Have you ever been confused between ‘gas’ and ‘acidity’? Well, you don’t need to worry about that anymore. Here you can get all the primary differences between gas and acidity.
Both gas and acidity are responsible for the discomfort in different parts of the digestive tract, but acidity serves severe issues in significant cases. Gas is normal in our daily life, but sometimes it also forces us to take a prescription or consult the doctor.
What do you mean by having gas in your digestive tract?
It is normal to have gas in our digestive tract. Gas enters our body while eating food, and the amount of gas may increase sometimes. Certain drinks and food can boost the gas problem. Those are:
- Carbonated drinks
- Corn syrup
- Milk products
- Packaged food with lactose
- Black beans
- Cauliflower etc.
The swallowed air is not the only reason for having gas in GIT. The colonic microbes also play a significant role in it. Some undigested carbohydrate food materials are digested by these microbes in the large intestine, producing gas, which contains carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen.
This gas is released by burping after the meal, and the remaining air passes through the intestine and releases through the anus as flatulence. Burping after the meal or during the meal is normal, but excessive burping indicates severe gas. When the gas can not pass the intestine, we feel pain in our abdomen. Gas is not usually dangerous, but in some cases we need medication. In rare cases, severe gas problems can lead to intestinal obstruction such as colon cancer or ovarian cancer. Common symptoms of having gas are:
- chest pain and
- abdominal discomfort.
Reasons for having excess gas symptoms:
There are many causes which can enhance the gas symptoms. Those are:
Increase in the number of intestinal bacteria:
When the number of abdominal bacteria increases, these digest more carbohydrates than usual and produce excess gas.
Irritable bowel syndrome:
IBS causes pain in the abdomen, affecting the movement of air through the intestine and promoting bloating.
It can be simply called a severe stage of acidity. People are suffering from GERD burp to obtain some relaxation.
This includes lactose intolerance and fructose intolerance. In lactose intolerance, you will face the gas symptoms when you consume milk products. The same thing happens in the case of fructose intolerance when you consume fructose-containing food material.
Swallowing gas increases when you eat too fast, or this may increase due to smoking, chewing gums, and sucking hard candy.
How can you prevent and cure gas:
You can’t remove gas entirely from your body. However, you can reduce some amount of gas by following several steps such as:
- Change your diet and avoid those foods which cause excess gas.
- Stop drinking carbohydrate drinks.
- Say no to smoking
- Stop chewing gums
- Sit down while eating, and eat slowly.
- Make a habit of doing physical exercises daily.
- If you are using denticles, then make sure from your dentist that your denticle fits well.
If you are already suffering from gas, you can use certain medications and the above prevention.
- For overall use, Gas-X is the best medicine for gas.
- You can also use beano, which is a supplement of alpha-galactosidase after the meal, to break down all the carbohydrate particles, which ultimately reduce the production of gas by intestinal microbes.
- People with lactose intolerance can use Lactaid composed of simethicone.
But when you have severe symptoms like bloody stool, chest pain, or continuous constipation or diarrhea, you need to see the doctor.
What is acidity?
When someone feels the burning sensation in the chest region, it indicates the acidity or heartburn. People may get confused with other chest complaints like heart attack and pneumonia. When acidity gets severe, i.e., two or more times per week, it can lead to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
Cause of acidity:
Our stomach secretes hydrochloric acid to digest food particles and to kill the swallowed pathogens. The stomach has mucus layers that protect its wall from acid. The connection between the esophagus and stomach has a valve-like structure called the gastroesophageal sphincter. When food enters the food pipe, this valve opens, and food enters the stomach. Sometimes this sphincter does not work correctly, and acid from the stomach moves upward to the esophagus and burns it’s the wall as it does not have a protective layer against the acid. This burning sensation is called acidity or heartburn.
Some other factors which may boost acid reflux are:
- Consuming caffeine, alcohol, and chocolates
- Drinking carbonated drinks
- Taking a high amount of NaCl
- Sleeping immediately after taking food
- Certain painkillers and asthma medicines
- The main symptom is burning in the esophagus.
- Sometimes this pain may rise to the throat producing a sour taste.
- It also includes vomiting, nausea, wheezing and dry cough.
- Pain while swallowing food and pain in the chest and upper abdominal part is also GERD symptoms or acidity symptoms.
Sometimes GERD can lead to many complicated stages like ulcers and cancer if you won’t treat it within time. During pregnancy, acidity is a major problem, and women should consult the doctor about this.
Preventions and treatment:
Acidity can b prevented by specific steps like:
- Don’t lay down for at least 2 to 3 hours after taking food.
- Consume less amount of coffee and alcohol
- Stop chewing gums and smoking.
- Don’t drink too many carbonated drinks.
- Put less pressure on the lower abdomen, i.e., avoid using tight belts and prefer more loose clothes.
- Don’t take heavy meals.
Usually, antacids are used to neutralize the acidity. But sometimes PPIs(proton pump inhibitors) and H2 blockers are used to decrease the production of acid in the stomach. Omeprazole, pantoprazole, and rabeprazole are some examples of PPIs.
When do you need to see the doctor?
All face gas and acidity in their lives, but you should consult the doctor instead of taking available conventional medicines when you have more than usual.
Are you burping for the whole day? Do you feel bloating more than three times a week? Then hurry up! You have severe gas symptoms, which may lead to colon cancer.
If you have acidity regularly, then it may be GERD. The early treatment of GERD is safe. Uncured GERD may cause ulcers and finally result in cancer.
Before using any medications, you should consult your physician. We are not recommending any specific medicines for all gas and acidity patients. So, before you take them kindly ask your doctor.
So, this is the basic difference between gas and acidity. Here we described causes and treatment for both. By knowing the preventive measures, you can easily get rid of such common digestive problems. We hope this information is helpful for you. If you want similar informative and helpful contents, follow us on social media.