From comic relief to real understanding; how intestinal gas causes symptoms
Gas content and transit appear to conspire with the motor and sensory responses of the gut to produce gas related symptoms, both in normal individuals and especially in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In relation to gas in IBS, two questions need to be addressed: do IBS patients produce more gas and what are the relationships between intestinal gas and symptoms? The balance of evidence seems to indicate that distension is a real phenomenon in IBS and that such distension accurately reflects gas content. More problematic is extrapolation of the observations relating symptoms to gas transit and retention.