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Gas

Gas

Definition

Gas, or flatus, is produced when naturally occurring bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract begin to break down, or digest, food. When an excess of air builds up in the tract from swallowing air or a disorder that prevents digestion, it is released as gas. Gastrointestinal gases include methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and hydrogen.

Description

Gas production is an essential, normal function of the gastrointesinal tract, and most healthy individuals pass up to 1,200 cc (over 40 oz) of gas each day. However, when gas causes excessive pain and cramping (colic ) then evaluation and treatment are appropriate.

Causes & symptoms

Gastrointestinal gas production can be increased by certain foods, illnesses, and some medications. Common causes of excessive gas include:

  • Gas-producing foods. Onions, beans, the cabbage family, and other fibrous foods can cause excessive gas or intestinal spasms in some individuals.
  • Gastrointestinal diseases and disorders. Increased flatulence is a defining symptom of irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis , lactose intolerance, malabsorption problems, dysbiosis (digestive problems), and other gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Air swallowing. Swallowing too much air while eating or chewing gum can introduce extra gas to the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Medications. Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications may cause gas as a side-effect.
  • Stress and food allergies can also cause gas.

Symptoms of excessive gas production include:

  • flatulence
  • belching, or burping
  • abdominal cramping, or colic
  • abdominal pain

Diagnosis

A thorough medical and dietary history and physical examination performed by a healthcare professional can usually identify the cause of gas pains resulting from changes to diet or medication. Gas problems triggered by gastrointestinal disease may be harder to diagnose, and will typically require additional medical testing such

COMMON REMEDIES FOR GAS
Remedy Description
Acupressure Press inward at the point three finger widths below the navel known as Conception Vessel 6.
Exercise Exercise after meals and regularly to increase digestion and expel gas.
Herbal medicine Anise water, peppermint or chamomile tea, and fennel may relieve gas.
Homeopathy Carbo vegetabilis is used to relieve gas. Nux vomica is used to treat gas that accompanies constipation. Chamomilla is used to treat gas in infants.
Diet Increase fiber intake. Do not mix carbohydrates with proteins at the same meal. Avoid beans, peas, cheese, sodas, and alcohol. Do not overeat. Chew food well and eat slowly.
Hydrotherapy Alternate a warm compress with a vigorous cold friction rub on the abdomen.
Yoga The Boat, Bow, Cobra, and Pigeon positions all encourage digestion and help relieve gas pain.

as colonoscopy, barium enema, or an upper and/or lower gastrointestinal (GI) series.

Treatment

For excessive gas caused by a particular food or beverage, adjustments to diet can relieve most symptoms. Gas caused by air swallowing can be alleviated by eating more slowly and avoiding gum chewing.

An herbalist or naturopathic healthcare professional may recommend a preparation of a carminative (gas reducing) herb such as valerian (Valeriana officinalis ), or peppermint (Mentha piperita ), which may be helpful in eliminating discomfort and gas-related bloating.

Homeopathic remedies for excessive intestinal gas include Carbo vegetabilis, Nux vomica, and Chamomilla. The prescription of a specific homeopathic remedy will depend on an individual's overall symptom picture, mood, and temperament, and should only be prescribed by a qualified homeopathic physician.

Hydrotherapy, acupressure, acupuncture , yoga, reflexology , and mild exercise can also help to relieve the pain and discomfort of excessive gas.

Allopathic treatment

Over-the-counter preparations of the enzyme alpha-D-galactosidase (Beano) can alleviate gas symptoms caused by ingestion of certain foods in some individuals. These preparations are typically available in liquid or tablet form. Other non-prescription medications such as Gas-X, Phazyme, and Mylanta contain the ingredient simethicone, which can reduce gas bubbles within the gastrointestinal tract.

Expected results

Mild excess gas is typically easy to treat, especially that triggered by dietary causes. Gas caused by gastrointestinal disease may be more difficult to manage, and successful treatment depends on the type and severity of the disorder.

KEY TERMS

Malabsorption problems
A condition in which the intestinal tract is not able to absorb adequate nutrients from the food which passes through it (e.g., celiac disease, tropical sprue).

Prevention

Avoiding fermented foods, drastic increases in fiber intake, and excessive air intake can prevent gas in some individuals. Lactose intolerant individuals should avoid dairy products.

