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Bloating and intestinal gas.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 251 East Huron Street, Galter Pavilion 4-104, Chicago, IL 60611-2908, USA.


The most common symptoms associated with intestinal gas are eructation, flatulence, abdominal bloating, and distention. Aerophagia is an uncommon cause of eructation in which repetitive air swallowing results in belching, abdominal distention, and increased flatus. Few therapies have been shown to be effective in treating these symptoms. Eructation can be treated by decreasing excessive air swallowing. Occasionally, behavioral therapy and psychotherapy are employed. Bloating, distention, and other gas-related symptoms are common in functional gastrointestinal disorders; however, their pathophysiology is poorly understood. Additionally, evidence supporting the use of various available therapies in treating gas-related symptoms is either absent or poor. Dietary therapy may be effective in patients with excessive gas production. Excessive gas production, identified by increased flatus, may benefit from a low-carbohydrate diet. Many patients with gas-related symptoms have normal gas production but may have either impaired gas transport or transit through the gut or visceral hypersensitivity. Few studies have addressed the treatment of impaired gas transport.


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