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What Causes Gas?

scientific fart
Detail from "Scientific Researchers"
James Gillray, 1802

When you're in grade school, gas is either funny or embarassing. When you get older it's still embarassing and sometimes painful. Gas ends up in your digestive tract for basically two reasons: as food breaks down during the digestive process gas is released; the other source of gas is your own mouth swallowing air. Certain types of foods, particularly foods high in fiber and/or carbohydrates (most beans fall into both categories!) produce more gas than others. For the most part, a little intestinal gas is just part of life and a sign of healthy digestion. But when gas causes bloating and stomach pain it's time to seek some relief.


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