What Do Intestinal Gases Say about Your Health?

24 October, 2019
Surely, you’ve experienced an upset stomach and flatulence before. In today’s post, discover what flatulence can tell you about your health.

Excess air in the intestine causes abdominal distension. Bacteria, from the food that we eat, cause intestinal gases. Without the habits of a good diet, exercise and vitamins, gases will be a constant problem.

Among the possible causes are the following: eating too quickly, swallowing too much air when eating (for example, this commonly happens because of talking while eating) or because of excessive quantities of food.

Intestinal gases aren’t an illness but rather, alarm signals that something isn’t right in the digestive tract.

On one hand, you might be eating high quantities of sugars and cellulose. These carbohydrates can’t be digested nor absorbed easily. As a result, they end up in the intestines and exit the body through the anus.

However, there are other products such as: cauliflower, lentils, raisins or broccoli that cause the same effect. In these cases, these kinds of gases are completely natural.

When should I be worried?

In medical terms, gases aren’t an indication of a serious illness. However, it wouldn’t hurt to make an appointment with the doctor. Especially if the problem is uncontrollable and affects your daily activities. According to the symptoms, the medical specialist will determine a proper treatment.

Also see: Is It Bad to Eat Flour Based Food at Night?

Why do I have so much air?

There are certain habits that make intestines more likely to release air. As previously mentioned:

  1. Eating quickly.
  2. Chewing gum.
  3. Sucking on hard candies.
  4. Using dentures.

However, the presence of intestinal gases can also influence a person’s mood. Why? Because when a person is nervous, he or she tends to swallow more air without even realizing it.

Alarming symptoms


  • When a person doesn’t chew properly, food has trouble reaching the colon.
  • Once food reaches the colon, it’s digested by a enormous amount of bacteria and the more difficult the process, the more gases result.
  • Sweeteners, such as fructose, and conservatives require a long time for digestion.
  • When people don’t have enough lactase to break down dairy products.
  • Busy day-to-day lifestyles cause stress and anxiety, which inevitably alters intestinal function. The latter produces higher amounts of air.
  • If you have constipation, gases are a reality as they are caused by blocked stool.


Foods that cause intestinal gases

Whether it be by burps or flatulence, we need to reduce gases. To reduce them, changing dietary habits is essential. The following are some recommendations:

  • Avoid sucking on hard candies.
  • Limit pasta meals to only once a week.
  • Choose to eat ripe fruit when possible.
  • Reduce cheese and yogurt consumption.
  • Limit tomatoes, carrots and celery in your diet.
  • When cooking, swap out frying for roasting and boiling.
  • Don’t eat food products with a high sugar content.

Foods to avoid

  • Blended legumes. Stay away from lentils, chickpeas and beans.
  • There are certain vegetables that produce gas. Reduce your intake of: cabbage, cucumber, lettuce or broccoli.
  • Flours and grains aren’t good sides.
  • Avoid dairy products. Especially milk.
  • Steer clear from turnips, potatoes and raw onion.
  • Limit or avoid carbonated drinks altogether.
  • Red wine.

Treatment for intestinal gases

Exercising is very important for improving the function of the digestive tract. It won’t only reduce gases, but pain and abdominal bloating as well.

However, a medical specialist may prescribe some supplements with high probiotic content that offer healthy bacteria. These bacteria aid in digestion.

However, if a patient experiences an intense pain that repeats itself several times in a day, the best option is to take a anti-colic drug. These drugs act directly in the intestine, relaxing the abdominal muscles.

Do not try to treat yourself. Treating yourself might cover the cause of the pain and hinder the actually needed treatment. When we take medication by ourselves, we might believe that the intestinal gases aren’t being caused by another problem, when in reality, that might not be the case.

  • Pellissier, S., & Bonaz, B. (2017). The Place of Stress and Emotions in the Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In Vitamins and Hormones. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.vh.2016.09.005
  • Hasler WL. Gas and Bloating. Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2006;2(9):654–662.
  • Azpiroz F. Intestinal gas dynamics: mechanisms and clinical relevance. Gut. 2005;54(7):893–895. doi:10.1136/gut.2004.048868