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Celiac Disease and Flatulence by Frank Morosky 10/12/2006 - Celiac disease, also known as gluten intolerance, is a genetic disorder that affects 1 in 133 Americans. Symptoms of celiac disease can range from the classic features, such as diarrhea, weight loss, flatulence, and malnutrition, to latent symptoms such as isolated nutrient deficiencies but no gastrointestinal symptoms.

The average person expels gas 14 times every day. The amount of gas released ranges from as little as one cup to as much as one half gallon per day. Gas is made primarily of odorless vapors such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and sometimes methane. The unpleasant odor of flatulence comes from bacteria in the large intestine that release small amounts of gases that contain hydrogen sulfide.

Contrary to popular belief, women have just as many passages as men, and older people, have no more gas than younger individuals.

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Flatulence occurs when a food does not break down completely in the stomach and small intestine. As a result, the food makes it into the large intestine in an undigested state. Most lower intestinal gas is produced when bacteria in your colon ferment carbohydrates that are not digested in your small intestine. The body does not digest and absorb some carbohydrates (the sugar, starches, and fiber found in many foods) in the small intestine because of a shortage or absence of certain enzymes. This undigested food then passes from the small intestine into the large intestine, where normal, harmless bacteria break down the food, producing gases such as hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and, in about one-third of all people, methane. Eventually these gases exit through the rectum.

Author Frank Morosky is Vice President of Flat-D Innovations (, an FDA registered company that manufactures a flatulence (intestinal gas) deodorizing device, called the Flatulence Deodorizer, which will eliminate the odors associated with flatulence. The product is a thin (1/16th of an inch) activated charcoal fabric pad that is placed in the underwear next to the buttocks. Their products are commonly recommended by doctors. welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).

9 Responses:

Vernon Nelson
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said this on
01 Nov 2007 10:53:22 AM PST
This article does not make any correlation to celiac disease - it just explains the occurrence of gas in general population. The question of whether a celiac person has more or less gas remains unanswered.

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said this on
09 Aug 2010 5:31:21 PM PST
Like Vernon, I am left with no real connection being made between flatulence and Celiac disorder - what are the aspects of the wheat non-digestion which results in increased flatulent output. In reducing our gluten intake, how will the flatulence decrease etc?

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said this on
01 Jan 2008 6:16:00 AM PST
Thanks for the info--I have yet to find a doctor that understands this--they just want to yank out an organ--I would like to know about enzymes even though I have tried almost every one on the market.

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said this on
22 Apr 2012 12:16:04 PM PST
It still does not address the correlation between flatulance (in my case odorless) and celiac.

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said this on
14 May 2012 2:27:54 PM PST
I think it is an embarrassment when someone enters my office. If I can smell it, then what must it be like for others entering my room. Diagnosed with celiac 6 years ago and I am really strict with my diet.

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said this on
01 Jul 2012 12:24:37 PM PST
Like everyone else, I'm wondering how it relates. Too much information, but extreme excess gas is basically the only symptom I have. I've been told it's mostly anxiety but that's not how it started. I'm wondering if the symptom developed due to a time in my life when I was addicted to Grape Nuts cereal and other wheat products.

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said this on
29 Jul 2012 5:38:24 PM PST
This article gave no information at all! I'm left wondering what is causing my stomach distress!

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said this on
06 Oct 2012 9:20:27 PM PST
Like others have mentioned, no correlation. Not a very good article, really.

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said this on
08 Dec 2012 3:18:23 PM PST
I suffer from gas and I believe it is caused by depression.

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Why wouldn't it be gluten-free? whiskey is gluten-free. Wine is gluten-free.

Have you been tested for a stomach ulcer? That's what the pain sounds like to me. You can also get pain in your stomach from too much gas. Another possibility is GERD.

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