What Intestinal Gas Can Tell You About Your Digestion

Learn how to fix your uncomfortable bloating by understanding what causes it to begin with.

Whatever you call it… gas, flatulence, farts… it is your body giving clues about your poor digestion.

Most food has some degree of protein, fat, and carbohydrate in it. These nutrients are called your macronutrients! We need these things to make energy, hormones, and repair our tissues.

Since fat does not create a ton of gas as it oxidizes, let’s focus on the two biggest contributors to gas and bloating… protein and carbohydrates.

Protein Type Gas

When protein makes you cut the cheese, then it is typically the silent but deadly variety. This is because that food you are eating contains tons of protein that slowly decomposes and putrefies. It’s exactly like leaving chicken scrapes in your kitchen garbage overnight. Pee-yew! (Indo-European root is ‘pu’ meaning to rot or decay). When proteins putrefy they give off Hydrogen Sulfide which creates that rotten egg smell and mercaptans which create the decaying cabbage smell.

Protein Food Sources:

  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Beans
  • Cheese
  • Seeds

How to Fix This Type of Gas:

Protein is digested by Gastrin and Protease Enzymes that are activated by Stomach Acid.

People who experience this type of gas have low stomach acid, sometimes from being on extended Protein Pump Inhibitors, Acid Blocking medications, or OTC Digestive Aids.

Many people find relief from this type of gas increasing stomach acid and supplementing these enzymes.

Carbohydrate Type Gas

If eating carbs give you the gas, then it is typically loud and clear, meaning that there is a lot of gas that is really not that smelly. This is because the food you are eating is partially fermenting. This is the same process that is used to make yogurt, beer, and breads, whereas yeasts and bacteria eat the carbohydrate sugars and expel, you guessed it, CO2 gas.

“A single 12oz can of Coke can produce over a gallon of CO2 gas! CO2 is an odorless gas that does no harm to the body but can cause large amounts of uncomfortable bloating.”

Does it smell bad when you bake bread or walk into a brewery? Of course not, but there is a lot of gas that gives bread its light and fluffy texture and gives the bubbles in beer.

Unfortunately, a lot of gas can give you painful bloating, uncomfortable fitting clothes, and embarrassing loud sounds.

Carbohydrate Food Sources:

  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Milk
  • Candy
  • Cookies

Carbohydrates are digested by enzymes that are created by your intestines and pancreas. Under ideal conditions, given enough enzymes, the digestion of carbs gives off very little gas.

People whom have enzyme deficiencies experience this type of gas from an overworked pancreas. This is why people who eat tons of sugary or alcoholic beverages that stress the pancreas out will undoubtedly give you the Thunder from Down-Under later that night or the next morning.

If you are experiencing a lot of lower abdominal gas, you may have some degree of SIBO, or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. This is where bacteria whom call the last part of the colon home, eat undigested carbs and sugars up to the small intestine where they don’t belong.

SIBO is pretty interesting because of the range of symptoms it correlates with (from fibromyalgia to IBS). Digestion Specialists try to understand how far up the bacteria are located up in the intestine based on the bacteria farts. Methane and Hydrogen are the two main gasses that are given off by these bacteria and are not made by humans.

Both Methane and Hydrogen are odorless, just like the CO2.

How to Fix this Type of Gas:

Many people find relief from this type of gas by supplementing amylase enzymes. They work fast, when taken with that first meal. If the gas does not go away then a weed and feed protocol to clean up the intestines may be in order.

Highly effective, based on published research studies, SIBO protocols exist. These protocols have herbs like oregano oil in tablets than can make it past the stomach (called enterically coated perles) and probiotics that can repopulate the large intestine with beneficial bacteria.

Take Care of Your Gas Before It Becomes Uncomfortable!

… remember if it’s large amounts of non-smelly gas over your lower belly, it’s the carbs. If its silent but deadly, stinks like rotten eggs or cabbage, then protein is the problem.

Take our free Functional Digestion Assessment and get a free 6-page report to:

  • see if proteins or carbohydrates are causing your digestive symptoms
  • find-out what happens if you ignore it
  • and what to do about it

If you want to get a SIBO protocol or investigate the cause of your unresolved gas and bloating, find a specialist today.

Resouces

1) Corrazza GR, Menozzi MG, Strocchi A, et al. The diagnosis of small bowel bacterial overgrowth: reliability of jejunal culture and inadequacy of breath hydrogen testing. Gastroenterology. 1990;98:302–309

2) Fine D, Schiller LR. American Gastroenterological Association Medical Position Statement. Guidelines for the evaluation and management of chronic diarrhea. Gastroenterology. 1999;116:1464–1486.

3) Grace E. Shaw C, Whelan K, Andreyev HJ. Review article: small intestinal bacterial overgrowth–prevalence, clinical features, current and developing diagnostic tests, and treatment. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Oct;38(7):674-88.

4) Diagnosis and management of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Bohm M, Siwiec RM, Wo JMNutr Clin Pract. 2013 Jun; 28(3):289-99.

5) Microbial biofilm communities in the gastrointestinal tract. Macfarlane S J Clin Gastroenterol. 2008 Sep; 42 Suppl 3 Pt 1():S142-3.

6) Diagnosis and management of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Bohm M, Siwiec RM, Wo JMNutr Clin Pract. 2013 Jun; 28(3):289-99

7) Chedid, Victor et al. “Herbal Therapy Is Equivalent to Rifaximin for the Treatment of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.” Global Advances in Health and Medicine 3.3 (2014): 16–24. PMC. Web. 29 Mar. 2018.

8) Pimentel M, et al. Methane, a gas produced by enteric bacteria, slows intestinal transit and augments small intestinal contractile activity. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2006;290(6):G1089-G1095.

9) Rezaie A, Buresi M, Lembo A, Lin H, McCallum R, Rao S, Schmulson M, Valdovinos M, Zakko S, Pimentel M. Hydrogen and Methane-Based Breath Testing in Gastrointestinal Disorders: The North American Consensus. Am J Gastroenterol. 2017 May;112(5):775-784.

Get Your Functional Digestive Assessment

Our 5-minute ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questionnaire will give you a 6-page educational report. Start your journey to feeling great, looking better, and living longer by addressing your digestive health.

Get Your Functional Digestive Assessment

Our 5-minute ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questionnaire will give you a 6-page educational report. Start your journey to feeling great, looking better, and living longer by addressing your digestive health.

2018-07-02T15:26:17+00:00