All the food that you eat ends up through your digestive tract. This includes your mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus. In between those organs, some gas bubbles naturally form because of microorganisms that live inside your gastrointestinal tract to help your body digest food. A little trapped gas in the gastrointestinal tract is regular, but once it builds up, you might feel discomfort as your body needs to release it.
Possible causes of stomach bubbles
1. Spicy foods
Eating spicy food might add an excitement factor to your meals, but it also stimulates the production of gastric juices, which increases the amount of acid present in the system.
This makes it easier for the gas to come up and build up in your stomach.
2. Alcoholic drinks
Alcoholic drinks, especially beer and wine, stimulate the release of acetylcholine, which relaxes the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract and leads to stomach bubbles and popping.
Relaxed muscle tissue allows gas to travel faster down the esophagus and into the stomach.
3. Fried and high-fat foods
Fatty foods stay longer in the gut, which makes them harder to digest.
It also slows down peristalsis, which helps keep gas moving along.
4. Gas-producing foods
“All foods lead to the reflux of acid,” says Andrew Ippoliti, MD, a gastroenterologist at Keck Medicine of USC and professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
If we think about it, most of the food we eat is, in fact, “gassy foods” or foods that cause gas when consumed excessively.
Some of the few foods on that list would be milk, cheese, ice cream, and vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, or turnips.
We also have fruits on the list like prunes, peaches, bananas, whole-grain foods like oats and bagels, and legumes like beans and peas.
Antacids help to directly neutralize stomach acid.
Calcium carbonate reacts with stomach acid to form calcium chloride, carbon dioxide, and water.
But because of excess carbon dioxide production in the stomach, belching and gas (flatulence) are common side effects of some antacids.
6. Low fiber diet
Fiber slows down the movement of nutrients through the digestive tract. It keeps everything there long enough to get digested properly.
Having low fiber intake, the contents of the stomach stay put for longer periods of time. That is when gas tends to build up, and you start having a bubbling feeling in your stomach.
7. Being overweight
Excess weight puts pressure on the abdomen, causing gases trapped inside the intestines to expand, leading to feeling like bubbles popping in the stomach.
8. Food intolerance
Food intolerance is when you have difficulty digesting certain types of food. It’s a fairly widespread condition affecting up to 15-20% of the population.
With food intolerance, your digestive system can’t break down and absorb the food; therefore, it stays longer inside your stomach and intestines.
The bacteria inside your gut break down the undigested and unabsorbed food-producing too much gas.
9. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a functional disease of your digestive system. It can affect any part of your stomach (abdomen). Also, it can cause a bubbling sensation in the lower abdomen.
IBS is different from gas pain and is more severe and more persistent.
The frequency of abdominal pain is at least one day per week for several months.
How do I get rid of stomach gas?
Depending on the cause, there are several ways to get the gas out of your system.
Here are some helpful tips that you could do, but if you feel the pain is increasing and is not improving, please reach out to your local health consultants for the best advice.
- Tea – Studies have shown that peppermint tea may reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including gas. Peppermint can interfere with iron absorption and certain medications. Chamomile tea can also help relieve indigestion, trapped gas, and bloating. Drinking chamomile tea before meals and at bedtime may reduce symptoms for some people.
- Physical activity – Exercise can help release trapped gas and gas pain. Try walking after meals as a way to avoid gas. If you have gas pain, jumping rope, running, or walking may help you expel it.
- Clove oil – Cloves are a herb used in cooking, and the oil from Cloves may help reduce bloating and gas by producing digestive enzymes. Add two to five drops to an 8-ounce glass of water and drink after meals.
- Over-the-counter medications – Medicine like Simethicone, activated charcoal, or lactase supplements are given to eliminate gas in your system. Consult your doctor before taking any supplement, especially if you take other medication for other health concerns.
How can I avoid stomach gas?
Eat and drink slowly, avoid carbonated drinks and beer, and skip the gum and hard candy.
It may help to take a short walk after eating. The less air you intake, the less you need to release.
What is lactose intolerance?
It is a common digestive problem where the body cannot digest lactose, a type of sugar mainly found in milk and dairy products. It is also the most common type of food intolerance.
Everything that we eat affects our bodies. That’s why it is very important to know how your body reacts and what caused these reactions.
It would also be helpful for us if we always take any food or drinks in moderation because even water can be too much if we don’t be careful.
Health is wealth, now more than ever.