Abdominal Pain With Gas

There can be many possible causes for abdominal pain. It may originate from stomach, kidney, pancreas, ovary, abdominal wall etc. But the pain accompanied with lot of gas is usually indicative of intestinal disorders.


Common causes for such symptoms are
1) Parasites like giardia – presents with abdominal discomfort, diarrhea and flatulence (gas). Ruled out by negative stool test.
2) Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease) – Abdominal pain is usually accompanied by fever and weight loss. Ruled out by colonoscopy, CT scan.
3) Colon cancer – normally is accompanied by weight loss. Ruled out by negative colonoscopy. Uncommon in younger population, usually occurs after the age of 50.
4) Diverticular disease – ruled out by negative colonoscopy. Usually found in older age group. But may be seen in young individuals, especially with sedentary life style and lack of fibrous foods. Fibrous foods like cereals and green leafy vegetables may be helpful. Sometimes dietary fibers like metamucil may be required for chronic constipation. Fluid intake should also be increased.
5) Malabsorption syndromes – Usually accompanied by foul smelling greasy stools. Malabsorption is confirmed by specialized chemical tests like D-xylose test, glycocholic breath test, triolein breath test, bentiromide and secretin tests. Also needs to rule out lactase deficiency that typically gets aggravated by dairy products.
6) If everything is ruled out, then the disease entity called IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is considered. IBS is characterized by chronic abdominal pain, altered bowel habits and absence of any detectable organic pathology. Bowel habits alteration normally includes alternating diarrhea and constipation, but either of these may present alone. The cause of IBS is still elusive but has some relation to stress. Treatment includes avoidance of stress, intake of dietary fibers like metamucil, loperamide and dicyclomine. Intake of cereals, fruits and green leafy vegetables should be increased. Dietary fibers like metamucil may also be helpful. These are easily available over-the-counter at any local pharmacy store. Take liberal amount of fluids every day. Also try some exercises like walking or jogging. If these measures don’t help, then you may need to see your doctor for thorough examination.

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