Everyone has gas - on average, people produce 1 to 4 pints a day. Some gas in the digestive tract c...
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Everyone has gas - on average, people produce 1 to 4 pints a day. Some gas in the digestive tract comes from air you swallow. Other gas comes from breakdown of undigested food. After you swallow food, it moves down the esophagus to the stomach, where it is partially digested. It moves on into the duodenum and through the rest of the small intestine, where most digestion and absorption occurs. However, a shortage or lack of certain enzymes results in some carbohydrates not being digested and absorbed. Instead, the undigested food passes into the large intestine, where normal, harmless bacteria break it down. Byproducts of this process are hydrogen and carbon dioxide. About a third of people also produce methane for reasons that are not clear. Accumulation of gas in the stomach, small intestine, or colon can cause distension, which means the abdomen is objectively larger than normal. This is different from bloating, which is the subjective feeling that the abdomen is larger.