7 Common Causes of Excess Gas and Flatulence

May 20, 2017
It's uncomfortable, it's embarrassing...and it may be caused by some very common bad habits. Learn about the causes of excess gas and how to treat it!

Gas and flatulence are common issues for many people.

Gas is caused by the bacteria that live in your intestines. However, internal problems or reactions to external agents can make it worse.

While it’s not a serious health problem, it’s sometimes so common that it becomes an embarrassing issue for the person suffering from it. After all, gas can accumulate and cause unpleasant, embarrassing odors and sounds.

Because of this, it’s essential to know what causes gas and what you can do to reduce it.

Today, we want to share the seven most common causes of gas so that you can take the necessary steps to avoid them.

1. Imbalances in your bacterial flora

Intestines and bacteria.

An excess of gas can be the result of an imbalance in the bacteria that protect your intestine.

This issue is common after suffering from a digestive disorder such as gastroenteritis or an infection.

Because the pH of the stomach tends to change quickly, gas production can increase and certain bacteria thrive.

In these cases, it’s a good idea to consume more probiotic and prebiotic foods. These are great for repopulating your gut with healthy bacteria.

See also: How to Cure Gastric Reflux

2. Fermentation of food in the intestine

Some bacteria that are present in your digestive tract are responsible for fermenting certain foods to facilitate their breakdown during the digestive process.

This activity usually occurs in the large intestine. However, sometimes bacteria can pass into the small intestine and generate early fermentation.

Since foods here aren’t fully digested, gas will increase throughout the system until you release it.

The worst part is that this can cause bloating, pain, and other symptoms that affect your quality of life.

3. Eating too quickly and gas

Woman eating healthy to avoid flatulence and gas.
People who finish their lunch too quickly, for whatever reason, tend to suffer from regular episodes of flatulence.

This is because they wind up swallowing large amounts of air during meals. In turn, this increases the amount of gas in the intestines and leads to belching and flatulence.

4. Excessive consumption of dairy products

Although some people never have trouble processing dairy products, they can develop some serious problems over time.

Age and regular exposure to certain factors may lower levels of the enzyme lactase. As you may know, lactase is responsible for digesting dairy products.

If you develop digestive symptoms or problems after eating this type of food, you may be lactose intolerant.

In this case, the only solution is to avoid dairy consumption. Instead, replace diary products with lactose-free alternatives.

5. Hormonal changes

Flatulence can be embarrassing.
The hormonal changes that women undergo during menopause, along with hormone-related diseases, can lead to excessive build up of gas.

Although scientists have yet to determine exactly which hormones cause this reaction, those who suffer from it undergo some very clear changes in their digestive activity.

To control the symptoms and decrease their occurrence, you should get more exercise and drink plenty of water.

6. Gluten sensitivity

Gas can be a clear sign of food allergies or other disorders, such as celiac disease.

These autoimmune conditions can lead to severe problems with absorption. In turn, this can cause small ruptures in the lining of the small intestine. Then, this triggers inflammation in the abdomen, pain, and other symptoms that prevent proper digestion.

It is therefore crucial to identify this condition in a timely manner, especially because you’ll need to make changes to your diet to control the problem.

We recommend reading: 10 signs you’re gluten intolerant

7. A build up of waste

A woman grasping her abdominal fat.
Constipation, or the build-up of waste in the intestines, is a potential cause of excess gas and other digestive disorders.

When waste stays in the colon, it alters the bacterial flora and your body produces more gas than normal.

In addition, your intestines have difficulties absorbing nutrients and disposing of the waste your body doesn’t need.

When you suffer from this condition, it’s a good idea to increase your consumption of water, fiber, and other foods that have digestive properties.

Remember that the most effective way to control this problem is to improve your eating habits. This includes reducing your intake of products that stimulate gas production.

Consider all of these recommendations and talk with your doctor if you think it’s necessary.

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