Resources

BOOKS

Hoffman, David. The Complete Illustrated Herbal. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1999.

PERIODICALS

Wu, Olivia. "Miss the Bloat: How to Avoid Bloating." Vegetarian Times (June 2000): 80.

ORGANIZATIONS

The National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Office of Communications and Public Liaison. NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, 31 Center Drive, MSC 2560, Bethesda, MD 20892-2560. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/index.htm.

Paula Ford-Martin

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"Gas." Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Gas

GAS

Various legal issues arise concerning the use and distribution of gas.

Supply

A municipal corporation does not have the duty to supply gas to its population. In the event that a city assumes the performance of such function, it is acting merely as a business corporation.

The charter of a gas company is a franchise granted by the state. The manufacture of distribution of gas for light, fuel, or power is a business of a public character, and, therefore, a gas company is ordinarily considered to be a public or quasi-public corporation or a business affected with a public interest. A state may regulate gas companies for the protection of the public and may delegate its regulatory powers to municipal corporations in which gas companies operate. In a number of states, gas companies are subject to a public service commission or other such agency. The jurisdiction of the commission ordinarily includes the power to establish rates and to set forth rules and regulations affecting the service, operation, management, and conduct of the business.

Consumer Supply

Upon obtaining a franchise to supply gas to a particular geographic area, a gas company is bound to fulfill its obligation; it cannot withdraw its service from an area merely because it is dissatisfied with the rates permitted there. Once the franchise of a company has expired, it may withdraw the service. A court may, in certain

instances, enjoin the discontinuance of service for a reasonable period—to circumvent undue hardship and inconvenience to the residents of the area.

A gas company has the duty to serve all those who are within the franchise area who desire service and subscribe to the reasonable rules that it may set forth. A municipality or corporation supplying gas may make reasonable rules and regulations to secure the payment of bills, such as eliminating service to the consumer. If there is a genuine controversy about the amount owed, a company is not permitted to discontinue service. A gas company may not require the owner or occupant of a building to pay over-due and unpaid bills by a former owner or occupant before it continues service to the building. Some statutes require that gas companies install a meter on the premises, in order to register the consumption of gas by each customer; and where a customer tampers with the meter and uses a significant amount of unmetered gas, the company can discontinue service and refuse to restore it until the customer pays the amount due for the unmetered gas taken.

A gas company that wrongfully refuses to supply a customer with gas is liable for damages. There are also statutory penalties in some states for such wrongful refusal.

Injuries

A gas company is under the obligation to exercise ordinary care in the construction of its works and the conduct of its business in order to protect life and property.

Gas has a highly dangerous and volatile character and tends to escape. A gas company must, therefore, exercise care to avoid harm to others and is liable for its negligence that results in injury to others by reason of the escape or explosion of gas. It must exercise reasonable care in the inspection of its pipes to ensure that leaks may be discovered promptly; and if leaks or defects in the pipes of the company occur due to faulty construction or maintenance, the company is liable for resulting injuries, even though it did not know about the leak.

In the event that the company has taken due care in the inspection of its pipes and a defect or a break occurs through natural causes or by the act of a third person, the gas company must be given notice of the defect and reasonable time to repair it before liability accrues. A gas company subject to notice that gas is escaping is under an obligation to shut off the gas supply until the necessary repairs have been made.

A gas company has a property right in the mains and pipes and other appliances, and where there is unauthorized interference with, or damage to, this property, the company is entitled to recover damages and an injunction if the circumstances so warrant.

Rates

A gas company has a legal obligation to charge reasonable rates. One of the main purposes of the regulation of gas companies is to prescribe fair and reasonable rates for the selling of gas to the public. Rate increases are permitted only following an impartial and complete investigation—with the object of doing justice to the gas company as well as the public. Relief can be sought in the courts if gas rates are unreasonable—to determine whether the rate making body acted beyond the scope of its power or against the weight of the evidence. The courts, however, cannot decide what rates are reasonable, nor can they put those rates into effect.

cross-references

Public Utilities.

