Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What can cause an increase in gas levels?"
I just feel super gassy lately. Haven't changed my diet or anything, but there is discomfort in my stomach and a pass gas and burp a lot more over the last week. Why would my gas level increase? Is something wrong with my stomach?
Gas is typically produced in the digestive tract by bacteria which live in the intestine. Bacteria feed on the items that you eat, and the byproduct of their feeding is gas. Therefore, the most common cause of an increase in gas is a change in diet. For example, if you have been eating more fruits and vegetables, these may cause gas. Furthermore, if you have been drinking more soft drinks than previously, the carbonation in these may contribute to gas. Finally, for a dietary standpoint, a common offender is sorbitol, which is the sweetening agent found in sugar free gum and candy. Another common cause of gas is from swallowing too much air. People who tend to swallow air are those who chew a lot of gum, as well as those eat very rapidly at mealtime. Eliminated chewing gum and making sure to eat your meals slowly can help reduce gas. Occasionally, gas production can be from a food intolerance. The most common food intolerance is lactose intolerance. Have you noticed that there is an association between your gas and consuming dairy products? Additionally, if you notice that your gas is worse when you are tired or stressed out, you may be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, which is another condition that your doctor can help you treat. Please discuss this issue with your primary care doctor. He or she can help assess your digestion and determine a treatment plan. Good luck.
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