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Flatulence Diagnosis

Flatulence Diagnosis
What is Gas?
Causes and Risk Factors

Gas does not usually require a medical diagnosis, unless additional symptoms are also present, such as persistent abdominal pain or blood in your stools. Because gas symptoms compounded by other sign may be caused by a serious disorder, it is best to rule out those possibilities as soon as possible. You can first seek help from your family doctor or general practitioner, who may refer you to a GI (gastroenterologist) specialist, if necessary.

Medical history
Doctors often begin to diagnose gas using a complete medical history. Doctors usually begin by reviewing dietary habits and symptoms. You can prepare for your visit by writing down any symptoms you're experiencing. It's also a good idea to write down any questions you may have.

You may also be asked to keep a diary of foods and beverages eaten over a specific time period. To determine if someone produces too much gas in the colon, the doctor may also ask you to count the number of times you pas gas during the day and include this information in the food diary. Consider including information about the frequency of your gas or the intensity of your abdominal pain. Comparing information about the diet and the amount of gas passed may help relate specific foods to symptoms. Additionally, your doctor may ask you to answer to the following questions:

  • Are you currently taking antibiotics or other medications?
  • Are your gas pains accompanied by nausea or vomiting?
  • Do symptoms occur after eating specific foods?
  • Do you experience gas when you drink milk or milk products?
  • Do you frequently chew gum, suck on candies, or drink through a straw?
  • Have you added any new foods or drinks to your diet recently?
  • Have you been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome or another intestinal condition?
  • How long have you noticed increased gas or gas pains?
  • How many times do you pass gas each day?

Medical exams
In addition to a medical history, your doctor may also perform a physical examination to provide the basis for appropriate testing that may provide vital clues for possible causes of severe or painful gas. If additional symptoms are particularly severe, your doctor may refer you for an endoscopy. A doctor may recommend any of the following tests to assist in diagnosing symptoms related to persistent and excessive gas:

Abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan - An abdominal CT scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of the belly. Doctors may inject dye into the veins to help easily identify the organs and any diseases on the images.CT scans may be used to:

  • study blood vessels
  • identify masses and tumors, including cancer
  • look for infections, kidney stones, or appendicitis

Abdominal ultrasound - Abdominal ultrasound is an imaging procedure used to examine the organs and blood vessels located in the abdomen to identify any possible complications or causes of gas.

Barium enema x-ray - A barium enema is an x-ray for the large intestine, which includes the colon and rectum. A liquid called barium sulfate is inserted into the rectum to provide contrasting highlights to specific body areas to create a clearer image of internal organ. The two types of barium enemas are:

  • Single contrast - uses barium to highlight the large intestine
  • Double contrast - uses barium along with air delivered into the colon to expand it for enhanced images

Barium swallow x-ray - The barium swallow x-ray is also known as an upper GI and small bowel series. These x-rays are used to examine the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. An x-ray method called fluoroscopy shows the movement of barium through the digestive tract to look for abnormaliries

Blood tests - Common types of blood studies include a complete blood count (CBC) or blood differential test that provides a platelet count and information about the size and hemoglobin content of individual red or white blood cells that can indicate possible anemia or infection.

Colonoscopy - A colonoscopy is an internal examination of the large intestine that uses aflexible instrument called a colonoscope inserted via the rectum to identify possible causes of gas. Colonoscopies are especially useful in cases of unexplained anaemia or to indentify and determine the type and extent of bowel problems.

- This test uses an instrument called a sigmoidscope to examine the rectum and the lower colon. As the scope is slowly inserted and removed from the rectum, the doctor is able to examine the lining of the bowel. Dcotors can also take sample tissues for study during this procedure to find out whether the cause of gas is from infection, chronic infections, food intolerance and /or allergy or cancer.

Upper endoscopy - An upper endoscopy, is a test used to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and upper duodenum by placing a small camera down the throat. Air is often introduced through the endoscope to enhance viewing. This allows the doctor to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and upper duodenum and to take tissue samples for further study.

Although you cannot completely eliminate gas and gas pains, a few simple steps can help reduce the amount of gas produced. But what treatments do doctors recommend? And can you treat gas problems at home? Continue reading the following section to discover suggested intestinal gas treatment.

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Tags: abdominal ultrasound, gastroenterologist, abdominal ct scan, food intolerance, large intestine, small intestine, abdominal pain, barium sulfate, barium swallow, complications, appendicitis, abdominal ct, fluoroscopy, medications, infections, ultrasound, treatments, food diary, beverages, treatment
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