Does omeprazole help with gas and bloating? Gastroenterologist explains.
Our content is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice by your doctor. Use for informational purposes only.
Omeprazole isn’t anti-gas medicine. It acts as an acid-reducing drug. Whether omeprazole works for gas and bloating depends on the cause of bloating.
Omeprazole doesn’t help with excess gas inside your digestive tract. But it can help with bloating associated with functional dyspepsia, peptic ulcer disease, functional bloating, and IBS.
What are the uses of omeprazole?
Omeprazole (Prilosec®) is a medicine that reduces stomach acid.
Uses of Omeprazole (reference):
- Peptic ulcer disease (stomach and duodenal ulcers).
- H. Pylori infection.
- Gastritis (the inflammation of gastric mucosa).
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- Functional dyspepsia.
Functional dyspepsia is very common; it is one of the common causes of bloating. Functional dyspepsia affects about 5-11% of people worldwide (reference).
Omeprazole can help functional dyspepsia-related bloating. Functional dyspepsia is one of the few occasions where omeprazole can relieve bloating and gas.
Also, Bloating is one of the associated symptoms of peptic ulcer disease (reference).
Is omeprazole for you: understanding gas and bloating?
Bloating is considered a symptom rather than a disease. Bloating is a sense of fullness, pressure, or a sensation of trapped gas.
You may feel bloated due to excess gas inside your gut or other causes. However, excess gas is not the only cause of bloating.
So, bloating causes can fall into two main categories:
A. Bloating due to excess gas inside your gut:
Commonly due to:
- Swallowing of air (aerophagia): causes are anxiety, gum chewing, smoking, and eating too fast.
- Eating too many gassy foods: dairy, beans, whole grains, green vegetables, sodas, candy, onions, and processed foods.
- Food intolerance: food intolerance often causes extra gas inside your gut. Typical examples are lactose intolerance, FODMAP intolerance, and fructose intolerance.
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO): The overgrowth of the bacteria inside the small intestine can produce too much gas and cause bloating.
Stomach bloating due to excess gas is the most common and simple type. Unfortunately, omeprazole doesn’t seem to help such bloating and gas.
B. Bloating without excess gas:
You may feel bloated without having excess gas inside your digestive tract. Causes include (reference):
- Functional Gastrointestinal diseases: such as Irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, functional bloating, and chronic constipation.
- Abnormal motility of your intestines: as with diabetes, gastroparesis, scleroderma, and others.
- Previous operations, particularly hiatus hernia operations (fundoplications) and gastric banding surgery.
- Compression of your intestine from outside by: ovarian tumors, ascites, and gastrointestinal malignancy.
- Medications that affect intestinal motility.
- Associated with other gastrointestinal diseases such as peptic ulcer disease, h. pylori, and chronic gastritis.
Functional gastrointestinal diseases are widespread. For example, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional dyspepsia (FD) are widespread conditions.
Related: what causes bloating after pooping?
Does omeprazole help with gas and bloating?
Omeprazole is not anti-gas medicine; it reduces stomach acid. So, It has nothing to do with excess gas inside your digestive tract. However, it can help certain bloating types (functional causes).
Depending on your specific cause of bloating and gas, omeprazole may or may not help your gas and bloating. For example, if your bloating is due to excess gas inside your digestive tract, omeprazole may not help with gas and bloating.
If you have “functional” causes of bloating, such as functional dyspepsia IBS or functional bloating, taking omeprazole may help with bloating and gas.
Also, bloating is frequently associated with chronic gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. Therefore, omeprazole for peptic ulcer disease and bloating may help both conditions.
If you are unsure about the cause of your bloating, please consult your doctor to decide whether omeprazole will help with bloating and gas.
Omeprazole can help with bloating that is associated with the following conditions:
- Functional dyspepsia.
- Peptic ulcer disease.
- Chronic gastritis.
- H. pylori-related gastritis.
- Functional bloating.
What are the better alternatives for gas and bloating?
Treatment of the cause.
The first step to fight gas and bloating is diagnosing the cause. We previously explained the mechanisms and reasons for bloating and gas.
It is important to note that most cases of bloating and gas are simple. Eating gassy foods, over-eating, and carbonated drinks are the most common cause.
If the cause of bloating is excess gas, omeprazole may not be your fit. However, you may benefit from bloating if a functional cause of bloating is present (such as functional dyspepsia).
Changing your diet and habits.
- Avoid gassy foods (beans, onions, celery, carrots, raisins, bananas, apricots, prunes, Brussels sprouts, wheat germ, pretzels, and bagels).
- Try a low-FODMAP diet plan.
- Restrict carbonated drinks, alcohol.
- Doing mild exercise daily.
Simethicone and activated charcoal.
Simethicone is a powerful anti-gas and anti-bloating medicine. It helps to decrease excess gas inside your colon and provides good relief. It is available over the counter.
Activated charcoal adsorbs extra gas inside your stomach and intestine. It is one of the most effective treatments for gas and bloating.
Probiotic supplements are live bacteria that improve your digestive function. Growing evidence suggests that probiotics may help with gas and bloating.
A probiotic supplement containing the Bifidobacterium infant strains may help with gas and bloating (reference).