What Could Cause Intestinal Gas?


Quick Answer

Intestinal gas occurs naturally as the result of bacteria breaking down food in the intestinal tract, but it can also be caused by swallowing air or eating certain foods, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Excessive gas may be caused by digestive conditions such as lactose intolerance and celiac disease.

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Full Answer

As bacteria act on food in the lower intestine before it reaches the colon, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane are released, according to Mayo Clinic. Gas in the upper intestines may occur when a person swallows air while drinking or eating. Foods that are not digested until they reach the lower intestine, which include lentils, beans, lactose-containing dairy products, sorbitol and fructose, are known to cause increased intestinal gas.

Flatulence or belching more than 20 times in one day may signal a digestive disorder such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, gastroparesis, food intolerance and peptic ulcers, as listed by Mayo Clinic. It may also be caused by dumping syndrome, a condition that occurs when part of the stomach is surgically removed and causes digestive symptoms after eating. Another potential cause is irritable bowel syndrome, a condition with unknown causes that may also include cramping, diarrhea and constipation, according to WebMD. Patients should consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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