I had gallbladder surgery 1 1/2 weeks ago. I am currently experiencing increased gas in the form of burping and flatulence, after meals and particularly in the morning. I am taking Gas-X before bed and again around 5 a.m., but getting little relief. I am trying to walk every day, but I also have very low energy. Is this normal? Is there anything else I should be doing?
Gas may be a side effect of gallbladder surgery. If the Gas-X or beano ins't helping you may want to pursue a more thorough GI evaluation. Anything from bacterial overgrowth, irritable bowel syndrome, and malabsorption syndromes can all cause increased gas. Here are some considerations you may want to discuss with your personal physician:
For those who require testing, specific tests may include:
- Examination of stool to detect the presence of blood, abnormally increased levels of fat (steatorrhea), or the presence of Giardia lamblia.
- A lactose tolerance test, during which patients are provided with a test dose of lactose by mouth. After receiving the test dose, those with lactose intolerance may soon develop abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and excessive flatulence. Breath or blood samples are obtained during the test to confirm the presence of lactose intolerance.
- X-ray examination of the small intestine.
- Upper endoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy (in which the inside of the stomach, upper intestines or colon are examined via a tube with a camera at the end).
- Breath or blood tests for carbohydrate malabsorption.
- Antibody tests for celiac disease.
Followup with your personal physician is essential.
This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
Goldfinger. Patient information: Gas and bloating. UptoDate, 2004.
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