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Get the Facts on Excessive Gas:The Reason Why You Constantly Burp, Fart, or Bloat

Other Diseases By Ariba Khaliq , Onlymyhealth editorial team / Jan 19, 2015
Get the Facts on Excessive Gas:The Reason Why You Constantly Burp, Fart, or Bloat

Excessive gas in the digestive tract is usually caused by swallowing air and by the breakdown of certain foods in the large intestine by bacteria. The most common symptoms of gas are burping, passing gas, bloating and abdominal pain or discomfort.

Do you constantly burp, pass gas, or feel bloated? It is because you have gas. Gas is naturally produced by your body and it is produced even more when you eat certain foods, particularly if you’ve just increased the amount of fibre in your diet.

Most people, who feel like they suffer from excessive gas, have probably a normal amount. But if too much gas is making you feel uncomfortable, there are steps you can take to adjust your diet and reduce flatulence and bloating.

Most people produce up to four pints of gas a day, which may result in passing gas or belching more than 20 times each day. So, if you burp or pass gas after meals, it doesn’t mean that you suffer from excessive gas. This is normal. Excessive gas is when you experience considerably more gas than that, or constant bloating or pain.

Excessive Gas

What Is Excessive Gas

Gas is made up of several different vapours, namely carbon dioxide, hydrogen, methane, nitrogen, and oxygen, all of which pass through the body. Excessive gas can cause pain and cramping in the abdomen as well as some noisy sound effects:

Belching: This is the gas released from the body through the mouth by burping. Swallowing a lot of air while eating, which then travels into your stomach, results into belching. When you burp, your body gets rid of this excess air.

Flatulence: When you pass gas through the rectum, it is because the body can't digest all of the food that you ate. Sugars, some fibre, and starches may be particularly difficult for your body to break down and they lead to gas, which your body may relieve by farting.

Bloating: Accumulations of gas that may make you feel full and uncomfortable is known as bloating. However, feeling bloated constantly doesn’t necessarily mean that you have excessive gas; it might just mean that you are more sensitive to gas than other people.

Gas in Stomach

Why does Excessive Gas Happen

Excessive gas can occur due to the foods that you eat or because you take in too much air while eating. There are a number of foods that can increase gas, bloating, and flatulence, and each one may affect every individual differently. Common gas triggers include dairy products, certain sugars, and artificial sweeteners, such as sorbitol.

Swallowing too much air may happen when you drink through a straw, eat or drink too quickly, or frequently chew gum. About 50 percent of gas that leads to flatulence comes from swallowing air, not from food.

Controlling Excessive Gas

If gas makes you uncomfortable and you want to find a way to control it — even if it's not excessive gas — try making some dietary and lifestyle changes. Avoid specific foods that you know give you gas and try to eat your meals more slowly. You can also control flatulence with over-the-counter remedies that aid digestion and reduce gas.

Too Much Gas

Excessive gas may be a sign of certain digestive health conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If excess gas is caused by an underlying disorder, prescription medication can help to control it. If you notice excessive belching, flatulence, or bloating that isn't affected by your diet, discuss your symptoms with your doctor.

Images: Getty

Read more articles on Gas in the Digestive Tract.

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