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Gas,Bloating,and Burping - Topic Overview

Gas (flatus), burping, and bloating are all normal conditions. Gas is made in the stomach and intestines as your body breaks down food into energy. Gas and burping may sometimes be embarrassing. Bloating, which is a feeling of fullness in the abdomen, can make you uncomfortable. Although many people think that they pass gas too often or have too much gas, it is rare to have too much gas. Changing what you eat and drink can sometimes cut down on gas and relieve discomfort caused by gas.

Belching or burping (eructation) is the voluntary or involuntary, sometimes noisy release of air from the stomach camera.gif or esophagus camera.gif through the mouth. Burping 3 or 4 times after eating a meal is normal and is usually caused by swallowing air. Other causes of burping include nervous habits or other medical conditions, such as an ulcer or a gallbladder problem. In some cultures, a person may belch loudly after eating to show appreciation for the meal.

All people pass gas, but some people produce more gas than others. It is normal to pass gas from 6 to 20 times a day. Although this may embarrass or annoy you, excess intestinal gas usually is not caused by a serious health condition.

Common causes of gas and bloating include:

Dyspepsia is a medical term that is used to describe a vague feeling of fullness, gnawing, or burning in the chest or upper abdomen, especially after eating. A person may describe this feeling as "gas." Other symptoms may occur at the same time, such as belching, rumbling noises in the abdomen, increased flatus, poor appetite, and a change in bowel habits. Causes of dyspepsia can vary from minor to serious.

Occasionally, a person may dismiss serious symptoms, such as symptoms of a heart attack, as "just gas or indigestion."

Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 12, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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