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Bloating and gas

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Many people are worried about bloating and gas. It may surprise you to know that the average adult produces about 1-3 pints of gas each day. This gas is passed from below 14 to 23 times per day. Burping before or after a meal is also quite normal.

Where does the gas come from?

There are two sources of intestinal gas “ 

  • Gas that is ingested (swallowed air)
  • Gas produced by bacteria in the colon

Burping vs passing gas

Most of the swallowed air can be eliminated by burping. It means that only a small amount of air passes from the stomach into the small intestine. When you set up, most swallowed air passes back up the esophagus and out of the mouth. That is why you burp.

When you lie down, swallowed air pass into the small intestine and it can cause you to pass gas.

Burping foods

There are some foods that cause burping more than others. These foods relax the sphincter at the lower end of the esophagus and result in burps. Peppermint, chocolate, and high-fat foods are some of such foods.

Passing gas

The colon Contains billions of harmless bacteria. Since the stomach cannot digest certain carbohydrates, the bacteria present in the colon have to do that. Search foods will cause you to have more gas because the colon bacteria are working hard.

Why do farts smell?

Farts smell because even though a minor component of gas, trace amounts of sulfur are also present. This sulfur causes the smell.

Can you get gas and bloating with dairy?

It is possible. Some people may get gas and bloating when they consume dairy products. Some people cannot digest certain carbohydrates. Lactose is the major sugar in dairy products and some people cannot digest lactose. In those people eating dairy or lactose can cause increased gas production and cramping and diarrhea.

Bacterial overgrowth

Some people, ty harbor large numbers of bacteria in their small bowel. These people are more prone to developing excessive gas. However, the reason for such bacterial overgrowth in the small bowel is not yet known.

Why do some people burp more than others?

Some people tend to burp more than other people. That may happen because of more swallowing of air. In that case, it is important to pay attention to the causes of increased swallowing. Such causes may be chewing gums and smoking. If it happens to you, you need to eat slowly without gulping and you should also avoid carbonated beverages.

If you find out that some foods or drinks cause burping more, you need to avoid those foods and drinks. Likewise, if you find out that some particular foods cause you to pass gas more, you can always avoid such foods.

There are some over-the-counter medications that can help you with gas and bloating. Over-the-counter medicines containing simethicone can help with gas and bloating. People who need help to reduce the odor of unpleasant-smelling gas can try Pepto-Bismol.