Gas And Bloating Specialist

Leo Treyzon, MD -  - Gastroenterologist

Leo Treyzon, MD

Gastroenterologist & Clinical Nutrition Specialist located in Cedars-Sinai Medical Towers & West Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Gas and bloating are more than annoying and embarrassing. They can be signs of more serious underlying conditions. Dr. Treyzon helps patients in and around the Cedars Sinai Medical Towers, Los Angeles, CA, area identify the causes of their gas and bloating so they can get the most appropriate care based on their unique needs.

Gas and Bloating Q&A

What is Gas?

Digestive problems of gas usually present in one or more of three ways:

  • Frequent belching of air from the stomach (belching)
  • Bloating of the abdomen after eating (bloating)
  • Frequent passing of gas from the rectum (rectal gas)

Gas is caused by either swallowed air and/or as a consequence of the normal breakdown of food by harmless bacteria into forms that can be used by the body. Although gas is not usually indicative of a serious problem, it can be a symptom of an underlying issue, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), inflammatory bowel disease, gallbladder problems, GERD, and food allergies or food intolerances, to name a few. In a few cases, bloating may also be related to a blockage in the bowel that prevents the normal passage of gas. 

What is Belching?

Burping or belching is the result of too much air in the stomach. Small amounts of air are swallowed when eating and drinking. However, some people swallow more air during these activities than others, and accelerated eating and drinking can cause excess air to be swallowed.

What is Bloating?

Bloating is often described as a feeling of swelling in the abdomen. Sometimes gas moves too slowly through the digestive tract as a result of poor motility, resulting in bloating. Motility refers to the contractions that automatically move food through the digestive tract. This accumulation of gas in the intestines resulting from slow transit can cause increased stretching of the bowel walls, leading to abdominal discomfort that we perceive as bloating.

What is Rectal Gas?

Rectal gas is most often produced by bacteria in the colon (the large intestine). These bacteria are beneficial to the digestion of our food and essential to the production of certain vitamins. In the process of breaking down carbohydrates (sugars) for their nutrition, bacteria generate gases such as hydrogen, carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen sulfide. These gases are normally harmless, but can be problematic when produced in excessive amounts. 

What Can I do to Prevent Gas, Bloating, and Belching?

Gas, bloating, and belching that are related to the normal digestion of food may be reduced by avoiding foods and beverages known to cause gas, including beans and other high-fiber foods, and carbonated drinks. Taking time to chew your food properly before swallowing can help by breaking down food into more easily digestible pieces, and it can also help prevent you from swallowing air while you eat. 

What Should I do if I have Chronic Gas, Bloating, and Belching?

If you experience regular bouts of gas, bloating, and/or belching you should be evaluated for the presence of a digestive disorder or disease that could be causing these symptoms. During your evaluation, you'll be asked about your symptoms, how often they occur, and if they're accompanied by pain or other symptoms. You'll also be asked to provide a medical history to look for clues. A digestion breath test is often ordered in patients with these sets of symptoms. In some cases, diagnostic imaging tests like ultrasound or CT scans may be ordered, and diagnostic procedures like colonoscopy or endoscopy may also be ordered. Based on those results, a treatment plan can be recommended which may include medication, dietary or other lifestyle changes, or surgery.

 

One very common cause of gas and bloating is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). SIBO is tested for using a lactulose hydrogen breath test-kit, which is often take-home.

Insurances We Work With

Here is a list of just some of the plans we work with -- depending on your insurance plan, your co-pay due upon the visit is variable. You might be responsible for a small co-pay like $10, or you might be responsible for the full amount. It is dependent on your insurance unmet deductible, which insurance network you are in, and other insurance factors. Please contact our office if you have any questions. We can verify on the phone what your co-pay would be. Please note that we are not contracted with Medicare. If a claim is submitted to your insurance, we submit the necessary billing forms ourselves.

Aetna
AFTRA
Anthem Blue Cross of California
Cigna
Director's Guild (DGA)
Motion Picture Industry Health Plan
United Healthcare
Writers Guild