Flatulence: Digestive Tract Gas

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We all have gas. It’s not life-threatening, but it’s certainly not pleasant. Burping and transferring gas through the rectum are two methods for getting rid of excess gas. The average person passes gas 14 times a day and generates 1–4 pints of gas.

Carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and even methane can all be found in gas, but they have no discernible odor. Sulfur-containing gases released by bacteria in the large intestine give forth a pungent odor of flatulence.

How do you define flatulence?

Flatulence is the medical term for the release of gas from the digestive system through the anus, and it goes by other names, such as farting, passing wind, and gas. It’s a natural occurrence that occurs when gas builds up inside the digestive tract.

The digestive process produces gas as food is broken down. When you swallow air when you’re eating or drinking, it can cause the same thing to happen. Gases can include oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and even methane, though these are the most common components.

Irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, and gastroparesis are some of the disorders that can lead to severe flatulence. You may experience more frequent flatulence if you consume certain meals. So, it’s better to consult a doctor to understand the underlying issue.


Flatulence can occur as a result of physiological processes or as a symptom of a digestive disorder.

The term “exogenous” refers to outside, or “external,” origins. When the body creates an excessive amount of saliva, as can happen with motion sickness or acid reflux, the excess saliva is swallowed along with the food or drink.

In contrast, endogenous sources originate from the body’s own digestive system. When certain foods are only partially digested, gas may result.

Common gas-inducing foods

Medical experts agree that most carbohydrate-containing diets can trigger bloating, but that fats and proteins typically do not. In addition to the foods listed below, these are also gas-inducing:

  • Raffinose. A type of complex sugar that can be found in a variety of plant foods and cereals.
  • Lactose. Natural sweetener is present in milk and its derivatives like cheese and ice cream as well as processed goods like bread, cereal, and salad dressing. Indigestion after consuming these foods could be a sign of lactose intolerance.
  • Fructose. a sugar that is present in wheat, pears, onions, and artichokes. Several fruit juices and soft drinks also employ fructose as a sugar substitute.
  • Sorbitol. a type of sugar that is present in fruits including apples, pears, peaches, and prunes naturally. Dietary items, sugar-free candies, and gums often employ sorbitol as an artificial sweetener.
  • Starches. While being digested in the large intestine, most starches (potatoes, corn, noodles, and wheat to name a few) release gas. To put it another way, (rice is the only starch that does not lead to bloating.)
  • Soluble fiber. Oat bran, beans, peas, and most fruits include fiber that is simple to dissolve in water and transforms into a soft, gel-like substance in the intestines.
  • Insoluble fiber. Dietary fiber, such as that contained in wheat bran and certain vegetables, is largely undigested by the body and doesn’t cause excessive gas. 

Who is in danger of intestinal gas?

Increased flatulence is a symptom of many health issues, and can be a sign that something is wrong with the digestive system. Among these are:

  • Inability to process milk sugar (lactose)
  • Disorder of the intestines known as irritable bowel syndrome
  • Experiencing intestinal irritation or suffering from IBD
  • A variety of digestive issues, including peptic ulcers, heartburn, and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • The medical causes of constipation

Could gas be a sign of medical trouble?

If you have a problem with your upper digestive system, such as ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux disease, you may experience persistent belching. This is sometimes referred to as GERD.

The symptoms of abdominal distention can be caused by a wide range of factors.

  • A buildup of fluid
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Cancer of the colon
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Colitis ulcerative
  • Having a hernia
  • Constipation
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Celiac disease


According to some of the best doctors heartburn and other gastrointestinal disorders can cause people to swallow air for comfort. X-rays and endoscopy can rule out esophageal reflux and gastric inflammation as possible diagnoses. Weak abdominal muscles manifest themselves in the form of abdominal distension when standing but not when lying down. Milk can be removed from the diet and symptoms can be monitored if lactose intolerance is suspected. 

The hydrogen gas that is produced in sensitive individuals can, however, be quantified in the breath when lactose is delivered orally. Air swallowing may be a symptom of postnasal drainage from sinus issues. A hydrogen breath test may be administered by your doctor if a bacterial overgrowth is suspected.

Excess flatulence is often caused by a failure to digest wheat, barley, and rye, hence testing for celiac disease may be helpful in cases where blood tests have proven inconclusive.

Treatment for flatulence

Medicines may be helpful in treating flatulence, however, this will depend on the underlying cause. Possible methods of treatment include

  • Over-the-counter meds: Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) and simethicone (Gas-X, Phazyme) are two examples of over-the-counter drugs available at pharmacies for treating flatulence.
  • Prescription drugs: Gas-causing diseases including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can be treated with prescription drugs. If the disease is treated, flatulence may subside as a side effect.
  • Supplements: If you get bloating after eating dairy products and are lactose intolerant, try taking lactase, which is sold over the counter. Beano) is an alpha-galactosidase supplement that can aid in the digestion of legumes and vegetables, hence reducing flatulence.


Having gas is common but could signal a major health problem if it persists. You should see a top stomach specialist if your gas is more frequent than usual, or if it happens alongside other symptoms like stomach pain, lack of appetite, fever, or bloody stools.


1. What causes increased gas at night?

Consuming food shortly before bedtime has been linked to digestive issues. Particularly, gas production and indigestion may occur if you lie down too soon after eating.

2. In which place should the gas be passed?

If you have trouble passing gas, try lying on your side with your legs bent. If you don’t feel better after sitting in this position for a few minutes, try pulling your knees into your chest or alternating straight and bent knees.

3. Where do you feel the gas pain?

Certain folks experience severe discomfort whenever they get intestinal gas. If it builds up on the left side of the colon, it might cause symptoms similar to heart disease. If it builds up on the right side of the colon, you may experience symptoms similar to those of gallstones or appendicitis.