Symptoms of Gas

The most common symptoms of gas are abdominal bloating, abdominal pressure and discomfort, belching and flatulence.

Abdominal Bloating

We’ve all had that feeling when the stomach feels uncomfortably full or tight and may even appear swollen or descendant. But what some people consider bloating will often be normal amounts of gas. In others, bloating can be the result of an intestinal disorder, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which may involve abnormal movements and contractions of intestinal muscles and increased pain sensitivity in the intestine. These disorders may give a sensation of bloating because of increased sensitivity to gas, in which case we recommend you see a physician.

A diet rich in fatty foods can delay stomach emptying that can also cause bloating and discomfort.

Abdominal Pressure and Discomfort

Like bloating, the stomach may feel uncomfortably full. But unlike bloating, it may not appear swollen and may be accompanied by a rumbling sound, called borborygmi. This happens when gas is moving through the intestine. When abdominal pressure and discomfort become severe, they’re often mistaken for other conditions, such as heart disease, gallstones or appendicitis, in which case we recommend you see a physician.


Belching during or after a meal is normal. People who belch frequently, without trying, of course, may be swallowing too much air during eating or drinking. Chronic belching may sometimes indicate an upper GI disorder, such as peptic ulcer disease or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which case we recommend you see a physician.


Another common complaint, and often the most embarrassing, is flatulence, the passage of gas through the rectum. This happens to everyone. And, typically, passing gas between 14 and 23 times a day is normal. More than that, it may be the result of carbohydrates not being absorbed or digested.