man grips stomach in pain while a monster representing gas stands behind him eyes shifted toward a bathroom far away

Gas, You Get Me Every time!

As a kid,  I used to laugh when I had to break wind. I thought it was funny. Never would I think that passing gas would be so embarrassing. It really gets me, because it sneaks up on me so quickly. Is it part of the Crohn’s? Yep! If it is not in the medical books, it should be. I strongly believe that having a j-pouch produces lots of gas. Here are my reasons why:

J-pouch and issues with gas

Air gets trapped in the pouch

Trapped- Yep you read that correctly. I strongly believe that air gets trapped in the j-Pouch. Remember, the j-pouch starts out the size of a bouncy-ball. As it matures and grows, it gets as big a softball. The j-Pouch can only grow so much. Once the air in the pouch gets too much, the pouch starts to spasm. That makes sense right? For me, that is the reason why at times, I feel like my stomach is going to pop (it really isn’t), but it just is so full of air!


To create a j-pouch there has to be surgery right? And what comes with a surgery? That’s right adhesions. These adhesions cause air to get trapped as it is making its way through the small bowel. So yes, I have a crazy imagination. I think of the adhesions as roadblocks that the air can’t get around.

The impact of food on gas

The food we eat- This is a given as gas is magnified based on the food we eat. As I started introducing more vegetables into my diet, I started to get very gassy. I had to look up foods that produce less gas, just so that I could go out in public. Sometimes, gas is avoidable and more so with a j-Pouch.

How do we get rid of gas with Crohn's?

We all know the answer, but I am talking about doing it in a discrete way. I will admit, I have been in establishments that I had to leave to do my business. But I feel like we all have. Sometimes that air is so tight in my stomach that I have to release it there. I am not talking about in front of everybody, but in a way that nobody knows.

My tip for releasing gas

I lay down in the stall. Because the way my j-pouch is shaped, if I lay on my left-hand side, the air flows out of me very quickly and easily. In the stall, I literally have to lay down and curve my body around the bottom of the toilet bowl. When I am ready to release the air, I reach my hand up to the lever to flush the toilet. The reason why I do this is so that I can mask the sound if any is coming out of me. And yes, because there is a lot of air, the flatulent might go on for a few seconds. The relief is almost instant. There are also times that I have to literally go out to my car and lay across the backseat and do the same thing. I know it might sound weird, but this is something people with j-pouches experience on a daily basis.

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