Medical Definition of Gas, intestinal

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Gas, intestinal: The complaint referred to as "intestinal gas" is a common one and the discomfort can be quite significant. Everyone has gas and eliminates it by burping or passing it through the rectum. In many instances people think they have too much gas when in reality they have normal amounts. Most people produce 1 to 3 pints of intestinal gas in 24 hours and pass gas an average of 14 times a day. It is made up primarily of odorless vapors such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and in some families, methane. The unpleasant odor is due to bacteria in the large intestine that release small amounts of gases containing sulfur.

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Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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