What Do Intestinal Gases Say about Your Health?

Surely, you’ve experienced an upset stomach and flatulence before. Below, discover what flatulence can tell you about your health.
What Do Intestinal Gases Say about Your Health?
Maricela Jiménez López

Written and verified by the doctor Maricela Jiménez López.

Last update: 04 August, 2022

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.

Is it a kind of illness, or not?

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

It could be that you’re eating high quantities of sugars and cellulose. The body can’t digest or absorb these carbohydrates 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 you be worried?

Gases are usually annoying for the person suffering. Generally. they’re not an indication of a serious illness. However, it wouldn’t hurt to make an appointment with the doctor when you experience them fairly frequently. Especially if they come with other symptoms.

Intestinal gases indicate bad food habits

When you don’t chew your food properly, and you eat and drink quickly and in abundance, or if you’re on edge or stressed, it’s likely that you’ll have difficulties with digestion, which then leads to intestinal gases.

Furthermore, the type of foods that you eat also has an influence on the process of digestion. Fried, ultra-processed foods, drinks filled with sweeteners, and refined sugars are some of those that can cause intestinal gases, bloating, and other annoyances.

fries with added salt; intestinal gases and what they say about you
Junk food can cause intestinal gases and other annoyances.

Why do I have so much air?

As you can see, there are certain habits that make intestines more likely to release air.

  1. Eating quickly.
  2. Eating too much.
  3. Drinking through a straw.
  4. Wearing dentures.
  5. Drinking a lot of liquid whilst you’re eating.
  6. Chewing gum or eating candies regularly.

Of course, there are other factors that can influence the appearance of intestinal gases, such as the individual’s mood. For this reason, stress and anxiety can cause a person to eat quickly and as such, consume more air, which is what will cause intestinal gases later.

In fact. according to an investigation published in 2017, emotions like anxiety and stress have an impact on the development of disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It seems that these emotions influence the bidirectional communications between the intestine and the brain.

Additionally, when you experience constipation, the intestinal gases can develop for the simple reason that the feces are blocked.

Furthermore, as experts at the Mayo Clinic indicate, having too much gas can be an indication of other disorders like autoimmune pancreatitis, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and gastroesophageal reflux, among others.

Alarming symptoms

Is it possible to prevent intestinal gases?

In order to avoid daily intestinal gases, it’s important you make a change in your diet. Here are some recommendations:

  • Avoid sucking on candies.
  • Eat pasta only once a week.
  • Preferably, eat ripe fruit.
  • Reduce the amount of cheese and yogurts you eat.
  • Limit your consumption of tomatoes, carrots, and celery.
  • When cooking, substitute frying for baking or boiling.
  • Don’t consume products with high sugar contents.

Food we recommend against

  • Pulses in pureed forms. Distance yourself from lentils, chickpeas, and beans.
  • There are vegetables that produce a lot of gases. Reduce your intake of cabbage, cucumber, lettuce, and broccoli,
  • Flour and cereals aren’t a good choice.
  • Avoid lactose products, especially milk.
  • Avoid radishes, potatoes, and raw onion.
  • Reduce or avoid soda.
  • Alcoholic drinks.
  • Chocolate.

You may also be interested in: Is it Bad to Eat Flour-Based Foods at Night?

Is there some kind of treatment for intestinal gases?

pilates work out for intestinal gases

We recommend you exercise to improve the function of your digestive system. It doesn’t only reduce the gases, but also the abdominal pain and inflammation. Some of the activities that may help are as follows:

  • Walking with your shoulders straight and your hands back.
  • Cycling, yoga, or pilates.
  • Going up and down the stairs.

However, a specialist may prescribe you supplements with high probiotic content that support the beneficial bacteria to help with the digestion process.

Alternatively, if you experience intense pain that recurs multiple times during the day, the best option is to take anti-colic drugs. These act directly on the intestine relaxing the abdominal muscles.

Don’t self-medicate, go to a doctor

It’s important that you don’t self-medicate. Self-medication will conceal the cause of your pain and this will make it difficult to determine an adequate treatment. When taking a drug, we can start to believe that the intestinal gases aren’t caused by anything else. when in reality, that may not be the case.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • 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

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.