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Passing gas, farting, breaking wind—whatever you call it, gas can be embarrassing, painful, and annoying. And before you think you’re the only one who might have a gas problem, know this: Most people produce about 1 to 4 pints of gas a day and pass gas about 14 times a day, either by farting or burping. Or they experience gas through a feeling of bloating that doesn’t necessarily result in either. And while you may feel that you get more gassy with age, the real culprit is diet, which may change as you get older.

Gas occurs in the body two ways: Either by swallowing air or from the fermentation of food in the colon by bacteria. “Substances that don’t get absorbed in the intestines go into the colon, where they are acted upon by bacteria, releasing gas,” says Douglas A. Drossman, MD, a gastroenterologist and President at the Center for Education and Practice of Biopsychosocial Care. People with gastro-intestinal problems also have an increased sensitivity to gas. So how do you treat the problem? Read on.

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