Intestinal gas means different things to different people. Patients may complain of excessive bloating after eating, belching, or rectal gas (flatulence), or a combination of these symptoms. In order to deal with these different symptoms, patients should understand how the gastrointestinal tract works. With this knowledge, they can take steps to prevent or improve their symptoms.
Each time food, liquid, or even saliva is swallowed, a small amount of air is carried to the stomach. In the stomach, food is churned into small fragments and then emptied into the small intestine. How quickly the stomach empties varies, but generally it takes place within 1 to 2 hours. The small intestine gently contracts, moving these liquid food fragments downstream. That is where the food's nutrition calories, minerals, and vitamins are absorbed. The indigestible liquid waste then reaches the large colon (bowel). Here, much of the water from the liquid fragments is reabsorbed. That is how the stool is formed.
Various functions along the path of digestion can contribute to the production of gas. Following simple diet and lifestyle changes can help to reduce gastrointestinal gas and relieve symptoms.
Gas and Flatulence Prevention Diet