When to see a doctorBy Mayo Clinic staff
By itself, intestinal gas is rarely a sign or symptom of a serious condition. It can cause discomfort and embarrassment, but it's usually just a sign of a normally functioning digestive system. If you're bothered by intestinal gas, try changing your diet.
However, see your doctor if your gas is persistent or severe, or if it's associated with vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, unintentional weight loss, blood in the stool or heartburn.
- Gas in the digestive tract. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gas/. Accessed April 10, 2013.
- Belching, bloating and flatulence. The American College of Gastroenterology. http://patients.gi.org/topics/belching-bloating-and-flatulence/. Accessed April 10, 2013.
- Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed March 30, 2013.
- Gas-related complaints. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal_disorders/approach_to_the_patient_with_lower_gi_complaints/gas-related_complaints.html. Accessed April 10, 2013.
- Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 12, 2013.