Stomach gas: What's wrong and how can it be cured?
Tuesday 08 April 2008
I am aged 63 and have been a moderate drinker (about 25 units/week) for many years. Last summer I developed pain and discomfort just below the rib-cage and started producing large amounts of stomach gas. Suspecting alcohol to be a factor, I cut out drinking. Blood tests showed normal liver function, while an ultrasound and a gastroscopy showed no abnormalities. Nine months on the symptoms are still there. My GP seems baffled. Any suggestions on what is wrong and how to cure it?
Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:
You could be lactose intolerant. Lactose is the natural sugar that is present in milk products. People who are lactose intolerant cannot digest it because they are lacking an enzyme called lactase, which breaks lactose down into glucose and galactose. Undigested lactose ferments in the stomach, causing a build-up of gas. Even if you were not lactose intolerant when you were younger, you may develop it, as it becomes more common with age. If you don't want to take a test to see if you are lactose intolerant, you could try to reduce or eliminate lactose from your diet and see if you are any better.
Please send your questions and suggestions to A Question of Health, 'The Independent', Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS; fax 020-7005 2182 or e-mail to email@example.com. Dr Kavalier regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£20000 - £25000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Internal Sales Executive ...
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises in the installa...
£30000 - £35500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Provisioning Specialist is required to join ...