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"Gas." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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gas

gas / gas/ • n. (pl. gas·es or gas·ses) 1. an airlike fluid substance which expands freely to fill any space available, irrespective of its quantity: hot balls of gas that become stars | poisonous gases. ∎ Physics a substance of this type that cannot be liquefied by the application of pressure alone. Compare with vapor. ∎  a flammable substance of this type used as a fuel. ∎  a gaseous anesthetic such as nitrous oxide, used in dentistry. ∎  gas or vapor used as a poisonous agent to kill or disable an enemy in warfare. ∎  gas generated in the alimentary canal; flatulence. ∎  Mining an explosive mixture of firedamp with air. 2. inf. short for gasoline. 3. (a gas) inf. a person or thing that is entertaining or amusing: the party would be a gas. • v. (gas·es, gassed , gas·sing ) [tr.] 1. attack with or expose to poisonous gas. ∎  kill by exposure to poisonous gas. ∎  [intr.] (of a storage battery or dry cell) give off gas. 2. fill the tank of (an engine or motor vehicle) with gasoline: after gassing up the car, he went into the restaurant. 3. [intr.] inf. talk, esp. excessively, idly, or boastfully: I thought you'd never stop gassing. PHRASES: run out of gas inf. run out of energy; lose momentum. step on the gas inf. press on the accelerator to make a car go faster. ORIGIN: mid 17th cent.: invented by J. B. van Helmont (1577–1644), Belgian chemist, to denote an occult principle that he believed to exist in all matter; suggested by Greek khaos ‘chaos,’ with Dutch g representing Greek kh.

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gas

gas, in physics, one of the three commonly recognized states of matter, the other two being solid and liquid. A substance in the gaseous state has neither definite shape nor definite volume. Like liquids, gases are fluids and assume the shape of their containers. Unlike liquids, they will expand to fill any container, regardless of its size. All gases condense into liquids or solids when sufficiently cooled or compressed (see compression; condensation; liquefaction). Most gases first liquefy, but some pass directly into the solid state (see sublimation); carbon dioxide, for example, can condense into dry ice. Some gases are extremely soluble in certain liquids, the liquid absorbing many times its own volume of gas. Some solids, by a process called adsorption, can take up many times their own volume of certain gases. The behavior of gases under various conditions of pressure, temperature, and volume is described by the various gas laws. Many of the properties of gases can be understood by considering the fact that only a small part of the volume of a gas is occupied by its atoms or molecules, which are in rapid, random motion. See kinetic-molecular theory of gases.

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"gas." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"gas." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/gas

gas

gas State of matter in which molecules are free to move in any direction; a gas spreads by diffusion. Any quantity of gas will occupy its entire container. Because of their low densities, most gases are poor conductors of heat and electricity (although at high voltages a gas may be ionized and become electrically conductive). When cooled, gases become liquids. Some, such as carbon dioxide, can be liquefied by pressure alone. All gases follow certain laws, such as Avogadro's law, Boyle's law, Charles' law, Graham's law, and the ideal gas laws. All involve volume and pressure, with Graham's law particularly concerned with diffusion. See also plasma; solid

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"gas." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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gas

gas1 (hist.) occult principle supposed to be present in all bodies XVII; any completely elastic fluid XVIII. — Du. gas ( J. B. van Helmont, 1577–1644), based on Gr. kháos CHAOS.
Hence gas vb. treat, poison, etc., with gas; (colloq.) talk aimlessly. XIX.

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"gas." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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gas

gas all gas and gaiters a satisfactory state of affairs; originally recorded in Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby (1839) ‘All is gas and gaiters.’
gas laws the physical laws that describe the properties of gases, including Boyle's and Charles's laws.

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gas

gas (gas) n. a fluid whose physical state is such that the forces of attraction between its constituent atoms and molecules are very weak. It therefore has no definite shape or volume. laughing g. see nitrous oxide.

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gas

gas2 (U.S.) colloq. abbrev. of GASOLINE.

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GAS

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GAS

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gas

gas See NATURAL GAS.

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gas

gasalas, Alsace, amass, ass, Bass, chasse, crass, crevasse, en masse, gas, Hamas, lass, mass, morass, sass, tarantass, tass, wrasse •Díaz • Phidias • palliasse •materfamilias, paterfamilias •Asturias • Aphrodisias • Trias •Donbas • Vargas • Ofgas • biogas •teargas • jackass • Hellas • Ulfilas •Stanislas • Candlemas • landmass •Martinmas • biomass • Childermas •Esdras • Mithras • hippocras •sassafras • demitasse • gravitas

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