What factors can increase gas?

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A variety of factors increase the production of gas throughout the GI tract, including diet, behavioral activities, and altered gut flora (bacteria). Caffeinated beverages and chewing gum are two obvious culprits, while dairy products are often consumed at quantities that overwhelm the system.  Gulping of foods and drinks as well as using straws worsen gas production as both promote swallowing of air; smaller bites of foods and eating slowly will help with gas and possibly even weight loss. Besides all of the obvious reasons to quit smoking, it too will increase gas. Finally, alteration of the typical bacteria in the gut will lead to an ‘environment of bad actors’. Probiotics and avoidance of unnecessary antibiotics often promotes an environment for bacteria which do not produce excessive gas. A well-balanced diet will help maintain appropriate bacterial flora, and a low FODMAP diet will eliminate / minimize foods which increase gas.

Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics
Lack of fiber can cause gas so can eating too much fiber when you are not used to it. Parasites in the intestines can cause gas as well. Gas can be increased when you ingest certain fibrous foods that ferment in the intestines. This can be from inulin or chicory root, cruciferous vegetables, fermentable sugars, or fibrous grains.
Lawrence S. Friedman, MD
Gastroenterology
Factors such as disturbances in motility (the ability of the digestive tract to propel its contents) or metabolism, influence how often and how much flatulence or flatus (gas that escapes from the rectum) is passed. For instance, people with slowed intestinal motility (the ability of the digestive tract to propel its contents) may produce more gas simply because bacteria have more time to work their magic on complex carbohydrates. Gas production may also increase when people take antibiotics, which lead to changes in the types of bacteria in the colon, or when the acidity level in the bowel goes down.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.