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Gas

Also called: Belch, Burp, Eructation, Flatulence, Flatus 
 
 

Everyone has gas. Most people pass gas 13 to 21 times a day. Passing gas through the mouth is called belching or burping. Passing gas through the anus is called flatulence. Most of the time gas does not have an odor. The odor comes from bacteria in the large intestine that release small amounts of gases that contain sulfur.

Gas in the digestive tract comes from two sources: air that you swallow and the breakdown of undigested food by bacteria in the large intestine. Certain foods may cause gas. Foods that produce gas in one person may not cause gas in another.

You can reduce the amount of gas you have by

  • Drinking lots of water and non-fizzy drinks
  • Eating more slowly so you swallow less air when you eat
  • Avoiding milk products if you have lactose intolerance

Medicines can help reduce gas or the pain and bloating caused by gas. If your symptoms still bother you, see your health care provider.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

 

 

 
 
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Illustration of the large intestine, small intestine and rectum

National Institutes of Health

 

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MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.