It’s healthy to pass gas 13 to 21 times per day. Belching or burping occurs when gas is passed through the mouth, while flatulence occurs when gas passed through the anus.

Gas does not typically have an odor. Bacteria found in the large intestine—the colon—will also release gas that contains a small amount of sulfur. This causes the odor.

Swallowed air or food breaking down in your large intestine causes gas. The amount of gas you have in your digestive tract can be reduced by

  • Avoiding lactose-containing products
  • Increasing your water intake and avoiding carbonated drinks
  • Eating slowly to allow less air to be swallowed

Your GI doctor can prescribe you medications or suggest dietary changes to reduce gas, pain, and bloating.