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Belching: medications & diagnosis

belchingMedications

•  Simethicone. It is used for belching. It is available either alone or as a
component of many antacids. It works by combining together the gas bubbles so they are more easily burped away.

•  Activated charcoal. It is used for lower intestinal gas products.
It can result in black stools and constipation.

•  Lactase. There are a number of products in the market designed to
aid in lactose digestion. Lactase is available in pill and liquid form.
It is either added to dairy products or taken along with these foods.

•  Ulcer disease. Bloating is also often a prominent symptom of Helicobacter pylori,
the bacteria associated with ulcer.

Diagnosis

A good dietary history and accurate description of symptoms is necessary
for proper diagnosis. Maintaining a record for a couple of weeks of the food
consumed, helps in identifying the foods responsible for producing gas.

Lactase deficiency can be diagnosed with a breath or blood test.
However, this test is not easily available. Consumption of lactose-free diet
for about two weeks is an effective way to find out whether lactose is creating excess gas.

If there is less gas on a lactose-free diet then there is a possibility of lactase deficiency.

Treatment

Non-Drug Treatment

• Watch your diet.  Each body is different. Determine which foods create the most gas and alter the diet accordingly.

• Fibre.   If fibre is the culprit, eat smaller portions of fibre-rich food at one sitting.

• High fat foods. Cutting back on fatty foods allows the stomach to empty faster, and allows gas to move into the small intestine, limiting bloating and discomfort.

Medications

• Simethicone. It is used for belching. It is available either alone or as a component of many antacids. It works by combining together the gas bubbles so they are more easily burped away.

• Activated charcoal. It is used for lower intestinal gas products. It can result in black stools and constipation.

• Lactase. There are a number of products in the market designed to aid in lactose digestion.  Lactase is available in pill and liquid form. It is either added to dairy products or taken along with these foods.

Prevention

• Chew food well and slowly
• Minimise the consumption of chewing gum, as well as carbonated drinks.
• Do not smoke.
• Do not talk while eating.
• Do not make slurping noises while drinking tea, coffee or soup.  The slurping noise is because of air being swallowed.

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