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Flatulence is basically excess gas in a person's digestive system. Everyone has gas, so the word flatulence is most commonly used when its presence becomes evident because a person is passing gas, belching, or having other gas-related symptoms. The most common symptoms of flatulence are passing gas; belching; and pain or bloating in the abdominal area. Though every person passes gas, belches, and experiences abdominal bloating at some point, some people feel embarrassed when a sound or an unpleasant smell accompanies the passage of gas. Additionally, some people consider passing gas or belching in social situations bad manners.
Passing gas is one of the symptoms of flatulence, and most people do it every day. Many people pass gas in the bathroom as well as while they sleep during the night. The frequency with which a person passes gas or experiences other symptoms of flatulence may vary from individual to individual. Most people, however, have some idea of what is normal for them and note increases that may occur in relation to consuming a gassy food, swallowing too much air, or contracting a digestive-related illness. Most of the excess gas a person has in his body is in his stomach or colon until it moves on and eventually exits the body.
Abdominal bloating is also among the most common symptoms of flatulence. Bloating in this area makes a person’s abdomen feel fuller than normal and unusually tight. An individual's abdomen may also look noticeably larger, and his clothing may seem to fit more snugly when he is bloated.
Pain is also among the most common symptoms of flatulence. When gas is present in the intestine, some people notice a painful or uncomfortable sensation. Some people also note pain, or at least discomfort, when they have abdominal bloating. Additionally, there are some people who occasionally feel pain when they pass gas.
Many people have belching as a symptom of flatulence. Essentially, people belch when their stomachs are full of food and they need to release gas from the upper part of the digestive system. Some people also belch because they swallow too much air while eating, talking, or even chewing gum. In such a case, the gas may be released before it even makes its way to the affected person’s stomach. Some people also swallow air on purpose, thinking that belching will make them feel less full after a big meal.