Individuals diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, may suffer from increased gas formation due to inflammation in the colon and rectum. This leads to partial or complete blockages in the intestinal tract, slowing down the movement of food and bacteria through the intestines. Consequently, patients end up with increased fermentation and gas production. Various medications are presently in use to treat the condition, and patients are often spoilt for choice, when it comes to picking the right one. Following subsections offer a detailed comparison, offering answers to the question – which is more effective, Beano or Gas-X for gas from ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis – an overview of the condition

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affecting the colon and rectum. Symptoms include chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, and rectal bleeding. The condition causes the lining of the colon and rectum to become inflamed, apart from developing tiny open sores or ulcers, causing bleeding and pus in the stool. The inflammation usually begins in the rectum and lower part of the colon and spreads upwards, involving the entire colon. Ulcerative colitis is attributed to a combination of genetic, environmental, and immune system factors. The immune system erroneously attacks healthy cells in the colon and rectum, leading to inflammation and the formation of ulcers.

Gas formation in patients with ulcerative colitis

In addition to the reason mentioned above, inflammation and ulceration in the colon that damages the mucosa of the intestine can lead to malabsorption of nutrients. This can cause undigested food to reach the colon where it is fermented by gut bacteria, resulting in increased gas production. Certain medications used for treating Ulcerative Colitis, including sulfasalazine and mesalamine can also cause gas formation as side effects.

Overview of Beano

Beano is a dietary supplement containing the alpha-galactosidase enzyme, that breaks down oligosaccharides (complex sugars). These sugars are typically present in food products such as beans, cruciferous vegetables, and whole grains. When these sugars are not broken down properly, they cause gas and bloating. Beano works by breaking down these sugars in the stomach before they reach the large intestine, where they are fermented by gut bacteria and produce gas. This helps to reduce gas and bloating after eating foods that contain oligosaccharides.

Overview of Gas-X

An over-the-counter medication used to relieve gas and bloating, Gas-X contains simethicone, an anti-flatulence agent. This reduces the surface tension of gas bubbles in the stomach and intestines. This allows the gas bubbles to combine and form larger bubbles, which are then more easily passed through the digestive system. This ends up offering relief from symptoms of gas and bloating caused by trapped gas in the stomach and intestines. It does not break down the gas-causing substances in the stomach, but assists in releasing it out of the stomach and intestines.

Main difference between Beano and Gas-X

To answer the question which is more effective, Beano or Gas-X for gas from ulcerative colitis? it is necessary to understand the main differences between the two formulations. While both used to relieve symptoms of gas and bloating, they work in different ways. Beano is a dietary supplement that works by breaking down sugars before they reach the large intestine and Gas-X is a medication that works by releasing trapped gas from the stomach and intestines.

Commonly reported side effects of Beano

Here is a quick look at some of the commonly reported side effects of Beano. Though considered safe and well-tolerated, a section of users may experience minor side effect, as listed below.

Additionally, there are possible allergic reactions, though rare in occurrence. This is due to some ingredients that may be allergic to certain individuals. Symptoms include hives, itching, rash, redness, swelling, and difficulty breathing. Beano is not to be used by patients diagnosed with galactosemia, a rare genetic disorder that prevents the body from processing galactose (a sugar found in certain foods).

Commonly reported side effects of Gas-X

Gas-X is generally considered safe and well-tolerated; however, the following side effects may be experienced by a section of users.

Allergic reactions are rare, though possible, due to ingredients that may be allergic to some. Symptoms include hives, itching, rash, redness, swelling, and difficulty breathing. Gas-X is not to be used by patients diagnosed with a known sensitivity to simethicone.

Which one is more effective – Beano or Gas-X?

Both products work in slightly different ways to alleviate gas, but which one is more effective? The summed up answer is – Beano and Gas-X can be effective at relieving gas, but they may be more effective for different types of gas.

Beano is best used before a meal that includes complex sugars that may cause gas. For example, individuals eating a lot of beans, could take Beano before the meal to reduce the amount of gas that is produced. Gas-X, is best used after a meal to relieve gas that has already been produced. It can reduce bloating and release trapped gas.

Food that can and cannot be consumed when diagnosed with ulcerative colitis

Patients diagnosed with the condition are to follow certain diet restrictions. For instance, there are restrictions on the food that can be consumed and food that cannot be consumed, especially in the midst of a flare up. Certain food products may help settle the stomach and ensure that adequate vitamins and minerals are received by the body. For instance, bananas, cooked and canned fruits are low in fiber and suitable. Protein from fish, chicken, soy and eggs are also good to be consumed to reduce a flare up.

Similarly, the following food products are not to be consumed, as this could aggravate the condition. High fiber food products such as seeds, raw green vegetables, whole nuts. Dairy products that contain lactose – milk, cream, cream cheese, and soft cheeses. Products with non-absorbable sugars such as sugar-free gum, candy and ice cream.

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