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Gas

Gas

Passing gas is a very common condition that everyone has to go through. The average person produced 1-4 pints of gas a day and passes gas by mouth or rectum around 14 times a day. You can pass gas through your mouth in what is called burping or belching, or through your rectum which is called flatulence. Most of the gas passed won’t have an odor, unless you have bacteria in your large intestine that release a small amount of sulfur. The gas existing in the digestive tract is either from the air you swallow, or by the breaking down of food that wasn’t fully digested.

Causes of Gas

There are two main causes of gas; swallowing air or the breakdown of undigested foods. Air swallowing is a very common cause of gas in your stomach, which is done when you’re eating or drinking. However some people eat or drink very rapidly or have loose dentures and will take in air more rapidly while eating, resulting in more gas from the mouth. Some foods aren’t able to be absorbed or digest properly, therefore your body will begin breaking it down which can also result in gas. These foods include starches, sugars, and fiber-rich foods. The harmless bacteria that breaks down these foods will lead to gas, usually exiting through the rectum.

Foods that cause Gas

A variety of foods are more likely to cause gas in the digestive tract. These include foods containing carbohydrates. The more common foods to cause gas are sugars include fructose, sorbitol and lactose, raffinose, starches like potatoes, pasta, corn, and wheat, and fiber-rich foods like oat bran, fruits, pear, and beans. Some wheat bran and vegetables also contain the fiber that will cause gas. The only starch that isn’t known to cause gas is rice.

Symptoms of Gas

Most people know they have gas due to it expelling from the body, like through flatulence or burping. However, there are also some other symptoms that are common with people experiencing gas. These symptoms include abdominal bloating, and abdominal cramping or pain. In most cases, flatulence doesn’t include an odor though it can if there is bacteria in the digestive tract.

Treating Gas

Most people simply wait until the gas has subsided, though there are some things you can do at home if it is causing pain or discomfort. To reduce the amount of air swallowed while eating, focus on eating or drinking slowly and change your diet to include foods low in carbohydrates and the fruits or vegetables causing the gas. You can also eliminate high-fat foods to reduce the amount of bloating or discomfort associated with the gas.
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