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.
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.
Gas can be caused by certain foods you eat. You may have gas if you:
Other common causes of gas are:
The following tips may help you prevent gas:
Contact your health care provider if you have:
Your provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history and symptoms, such as:
Tests that may be done include:
Azpiroz F. Intestinal gas. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 17.
Hall JE, Hall ME. Physiology of gastrointestinal disorders. In: Hall JE, Hall ME, eds. Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 67.
McQuaid KR. Approach to the patient with gastrointestinal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 123.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 4/6/2020
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.
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