Gas In the Digestive Tract

Although having gas is common, it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Everyone has gas and eliminates it by burping or passing it through the rectum. Understanding causes, ways to reduce symptoms, and treatment will help most people find relief.

Quick Facts

Symptoms:

  • Belching
  • Flatulence/Gas
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort

Common Causes:

  • Swallowed air
  • Eating or drinking rapidly
  • Chewing gum
  • Smoking
  • Wearing loose denture
  • Foods that contain carbohydrates (such as sugars, cabbage, broccoli, whole grains)
  • Foods containing soluble fiber (such as oat bran, beans, peas, and most fruits)

Diagnosis:

  • Medical history review and review of symptoms
  • Physical examination
  • Review of dietary habits and symptoms
  • Tests, as deemed appropriate (such as blood and/or breath test for lactose intolerance) 

Common Treatments:

  • Diet – reduce or eliminate intake of gas producing foods
  • Non-prescription medications such as antacids, Lactaid, Beano, etc.
  • Prescription medicines
  • Suggestions for ways to reduce swallowed air

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