Gas - flatulence


Gas is air in the intestine that is passed through the rectum. Air that moves from the digestive tract through the mouth is called belching.

Gas is also called flatus or flatulence .

Alternative Names

Flatulence; Flatus


Gas is normally formed in the intestines your body digests food.

Gas can make you feel bloated. It can cause crampy or colicky pains in your belly. See: Abdominal pain.


Gas can be caused by certain foods you eat. You may have gas if you:

Other common causes of gas are:

Home Care

The following tips may help you prevent gas:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your doctor or nurse if you have:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your doctor or nurse will perform a physical examination and ask questions about your medical history and symptoms, such as:

Tests that may be done include:


Bailey J. FPIN's Clinical Inquiries: Effective management of flatulence. Am Fam Physician. 2009;79:1098-1100.

Ohge H, Levitt MD. Intestinal gas. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2010:chap 16.

Review Date: 4/17/2012
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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