Does excess gas cause you embarrassment and discomfort?
You may feel that you pass a lot of gas, or just suffer from bloating and crampy abdominal pain. You may feel this pain in areas where gas can become trapped, such as in bends in the colon, which occur naturally in the area under the liver (upper to mid-right part of the abdomen), and in the area under the spleen (upper to mid left part of the abdomen).
WHERE DOES ALL THIS GAS COME FROM?
There are two main sources of intestinal gas: gas that is ingested (mostly swallowed air) and gas that is produced by bacteria in the colon.
It is normal to swallow a small amount of air when eating and drinking and when swallowing saliva. Some of that air comes out through belching and some moves on to the small intestine. Belching is more common with certain foods that relax the sphincter around the lower end of the esophagus where it joins the stomach, like peppermint, chocolate, and fats.
The colon normally provides a home for billions of harmless bacteria, some of which support the health of the bowel. Did you know that there are more bacteria than human cells in your body? Certain carbohydrates that are incompletely digested by our body’s enzymes are “eaten” by those bacteria instead. The by-products of this process include lots of different gases.
A condition called bacterial overgrowth can increase the number of bacteria and cause excess gas production.
But most people who complain of excessive gas do not produce more gas than the average person. Instead, they are more aware of normal amounts of gas. People with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and FD (functional dyspepsia) are especially sensitive, for example.