Excess upper intestinal gas can result from swallowing more than a usual amount of air, overeating, smoking or chewing gum. Excess lower intestinal gas can be caused by eating too much of certain foods, by the inability to fully digest certain foods or by a disruption in the bacteria normally found in the colon.
Foods that cause excess gas
Foods that cause gas in one person might not cause it in another. Common gas-producing foods and substances include:
- Beans and lentils
- Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy and brussels sprouts (cruciferous vegetables)
- Dairy products containing lactose
- Fructose, which is found in some fruits and used as a sweetener in soft drinks and other products
- Sorbitol, a sugar substitute found in some sugar-free candies, gums and artificial sweeteners
- Carbonated beverages, such as soda or beer
Digestive disorders that cause excess gas
Excessive intestinal gas — belching or flatulence more than 20 times a day — sometimes indicates a disorder such as:
- Autoimmune pancreatitis
- Celiac disease
- Crohn's disease (a type of inflammatory bowel disease)
- Dumping syndrome
- Eating disorders
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Gastroparesis (a condition in which the muscles of the stomach wall don't function properly, interfering with digestion)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Intestinal obstruction
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Lactose intolerance
- Peptic ulcer
- Ulcerative colitis
April 16, 2019
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
- Living with gas in the digestive tract. American Gastroenterological Association. https://www.gastro.org/info_for_patients/2013/6/6/living-with-gas-in-the-digestive-tract. Accessed March 23, 2016.
- Gas in the digestive tract. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/gas-digestive-tract. Accessed March 23, 2016.
- Belching, bloating and flatulence. The American College of Gastroenterology. http://patients.gi.org/topics/belching-bloating-and-flatulence/. Accessed March 23, 2016.
- Gas-related complaints. Merck Manual Professional Version. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/symptoms-of-gi-disorders/gas-related-complaints. Accessed March 23, 2016.