What I Need to Know About Gas
July 31, 2013
Table of Contents
Everyone has gas. Burping and passing gas are normal. Many people believe that they burp or pass gas too often and that they have too much gas. Having too much gas is rare.
Gas in the digestive tract is usually caused by swallowing air and the breakdown of certain foods in the large intestine.
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You typically swallow a small amount of air when you eat and drink. You swallow more air when you
Some of the air you swallow leaves the stomach through the mouth when you burp. Some swallowed air is absorbed in the small intestine. Some air moves through the small intestine to the large intestine and is passed through the anus.
The stomach and small intestine do not fully digest all of the food you eat. Undigested carbohydrates -- sugars, starches, and fiber found in many foods -- pass through to the large intestine. Bacteria in the large intestine break down undigested carbohydrates and release gas. This gas is passed through the anus.
Normally, few bacteria live in the small intestine. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is an increase in the number of bacteria or a change in the type of bacteria in the small intestine. These bacteria can produce excess gas and may also cause diarrhea and weight loss. SIBO is usually related to diseases or disorders that damage the digestive system or affect how it works, such as Crohn's disease or diabetes.
Most foods that contain carbohydrates can cause gas. Foods that cause gas for one person may not cause gas for someone else. Some foods that contain carbohydrates and may cause gas are
This article was provided by National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.
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