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What is gas in the digestive tract?

Gas in the digestive tract is created from swallowing air, the breakdown of certain foods by the bacteria that are present in the colon. Everyone has gas and eliminates it by burping or passing it through the rectum. However, many people think they have too much gas when they really have normal amounts. Most people produce about 1 to 3 pints a day and pass gas about 14 times a day.

Gas is made primarily of odorless vapors--carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and sometimes methane. The unpleasant odor of flatulence comes from bacteria in the large intestine that release small amounts of gases that contain sulfur. Although having gas is common, it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Understanding causes, ways to reduce symptoms, and treatment will help most people find relief.


More information on gas in the digestive tract

What is gas in the digestive tract? - Gas in the digestive tract is created from swallowing air, the breakdown of certain foods by the bacteria that are present in the colon.
What causes gas in the digestive tract? - The undigested or unabsorbed food then passes into the large intestine and produces hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane gases, which are released through the rectum.
Which foods cause gas? - Most foods that contain carbohydrates can cause gas, fats and proteins cause little gas. The sugars that cause gas are raffinose, lactose, fructose and sorbitol.
What are the symptoms of gas? - The most common symptoms of gas are belching, flatulence, abdominal bloating and abdominal pain. Some people have pain when gas is present in the intestine.
How is gas in the digestive tract diagnosed? - In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, your physician may suggest some activities to assist in the diagnosis.
What is the treatment for gas in the digestive tract? - The most common ways to reduce the discomfort of gas are changing diet, taking medication, and reducing the amount of air swallowed. 
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Topics in digestive disorders

Signs and symptoms of digestive diseases
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Inflammatory bowel diseases
Malabsorption
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Peptic disorders (Stomach disease)
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Liver diseases
Irritable bowel syndrome
Diagnostic tests for digestive disorders
 

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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005