You always have some intestinal gas within your digestive tract. Gas in your digestive tract (the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine) comes from two sources- swallowed air and the normal breakdown of certain undigested foods by harmless bacteria that are naturally present in the large intestine.
Gas and bloating symptoms can oftentimes be accompanied by and overlap with other symptoms and be difficult to identify as the cause of your symptoms. Patients should be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by a GI doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious medical issues. Your gastroenterologist will likely need to do an evaluation to exclude other causes of your symptoms.
Gas and bloating symptoms can oftentimes be accompanied by and overlap with other symptoms and be difficult to identify as the cause of your symptoms.
What Causes Bloating and Gas?
Some causes of excessive gas include eating or drinking rapidly, talking while eating, chewing gum, smoking or wearing loose dentures
Air swallowing (aerophagia) is a common cause of gas in the stomach. Everyone swallows small amounts of air when eating and drinking. However, eating or drinking rapidly, talking while eating, chewing gum, smoking or wearing loose dentures can cause some people to take in more air. Burping or belching is the way most swallowed air leaves the stomach. The remaining gas moves into the small intestine where it is partially absorbed. A small amount travels into the large intestine for release through the rectum and expelled as flatulence. If you suffer from excess gas, either trapped in your intestines or passed as flatulence, it can become uncomfortable. Stuck gas can cause abdominal pain and bloating. In truth, everyone passes gas several times a day. Even stuck gas is a normal part of the digestive process.
Gases or trapped gas in colon are also produced as a by-product when certain food materials are digested by naturally occurring bacteria in the large intestine or colon. These bacteria are responsible for digesting materials like complex carbohydrates (sugar, starches, and fiber found in many foods) and cellulose, which are not normally digested in the upper gastrointestinal tract. The quantity and mixture of gases depend on the types of bacteria in the colon. Everyone has a unique assortment of bacteria from the time of birth. These gases include hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane. Trace gases, such as hydrogen sulfide, are responsible for the odor.
For more information about Manhattan Gastroenterology practice or to schedule an appointment, please contact our Union Square office at (212) 378-9983 or our Manhattan’s Upper East Side office at (212) 427-8761.
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