There are several possibilities. Any type of colonic infection, irritable bowel syndrome, or malabsorption can cause increased gas. There are a variety of tests to consider to evaluate the source. They can be discussed with your personal physician:
* Examination of stool to detect the presence of blood, abnormally increased levels of fat (steatorrhea), or the presence of Giardia lamblia.
* A lactose tolerance test, during which patients are provided with a test dose of lactose by mouth. After receiving the test dose, those with lactose intolerance may soon develop abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and excessive flatulence. Breath or blood samples are obtained during the test to confirm the presence of lactose intolerance.
* X-ray examination of the small intestine.
* Upper endoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy (in which the inside of the stomach, upper intestines or colon are examined via a tube with a camera at the end).
* Antibody tests for celiac disease.
A GI referral can be considered for further evaluation.
Followup with your personal physician is essential.
This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
Goldfinger. Patient information: Gas and bloating. UptoDate, 2004.