Sodas are one of the major culprits in gastrointestinal pain because of how they affect the gastrointestinal tract. There are various reasons why sodas should be avoided. For one, they contain high amounts of sugar. Secondly, they contain high amounts of artificial flavoring and caffeine. Third, they contain high amounts of preservatives, and lastly, they contain high amounts of carbon dioxide.
The sugar in sodas makes it very irritating to the stomach and intestines because as the sugar is being digested, it is converted into a sugary acid. This increases hyper-acidity that further aggravates gastrointestinal symptoms like pain and bloating. As the sugar acids pass through the gut, it may lead to diarrhea or abdominal cramps because of irritation to the intestinal lining.
The caffeine in carbonated beverages is another culprit for the development of abdominal discomforts. Caffeine, like sugar, is a natural irritant of the stomach and intestines. It causes an increase in the intestinal motility when ingested leading to severe diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Finally, sodas and other carbonated beverages contain carbon dioxide which makes them bubbly or gassy. When carbon dioxide is consumed, it may cause excess flatulence and bloating because of abnormal gas formation. In normal individuals, this gas may be passed through burping; however, those who do not have a functional gallbladder and those who have other more complicated digestive problems may not be able to pass gas so easily, causing significant abdominal distention.
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