Because appointments can be brief, it's a good idea to come prepared.
What you can do
Before your appointment, make note of:
- Your symptoms, including the frequency of your gas and the intensity of your abdominal pain.
- Your key medical information, including any other health problems and the names of any medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
- Questions to ask your doctor.
For gas and gas pains, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- Do I need any tests?
- Are there any treatments or home remedies that might help me feel better?
- Do I need to limit or avoid certain foods or drinks?
- Are there any other lifestyle changes that could help prevent gas pains?
Don't hesitate to ask additional questions as they occur to you during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor will likely have questions for you, too. He or she may ask:
- How long have you noticed an increase in gas or gas pains?
- Does your pain go away or get better when you belch or pass gas?
- How many times do you pass gas each day?
- Does eating certain foods seem to trigger your symptoms?
- Have you added any new foods or drinks to your diet recently?
- Have you been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome or another intestinal condition?
- Are you currently taking any antibiotics or other medications?
- Do you have nausea or vomiting with your gas pains?
- Have you unintentionally lost weight?
- Do you drink sodas or other carbonated beverages?
- Do you frequently chew gum, suck on candies or drink through a straw?
What you can do in the meantime
Keep a journal of what you eat and drink, how many times a day you pass gas, and any other symptoms you experience. Bring the journal to your appointment. It can help your doctor determine whether there's a connection between your gas or gas pains and your diet.
May. 02, 2014
- Abraczinskas D, et al. Intestinal gas and bloating. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 17, 2013.
- Gas in the digestive tract. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gas. Accessed Dec. 17, 2013.
- Papadakis MA, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2013. 52nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed Dec. 20, 2013.
- Living with gas in the digestive tract. American Gastroenterological Association. http://www.gastro.org/patient-center/digestive-conditions/gas-in-the-digestive-tract. Accessed Dec. 20, 2013.
- Gas-related complaints. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal_disorders/symptoms_of_gi_disorders/gas-related_complaints.html. Accessed Dec. 20, 2013.
- Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 9, 2014.
- Picco MF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. Jan. 20, 2014.
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