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Everyone has gas. Most people pass gas 13 to 21 times a day. Passing gas through the mouth is called belching or burping. Passing gas through the anus is called flatulence. Most of the time gas does not have an odor. The odor comes from bacteria in the large intestine that release small amounts of gases that contain sulfur.

Gas in the digestive tract comes from two sources: air that you swallow and the breakdown of undigested food by bacteria in the large intestine. Certain foods may cause gas. Foods that produce gas in one person may not cause gas in another.

You can reduce the amount of gas you have by

  • Drinking lots of water and non-fizzy drinks
  • Eating more slowly so you swallow less air when you eat
  • Avoiding milk products if you have lactose intolerance

Medicines can help reduce gas or the pain and bloating caused by gas. If your symptoms still bother you, see your health care provider.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Symptoms of Gas

The following features are indicative of Gas:
  • occasional burping
  • belching
  • pain or discomfort in the abdomen
  • bloating

Common Causes of Gas

The following are the most common causes of Gas:
  • autoimmune pancreatitis
  • celiac disease
  • crohn's disease
  • diabetes
  • dumping syndrome
  • eating disorders

Other Causes of Gas

The following are the less common causes of Gas:
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • gastroparesis
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • intestinal obstruction
  • duodenitis
  • lactose intolerance
  • peptic ulcer
  • ulcerative colitis
  • constipation

Risk Factors for Gas

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Gas:
  • lactose or gluten intolerant
  • eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes
  • drinking carbonated beverages
  • having a chronic intestinal condition such as irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease

Prevention of Gas

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Gas. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • eat and drink slowly
  • avoid carbonated drinks and beer
  • skip the gum and hard candy
  • don't smoke
  • eat fewer fatty foods
  • temporarily cut back on high-fiber foods

Occurrence of Gas

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Gas cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Gas can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Gas can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Gas

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Gas:
  • Physical exam: To detect the presence of excess gas

Doctor for Diagnosis of Gas

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Gas:
  • Gastroenterologist

Complications of Gas if untreated

Yes, Gas causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Gas is left untreated:
  • constipation
  • fecal impaction
  • bowel obstruction
  • diarrhea
  • radiation enteritis

Self-care for Gas

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Gas:
  • Add Beano to beans and vegetables: Lowers the amount of gas they produce
  • Avoid eating fatty foods: Prevents bloating
  • Avoid smoking: Reduces the amount of air you swallow

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Gas

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Gas:
  • Use activated charcoal: Helps in relieving gas
  • Take lactase supplements: Effective in treating gas
  • Exercise regularly: Helps in moving gas through the digestive tract

Time for Treatment of Gas

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Gas to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Gas.

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