Several conditions may produce symptoms of constant belching and stomach pain. Belching is often done to relieve fullness and abdominal discomfort. Bowel obstruction, Celiac disease, Gallbladder disease, Pancreatitis, lactose intolerance, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease could be causing symptoms. A doctor would take a comprehensive history and order tests to rule out serious conditions such as cancer; however, in many cases, lifestyle changes can improve or eliminate symptoms.
Smokers and those who have excessive alcohol use are at higher risk for all types of gastric disorders, including ulcers and cancer. A diet high in saturated and hydrogenated fat and highly processed foods and low in fiber predisposes people to digestive diseases, as do lack of exercise, food allergies or intolerances, and use of antibiotic medications. A whole-foods diet high in plant fiber that includes fermented foods such as yogurt or kefir, kombucha tea, or cultured vegetables is associated with a low incidence of digestive disease.
As people age, the body loses the ability to produce enzymes to digest certain foods, causing pain and bloating. This is especially true if dietary enzymes are not replaced with unprocessed raw vegetables, fruits, sprouted seeds and nuts. A food diary and elimination diet can help pinpoint the cause. Some can be solved or lessened by taking specific digestive supplements, but in others the food must be avoided entirely. Lactose intolerance causes abdominal pain, gas, and diarrhea when milk or dairy products are eaten. Lactase in supplement form is helpful. Gluten intolerance, or Celiac disease, is a condition in which wheat, barley, rye and all forms of fillers or flavors or preservatives made from these substances must be avoided. Gluten damages the intestines in susceptible individuals, causing immune system reactions and poor absorption of nutrients.
Poor combining overwhelms a system already lacking in enzymes, allowing incomplete digestive remains to ferment and produce gases, alcohols, and other toxins, sometimes causing bowel obstruction. To remedy this situation, never eat fruit on top of starches or protein foods. Do not eat combined starch and protein or even two starchy foods together because the enzymes that digest some starches inhibit those that digest others. Salad vegetables are the exception; they can be combined with any other foods. Avoid sandwiches, pizza, and desserts. Digestive enzyme supplements can be helpful.
Severe abdominal pain that is more intense after meals and is felt in the right, center, or left side of the abdomen and is accompanied by vomiting may be due to gallbladder disease or pancreatitis. These conditions are very painful. A doctor can diagnose them with ultrasound or scans. Gallstones become a problem when they block bile secretion from the gall bladder after a fatty meal. Small stones may travel into the pancreas, where pain will last longer and be on the left side of the abdomen. Gallbladder spasms are generally felt on the right side. Pancreatic pain may also radiate to the back or shoulder. Fever is a sign of infection, see a physician immediately. Pancreatitis is more common in women over age 40 who are overweight, and in those who suffer from active alcoholism.
Inflammatory bowel diseases include diverticulosis and diverticulitis, colitis, and Crohn's disease. Diverticulosis is associated with chronic constipation. It is the formation of pouches or pockets in the lining of the bowel. When those pouches or pockets become infected, the condition is called diverticulitis. Treatment for diverticulitis includes a diet high in plant fibers and plenty of water. If diverticulitis is treated with antibiotics, a high-potency combination probiotic will replace friendly organisms in the bowel and prevent further infection. Colitis is the wearing away or ulceration of the lining of the colon. The cause is unknown, but may be associated with Celiac disease. Good results for healing colitis have also been achieved by following a vegan raw food diet. Crohn's disease is an autoimmune condition of thickened intestinal walls, sometimes inherited and also associated with Celiac disease.