Can people have both constipation and gas?
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Can people have both constipation and gas?

Mar 15, 2024

People may have gas accompanying constipation, which can cause pain and bloating. Doctors may recommend dietary changes or medications to help relieve these symptoms.

Constipation may present as fewer bowel movements or difficulty passing stools. If someone has gas with constipation, they may experience uncomfortable bloating and pass gas more often. Addressing the diet and changing eating and drinking habits may help symptoms.

This article looks at the potential causes, symptoms, and treatment options for both constipation and gas.

Sometimes, people may experience constipation accompanied by symptoms of intestinal gas. Signs and symptoms of both conditions may include:

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) states that the symptoms of constipation may include:

Gas in the digestive tract may cause the following symptoms:

The NIDDK explains that certain foods and drinks contain carbohydrates in the form of sugars, starches, and fiber, that the stomach and small intestine do not fully digest. The carbohydrates that the small intestine has not digested pass into the large intestine. Here, bacteria help to break them down further and create gas in the process.

Therefore, the NIDDK notes that people who consume more carbohydrates that the stomach and small intestine do not fully digest may experience more gas.

Sometimes people may have a condition called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). This is when there are excess colonic bacteria in the small intestine. Normally, gastric acid inhibits the growth of bacteria in the small intestine, but when these mechanisms fail, SIBO can develop, causing gas and bloating.

The NIDDK also notes that constipation may lead to more gas or gas symptoms.

People may experience constipation due to the following causes:

There are a number of remedies and treatments for constipation and gas. These can include:

Experts advise people with constipation to eat enough fiber. Good sources of fiber include:

In addition, someone must make sure they maintain adequate hydration with water and other liquids to make the stool softer and easier to pass. Avoiding processed foods, meat, and fast foods may also improve constipation.

To avoid gas in the digestive tract, the NIDDK advises avoiding foods and drinks that the stomach and intestine do not fully digest. These may include:

However, while some fibrous foods can relieve constipation, some people have more gas symptoms when they consume too much fiber. As such, people should aim to find out what they tolerate and can consult a dietitian to help them do this.

A doctor may recommend that someone changes their eating and drinking habits to relieve gas. For example, they may recommend:

Health experts may recommend a special diet if a person has digestive symptoms such as gas or constipation due to a health condition. For example:

People can also consult a dietitian to see if a special diet may be suitable for them.

For gas and bloating, people may find the following treatments helpful:

In addition, ginger may be effective for relieving gas and digestive symptoms, although evidence is inconclusive. People can purchase ginger supplements or eat freshly grated root.

Some frequently asked questions may include:

Experts advise that constipation can cause symptoms of gas or make gas worse.

People may improve or prevent constipation and gas by including more fiber or water and avoiding foods that ferment in the colon.

Factors such as not drinking enough fluids or not eating enough fiber can cause constipation and make the stool hard to pass. A person can speak with their doctor to assess why they have constipation and gas.

People may become constipated because they are not eating enough fiber, are experiencing dehydration, or have a health condition.

Gas may develop if someone eats too many foods that do not fully digest in the small intestine and ferment in the colon. Sometimes, the same fiber-rich foods that help relieve constipation may not fully digest in the small intestine and can cause gas. Therefore, a person may require a health professional to help them determine what to eat.

Someone with constipation and gas can speak with their doctor, who may advise dietary changes or medication. Avoiding chewing gum, carbonated drinks, and eating on the go may also help to relieve symptoms.