Every meal that we eat contains some indigestible elements. This is especially the case for individuals who follow a diet that is high in fibre. These parts of our food that cannot be broken down by the small intestine collect in the colon and ferment. This leads to the buildup of intestinal gas, which most of us expel through belching or flatulence. On average, a healthy adult passes gas between ten and twenty times a day.
From time to time, our bodies are unable to get rid of the gas. The result is uncomfortable bloating that is often accompanied by abdominal pain that ranges from mild to severe.
You may be experiencing a buildup of intestinal gas if:
Intestinal gas and bloating is generally not serious, and in most people it is quickly resolved through the natural processes of the body. In some cases, though, it can be serious enough to warrant attention:
Serious bloating can be a sign of a chronic condition, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. It can also result from food allergies and intolerances. Some people, for instance, are unable to digest lactose or gluten.