Because gas symptoms may be caused by a serious disorder, those causes should be ruled out. Health professionals usually begin with a review of dietary habits and symptoms. The health professional may ask the patient to keep a diary of foods and beverages consumed for a specific time period.
If lactase deficiency is the suspected cause of gas, the health professional may suggest avoiding milk products for a period of time. A blood or breath test may be used to diagnose lactose intolerance.
In addition, to determine if someone produces too much gas in the colon or is unusually sensitive to the passage of normal gas volumes, the health professional may ask a patient to count the number of times he passes gas during the day and include this information in a diary.
Careful review of diet and the amount of gas passed may help relate specific foods to symptoms and determine the severity of the problem.
Because the symptoms that people may have are so variable, the health professional may order other types of diagnostic tests in addition to a physical exam, depending on the patient's symptoms and other factors.