experiencing trapped gas or wind. No, not the wind that travels through the air or gas from a gas tank…but gas from your intestines. Trapped gas is commonly experienced among adults, babies and children. Most people pass gas without even realizing it because it is such a normal body function. Sometimes the intestinal gas that is trapped within your body can cause harmless discomfort. The trapped wind or gas is essentially stuck in your body and it has no way of escaping! Fortunately, trapped gas symptoms can be cured. Although trapped gas may seem like the worst thing to happen, it is not life-threatening.
Since trapped wind or gas is extremely common, there are many causes for this action to occur. The most common cause of trapped wind occurs in newborn is because their bodies are still learning to function and grow outside of their mother’s uterus. Newborns can become colic when they are roughly 2 weeks old and it usually goes away on its own by 3-4 months. Bottle-fed babies are more likely to endure episodes of trapped gas because they are sucking from a bottle, which can lead to air swallowing. Trapped gas in newborns cause them to cry and become extremely fussy, not fun for new-parents or the baby. Other causes of trapped gas include the following:
- Constant gum chewing
- Drinking a lot of soda or fizzy drinks
- Excessive speakers (talking a lot)
- Wearing tight clothing
- Eating high gas producing foods (ex: beans, broccoli and wheat)
- Recently having surgery
- Unhealthy Diet
- Celiac Disease
- Being Lactose Intolerant
- Chronic constipation
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Ovarian Cancer
Signs and Symptoms
There are many ways that you or your doctor can tell if you are experiencing trapped gas symptoms. Below is a list of the signs and symptoms to look for if you think you have trapped wind.
- Belching or Burping- While it may be normal to disrupt the dinner table with a burp or two, excessive belching can be one of the first and most common symptoms of trapped gas.
- Flatulence or lack thereof- It is a normal bodily function to pass gas at least 10-20 times per day. However, if you have stopped passing gas for a couple of days, it may be a good idea to get checked out.
- Abdominal Bleeding- If you are bleeding when you are trying to release the trapped wind in your body, then you should be concerned about trapped gas.
- Abdominal Pain- Trapped gas is going to have a huge impact on your abdomen and can cause you much discomfort. The pain can be like that of appendicitis because it occurs on the right side of your abdomen. The sharp and cramping feeling usually goes away after you have released the trapped gas.
- Constipation- You must know that if you are having trouble emptying your bowels, then you may be experience an occurrence of trapped gas.
Trapped Gas Symptoms Diagnosis
Of course, trapped gas symptoms can be linked to other diseases such as GERDs, Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Cancer, but do not jump the line and assume you have something wrong without speaking to a doctor. Doctors can diagnosis trapped gas by performing the following:
- X-ray of your abdomen
- Computed Tomography (CT) scan of your intestines
- Sigmoidoscopy- This is a scope that is inserted through the rectum to get a closer look at the intestine, while blowing air into them.
- Colonoscopy- This exam is usually reserved for people over 50 years that have a history of colon cancer.
Treating trapped gas is easy as 1-2-3. Doctors will tell patients to do the following to get rid of trapped gas.
- Change your diet
- Drink tea (lemon, ginger or peppermint)
- Eat more fiber to increase bowel movements
- Take Maalox or Mylanta for relief
If you have experienced trapped gas in the past, this is a list of things to do to prevent trapped gas from reoccurring.
- Avoid taking certain medications
- Eat healthy and a well-balanced diet
- Change your dietary habits
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Reduce the amount of air that you swallow (whether intentionally or not
So, there is no need to panic over a little trapped gas. Your body just needs time to unwind itself from a sticky situation and before you know it, you’ll be back to passing gas like everyone else!