font size


Intestinal Gas
(Belching, Bloating, Flatulence)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Intestinal gas facts

  • The usual cause of belching is excessive gas in the stomach that comes from swallowed air. However, discomfort in the abdomen for any reason also may cause belching. Therefore, belching does not always indicate the presence of excessive gas in the stomach.
  • Bloating is the subjective feeling that the abdomen is ful but does not necessarily mean that the abdomen is enlarged. Distention is the objective enlargement of the abdomen.
  • Continuous distention of the abdomen usually is caused by fluid, tumors, enlarged organs, or fat within the abdomen.
  • Intermittent distention of the abdomen may be caused by excessive formation of intestinal gas, as well as physical or functional obstruction of the intestines.
  • Flatulence (farting) results from the production of gas by bacteria within the intestines when they digest sugars and polysaccharides.
  • Excessive production of gas and increased flatulence may occur because of: (1) the greater ability of some bacteria to produce gas; (2) maldigestion or malabsorption of sugars and polysaccharides; and (3) bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine.
  • Belching, bloating/distention, and flatulence are evaluated with a medical history, simple abdominal X-rays, small intestinal X-rays, gastric emptying studies, ultrasound examination, computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), tests for maldigestion and malabsorption, and hydrogen breath tests.
  • The treatment of excessive intestinal gas depends on the underlying cause and may include dietary changes, medications that reduce the production of gas (for example, antibiotics), and medications that stimulate the muscles of the small intestine.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/28/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Intestinal Gas - Effective Treatments Question: What kinds of treatments have been effective for your intestinal gas?
Intestinal Gas - Causes Question: What was the cause of your intestinal gas?
Intestinal Gas - Bloating Causes Question: For some, it's eating a certain food. What is the usual cause of your bloating (intestinal gas)?
Intestinal Gas - Flatulence Causes Question: It may be embarrassing, but what is often the cause of your flatulence (intestinal gas)?
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/intestinal_gas_belching_bloating_flatulence/article.htm

GI Disorders

Get the latest treatment options.

Intestinal Gas (Belching, Bloating, Flatulence) Related Articles
advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations

NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD