The Most Common Causes of Gas in the Digestive System

Most of the time gas is form in the stomach and intestine is due to something that the person ate or drank. One of the most common causes of gas is the consumption of carbonated beverages and the ingestion of some foods. Some diseases, even some medicines, can contribute to the formation of gas in the digestive system. The gases can be quite uncomfortable, produce pain and can cause you some embarrassing situation but the most important thing is that they are not usually harmful. Even so, severe and prolonged cases should be reported to the doctor because they can sometimes be a symptom of a major problem.

A healthy digestive system contains billions of bacteria of numerous species in the intestine that live in symbiosis with the human body. Some of these bacteria produce gases as a waste product after metabolizing undigested food remains. In the digestive system, there are also bacteria that consume and metabolize these gases and produce other types of waste substances that are eliminated with feces. The balance between the bacteria present in the intestine plays a very important role for gas expelled by the human body. In this balance decisively intervenes the diet and health of the digestive system.

Drink and food

The most common cause of intestinal and stomach gas is the intake of more gas than usual. This gas can be swallow in food and drink or swallowed by swallowing. For example, carbonated beverages contain high amounts of dissolved carbon dioxide (a gas). Gums and hard candy also make the gas worse because they tend to swallow more frequently because of high salivation while sucking and chewing. Excessive gas intake also occurs when you eat a lot, fast or do not chew well before swallowing.

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common causes of gas

Many people experience bloating and flatulence after drinking milk or eating dairy products. This is due to inefficient or incomplete digestion of lactose, milk sugar. The digestion of lactose is even lower in people with some degree of lactose intolerance. The undigested lactose passes to the colon where there are bacteria that metabolize it and produce gases in the process. For similar reasons, a diet rich in fructose (fruit sugar) can cause high gas production in the intestines of some people as well as foods rich in starch (potato, corn, etc.).

The very fatty foods can also lead to this problem because they need more time to digest. This means that bacteria have more time to metabolize food in the gut. Eating less fat-rich foods also promotes faster gastric emptying by helping to decrease the feeling of bloating.

Increase fiber intake is healthy, no doubt, but can increase gas production in the intestine. However, not all fiber has the same effect. Beans and legumes in general, cabbage, cauliflower or cabbage are from foods whose fiber produces more gas (and more smelly ones). However, this does not imply a bad digestion of these foods as usually believed; on the contrary, these vegetables are nothing indigestible. If the increase in fiber consumption done gradually, we will give time for the digestive system and the population of bacteria that live in it to accommodate the largest amount of fiber and the production of gases will be less intense.

Diseases that cause flatulence

Some diseases and alterations of the gastrointestinal tract often occur with the appearance of a greater volume of gases besides symptoms like swelling, spasms and cramps, pain or diarrhea. Among these diseases, we can mention irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Some infections, such as gastroenteritis, can also produce a high amount of gas in the stomach and intestine.

In the case of chronic diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome, symptoms may persist even when medical treatment followed and the diet has been modifying. This is because the chronic alterations of the digestive system interfere with the normal digestion process and the treatment of these diseases is usually quite difficult, in fact, people suffering from these diseases usually go through several different treatments as well as dietary changes until Manage to control the symptoms.


Some types of medications can alter digestion and produce gas and flatulence. This is the case with antibiotics. Some antibiotics break the balance of naturally occurring bacterial populations in the gut. This is especially true with broad-spectrum antibiotics, those that kill many different species of bacteria and affect some of the species that live in our gut. Other medications that cause gas some used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes by blocking the digestion of carbohydrates.

When antibiotics trigger the problem, the symptoms will disappear after the end of treatment as the intestinal bacterial flora reestablishes. Taking probiotic supplements or yogurt with live yeast for a few days can help improve the digestive tract by promoting the repopulation of bacterial flora.

When to go to the doctor

In most cases, excess gastrointestinal gas is due to simple and harmless reasons, such as a change in diet and eating habits. However, some causes are more serious and therefore it is advisable that any person, who suffers from gas for more than one or two weeks, accompanied or not with other symptoms, see a medical professional. Most serious gas causes accompanied by severe stomach pain, blood in the stool, fever, vomiting, or chest pain.

If the doctor sees signs that there may be a serious disorder behind the gas, it is most common to request diagnostic tests such as blood tests, stool tests, or imaging tests (x-ray, ultrasound, MRI, etc.).

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The stomach and intestinal gases (also known under the name of flatus) become a certainly uncomfortable for many people; they tend to appear mainly at the most inopportune moment problem.

Although it is usual to be natural expulsion through belching or rectal, sometimes it may not be so easy to be expelled. Therefore, the gases become an annoying visitor.

These uncomfortable traveling companions may appear at any time, and although in our digestive tract the gas is formed by the air we swallow and they produce in turn whenever they swallow the food, due to enzymes and their nutrients and bacteria, This process tends to produce carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane gas (which is expelled through the rectum).

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