Digestion breaks food down into proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and other nutrients. Food and liquids enter the mouth, then travel to the stomach through the esophagus. A few enzymes in saliva and a mix of substances in the stomach begin digesting the food. The digestive enzymes in the small intestines can't break down certain types of fiber. Therefore, bacteria in the intestinal tract absorb the indigestible fiber and convert it to gas. Most people produce one to three pints and pass gas 14 to 23 times per day.
Aerophagia is the medical term for swallowing air, which everyone does while talking, eating, and drinking. An excessive quantity enters the esophagus when we chew gum, drink carbonated beverages, and eat or drink too quickly. We release most of this excess air by belching, but some of it travels through the digestive system to emerge as flatulence.
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