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Gas - flatulence

Intestinal gas

Definition

Gas is air in the intestine that is passed through the rectum. Air that moves from the digestive tract through the mouth is called belching.

Gas is also called flatus or flatulence.

Alternative Names

Flatulence; Flatus

Considerations

Gas is normally formed in the intestines as your body digests food.

Gas can make you feel bloated. It can cause crampy or colicky pains in your belly.

Causes

Gas can be caused by certain foods you eat. You may have gas if you:

Other common causes of gas are:

Home Care

The following tips may help you prevent gas:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if you have:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history and symptoms, such as:

Tests that may be done include:

References

Azpiroz F. Intestinal gas. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 17.

Hall JE. Physiology of gastrointestinal disorders. In: Hall JE, ed. Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 67.

McQuaid KR. Approach to the patient with gastrointestinal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 132.


Review Date: 4/9/2018
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.