Symptoms and Signs of Flatulence (Gas)

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Flatulence (Gas)

Flatulence refers to the presence of excess intestinal gas that is released from the anus with sound and/or odor. The excess gas is a byproduct of digestion within the intestine when bacteria normally present in the gut work to break down ingested foods. Swallowing air due to eating or drinking too rapidly, lactose intolerance, and maldigestion of certain foods can contribute to gas formation.

Symptoms of flatulence include excess or increased frequency of passing of gas from the anus. Associated signs and symptoms increased frequency or excessive instances of passing gas,¬†foul-smelling gas, abdominal pain or cramping, and belching. Some people may also experience abdominal bloating, or the sensation that the abdomen is larger, and a feeling that has been described as “knots” in the stomach.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.