Home > Health Library > Gas, Bloating, and Burping
(flatus), burping, and bloating are all normal conditions. Gas is made in the
stomach and intestines as your body breaks down food into energy. Gas and
burping may sometimes be embarrassing. Bloating, which is a feeling of fullness
in the abdomen, can make you uncomfortable. Although many people think that
they pass gas too often or have too much gas, it is rare to have too much gas.
Changing what you eat and drink can sometimes cut down on gas and relieve
discomfort caused by gas.
Belching or burping (eructation) is the
voluntary or involuntary, sometimes noisy release of air from the
esophagus through the mouth. Burping 3 or 4 times
after eating a meal is normal and is usually caused by swallowing air. Other
causes of burping include nervous habits or other
medical conditions, such as an
ulcer or a
gallbladder problem. In some cultures, a person may
belch loudly after eating to show appreciation for the meal.
people pass gas, but some people produce more gas than others. It is normal to
pass gas from 6 to 20 times a day. Although this may embarrass or annoy you,
excess intestinal gas usually is not caused by a serious health condition.
Common causes of gas and bloating include:
Dyspepsia is a medical term that is used to describe a vague
feeling of fullness, gnawing, or burning in the chest or upper abdomen,
especially after eating. A person may describe this feeling as "gas." Other
symptoms may occur at the same time, such as belching, rumbling noises in the
abdomen, increased flatus, poor appetite, and a change in bowel habits.
Causes of dyspepsia can vary from minor to serious.
Occasionally, a person may dismiss serious symptoms, such as
symptoms of a heart attack, as "just gas or
Check your symptoms
to decide if and when you should see a doctor.
Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind
of care you may need. These include:
Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The
problem probably will not get better without medical care.
Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.
Based on your answers, you need
Call911or other emergency services now.
After you call
911 , the operator may tell you to chew 1 adult-strength (325 mg) or 2
to 4 low-dose (81 mg) aspirin. Wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself.
Based on your answers, the problem may not improve without medical
Home treatment for gas and bloating
includes things like:
You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be
able to take care of this problem at home.
Symptoms of a heart attack may
The more of these symptoms you have, the more likely it is that
you're having a heart attack. Chest pain or pressure is the most common
symptom, but some people, especially women, may not notice it as much as other
symptoms. You may not have chest pain at all but instead have shortness of breath, nausea, numbness,
tingling, or a strange feeling in your chest or other areas.
Many nonprescription and prescription medicines and
supplements can cause gas and bloating. A few examples are:
Gas, bloating, and
burping are usually harmless and go away without any treatment. If gas,
bloating, or burping is making you uncomfortable, take the following steps to
help manage your symptoms:
usually harmless and go away without any treatment. But if hiccups are making
you uncomfortable, the following safe and easy home remedies may help you
manage your symptoms.
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home
You may be able to prevent
gas, bloating, burping, and hiccups.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
You can help your
doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to
answer the following questions:
Current as of:
June 4, 2014
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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