How Much Gas is Normal?

I know that everyone has gas from time to time, but how much is too much? Both my mother and I seem to experience this more than other people. Could this be indicative of an underlying medical condition? Also, I'm hesitant to overuse over-the-counter medications to alleviate the problem, so I only use them when absolutely necessary. Is this the prudent course of action, or should I go ahead and take them?

Jane

Question:

It is difficult to tell you how much gas is too much. It is very rare that gas alone is an indication of a serious medical condition, particularly if the symptom has been present for a long time.

Many of us become more sensitive to lactose (milk sugar) or to other sugars as we get older; gas is one symptom of lactose intolerance. If you have increased the amount of fiber in your diet, this may cause increased gas.

In general, over-the-counter remedies such as simethecone (Gas-X, Mylanta Gas), Beano, or charcoal are not harmful, so you needn't worry about using them. Ask you doctor to review your diet to determine if anything you are eating may be causing increased gas.

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