(also known as Gas or Eructation or plainly – Fart)
Flatulence is the presence of excessive gas on the digestive tract which is discharged from the anus.
Flatulence and Air:
Air enters the abdomen by a person swallowing air (while eating, drinking or being anxious), from gases released by the blood, and natural production in the lumen.
When air enters the body, most of it is removed by burping or belching. A small amount does enter the small bowel.
Gas is also produced naturally by the body. Hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide is produced by bacterial metabolism. Most of the hydrogen is made in the colon as result of metabolism of foods containing carbohydrates and amino acids. Most carbohydrates are absorbed by the body not resulting in production of gas. But sugars and fiber found in some fruits and vegetables may result in the formation of excessive gas.
Gas is released from the body by way of belching, passage through the anus, bacterial catabolism and diffusion into the blood and through the lungs.
When gas production in the body surpasses the norm, a few people experience bloating, flatulence and abdominal discomfort. In some people, gas production of 1 liter and hour did not cause any symptoms. Flatulence in normal men between the ages of 25 and 35 years of age ranges from 13 to 21 a day.
There are many reasons for why someone has excessive gas. It is important for a physician to monitor and conduct tests to eliminate certain disorders. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, lactose intolerance, aerophagia (excessive belching) are all common causes of gas and have various treatments.