Causes of Gas Problem

Bacteria can produce too much gas in three ways.

1. Some individuals may have bacteria that produce more gas, either because there are more of the bacteria or because their particular bacteria are better at producing gas.

2. There may be poor digestion and absorption of foods in the small intestine, allowing more undigested food to reach the bacteria. The more undigested food the bacteria have, the more gas they produce. Examples of diseases that cause poor digestion and absorption include lactose intolerance, pancreatic insufficiency, and celiac disease.

3. Bacterial overgrowth can occur in the small intestine. Under normal conditions, the bacteria that produce gas are limited to the colon. However, when the walls of small intestine are lined up with sticky food materials, these bacteria spread into the small intestine. When this bacterial spread occurs, ingested food is grabbed by the bacteria before it can be absorbed by the small intestine. Therefore, the bacteria in the small intestine have a lot of undigested food from which to form gas. This condition in which the gas-producing bacteria move into the small intestine is called bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine (bowel).

Excessive production of gas by bacteria usually is accompanied by flatulence. Increased flatulence may not always occur, however, since gas potentially can be eliminated in other ways - absorption into the body, utilization by other bacteria, or possibly, by elimination at night without the awareness of the gas-passer.


(Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this section of the site has been compiled from various sources, predominantly from material freely available on the web. We have just edited it to make it simpler for a common man to read and understand it. The links to all the original sites are provided in the References section if you wish to visit them.)