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Gas is a natural byproduct of digestion and is especially common after eating foods high in fiber. Bloating occurs when gas builds up and is not immediately released either through burping or flatulence. While gas is usually caused by the natural digestive process, it can also be produced as a result of other causes, including:
food allergies or sensitivities
swallowing air, especially when eating too quickly
certain dietary supplements and medicines
bowel inflammation, irritation or blockage
Depending on your symptoms and your medical history and risk factors, lab work or diagnostic imaging tests or evaluations may be ordered, including x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, endoscopy or colonoscopy. Depending on your symptoms, tiny tissue samples may be taken during endoscopy or colonoscopy for further evaluation under a microscope. When symptoms are relatively mild and not accompanied by other issues like severe cramping or bloody stools, dietary changes may be prescribed and you may be asked to keep a food diary to record when gas and bloating occur and help determine if you may have a food allergy or sensitivity like lactose intolerance.
That depends on the underlying cause. Some cases of gas and bloating can be controlled by avoiding foods and beverages known to cause these symptoms, but when gas and bloating occur as a result of more serious underlying conditions, like gallbladder disease, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome or cancer, other treatments (including surgery) may be required. Your course of treatment will be determined once the results of your lab tests and procedures like colonoscopy or endoscopy are received.
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