What are the problems caused by gas?

The most common symptoms of gas are bloating, bloating, abdominal distension, abdominal pain and belching. However, not everyone experiences these symptoms. The determining factors are probably the amount of gas produced, the amount of fatty acids absorbed and a person’s sensitivity to colonic gas.


An occasional burp during or after meals is normal and releases gas when the stomach is full of food. However, people who burp frequently may swallow too much air and release it before it enters the stomach.

Sometimes, the person with chronic belching may have an upper digestive tract disorder, such as peptic ulcer, stomach and duodenal ulcer, gastro esophageal reflux disease, or gastro paresis.

Occasionally, some people believe that swallowing air and expelling it will relieve the symptoms of these disorders, thus developing the habit of burping continuously.

Gas-bloat syndrome may occur after a Tholoplasty surgery to correct Gastro esophageal Regression. This procedure creates a one-way valve between the esophagus and the stomach that allows food and gas to enter the stomach, but often prevents normal belching and the ability to vomit. It happens in 10% of people who have this procedure and this rate may improve over time.

Flatulence (intestinal gas)

Another common complaint is the expulsion of excess gas through the rectum, called tympany. However, many people are unaware that expelling gas 14 to 23 times a day is normal. Excessive gas can be the result of malabsorption of carbohydrates.

Abdominal bloating

Many people believe that excessive gas causes abdominal bloating. People who complain of gas bloating, however, usually have normal amount and expulsion of gas.

Doctors believe that bloating is usually the result of an intestinal disorder, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The cause of IBS is unknown, but it may involve abnormal movement and contraction of the intestinal muscles and increased sensitivity to bowel pain. These disorders may cause bloating due to increased sensitivity to gas.

Any condition that causes intestinal inflammation or obstruction, such as Crohn’s disease or colon cancer, can also cause abdominal bloating. In addition, people who have undergone multiple surgeries, or have created adhesions between intestinal tubules, e.g. scar tissue, or have internal hernias may experience bloating or pain. Finally, eating fairly fatty foods may delay emptying of the stomach and cause bloating and discomfort, but not necessarily a lot of gas.
More brings on abdominal pain and discomfort.

Some people ache when they have gas in the gut. When the pain is located on the left side of the colon, it can be mistaken for heart disease. When it is located on the right side of the colon, it can mimic gallstone and choleocystitis or appendicitis