Flatulence can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'generally fatal'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose flatulence, we could:
|Poor Digestion||5%||Ruled out|
|Stomach Acid Deficiency||4%||Ruled out|
|Diverticular Disease||4%||Ruled out|
|Irritable Bowel Syndrome||2%||Ruled out|
Do you suffer from excess lower bowel gas (flatulence)? The average adult passes gas ("farts") 8 to 20 times a day, but this depends on various factors. Try to compare yourself to others with similar diet and eating habits.
Possible responses:→ No / average / only after overeating / don't know
→ Yes, but it is probably due to my diet
→ Somewhat more than most people
→ Very much more than most people
Persistent and severe flatulence may be a symptom of gallbladder problems.
The altered digestion found in IBS will usually lead to higher gas production. If intestinal transit is too quick, food is only partially digested. Natural bacteria residing in the gut will cause fermentation of this food, producing gas. Fast-moving bowel contents may also lead to pockets of trapped gas, worsening the problem. Some studies suggest that the populations of gut bacteria in IBS patients differ from the normal, with more 'bad' than 'good' bacteria, which can cause excess flatulence.
"Lactose malabsorption and lactase deficiency are chronic organic pathologic conditions characterized by abdominal pain and distention, flatulence, and the passage of loose, watery stools. Once correct diagnosis is established, introduction of a lactose-free dietary regime relieves symptoms in most patients... who remain largely unaware of the relationship between food intake and symptoms." [Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, 1999 Apr, 28:3]
Gas can be caused by stress and the nervous habit of frequent swallowing.