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Everyone has Gas.

By on September 28, 2016

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.

What May Help With Gas

Avoiding fermentable vegetables/carbohydrates like beans, broccoli, cabbage, and some artificial sweeteners like sorbitol (which is found in gum, candies, and some soft drinks) can lessen the amount of gas produced. Those who are truly lactose intolerant may improve if they avoid milk products.

Alcohol may impair intestinal digestion so that more food is available for gas production. Certain proteins may enhance the odor of gas. If gas is a problem for you, try monitoring your diet (time of day and description of foods eaten and drinks ingested, and times of each episode of gas) for a week or so to identify what may cause increased gas production or what may effect odor.

Content provided in part by the NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases