Constipation and gas pain
You normally feel gassy when you swallow air when eating or drinking, and when the bacteria in your colon starts feeding on undigested carbohydrates in your stool.
The process of fermentation of undigested food makes gas, such as hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane.
The gas from your upper digestive tract is expelled through the esophagus (belching), while the gas from your lower digestive tract is passed through the rectum (flatulence).
However, when you’re constipated, it may become difficult for gas to pass the rectum since the stool is blocking the passage.
When stool stays longer in the colon, the bacteria will continue with the fermentation process, making you feel gassier.
Once the gas trapped in the colon builds up, it will begin to cause bloating, discomfort, and pain.
Other causes of gas and gas pain
Aside from swallowing air, the bacteria in your colon, and constipation with painful gas, here are other possible reasons for painful gas.
Food and drinks
- Beans, peas, lentils
- Fruits such as apples, mangoes, oranges, pears, and watermelon
- Vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and asparagus
- Whole grains
- Starchy foods like corn, potatoes, noodles, and wheat
- Carbonated drinks, like sodas and beer
- You swallow more air when you eat too fast, using a straw when drinking, chewing a piece of gum, or when you talk or constantly open your mouth while chewing.
- Taking certain fiber supplements that contain psyllium can cause gassiness.
- Adding sugar substitutes in your meals such as sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol may cause gas.
- Constipation makes it difficult for colon gas to pass through.
- Food intolerances such as lactose intolerance (carbohydrate in dairy products), gluten intolerance (protein in wheat, barley, and rye), and fructose malabsorption increase the gas in your colon, resulting in abdominal pain.
- Autoimmune pancreatitis, where the immune system attacks healthy pancreatic cells could be a cause of gas pain.
- Celiac disease or gluten-sensitive enteropathy occurs when the body’s immune system reacts to gluten, which then damages the small intestines.
- Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that triggers inflammation in the digestive tract.
Symptoms of gas and constipation with painful gas
If you feel the following signs and symptoms, then you’re most likely experiencing gas build-up and gas pain: