What Is A Nonobstructive Bowel Gas Pattern? 


A nonobstructive bowel gas is a medical term that is only found on a radiology report and it indicates the presence of gas in the gastrointestinal tract. Often, gas is common throughout the gastrointestinal tract, the tract that is associated with bowel movement, and it is of no clinical importance.

However, it is important to understand the nonobstructive bowel gas pattern as it indicates the presence of some underlying medical conditions. 

Overview Of Nonobstructive Bowel Gas Pattern 

A nonobstructive bowel gas pattern indicates an abnormality in the gastrointestinal tract, which is responsible for the digestion and absorption of food. Gas is the common by-product of digestion throughout the tract that begins from the mouth to the anus.

The amount of gas in the stomach varies from person to person as it is completely dependent on a person’s eating habits and gastric mobility. The gas formed in the small intestine and large intestine are termed flatus, and they also vary depending on many underlying factors like a person’s diet, gastrointestinal mobility, and so on. 

Causes Of Nonobstructive Bowel Gas Pattern 

Causes Of Nonobstructive Bowel Gas Pattern 

non-obstructive bowel gas patterns may occur due to various reasons such as increased gas production due to an individual’s food habits or decreased gas absorption in the intestine. In both cases, the gas produced would be higher than necessary. 

Symptoms Associated With Nonobstructive Bowel Gas Pattern

Nonobstructive bowel gas patterns often result in abdominal cramps and pain. This may not be an actual pain, but a pain-like sensation across the abdomen. The following are the other symptoms of a nonobstructive bowel gas pattern: 

  • Belching– Excessive gas in the gastrointestinal tract may lead to burning, which is also called belching. So, belching is a voluntary or involuntary release of gas through the mouth. 
  • Altered Bowel Habits– Nonobstructive bowel gas patterns often cause changes in bowel movement. While some experience increased frequency, others may notice decreased bowel movements. Not only the frequency but the consistency of the stool may also be affected. 
  • Excessive Flatulence–  Increased gas production, or decreased gas absorption, may often result in excessive passage of gas. During this, a person might release excess gas through the rectum. The gas thus released will be coupled with sound and odor. 
  • Bloating– Bloating is one of the major symptoms of a nonobstructive bowel gas pattern. This is due to the accumulation of gas in the intestine. The severity of the condition can vary from mild discomfort to significant abdominal distention

Diagnostic Methods 

Diagnostic imaging techniques like abdominal X-rays and CT scans are significant in identifying the condition. However, there is a chance that you might misunderstand the abnormalities thus found for other conditions such as paralytic ileus, volvulus, and small bowel obstruction.

The only difference among these is that while all of them are mechanical blockages, a nonobstructive bowel gas pattern is a non-mechanical blockage. 

Treatment Options 

The available treatment options are listed below:

  • Sympotamatoc relief meaures 
  • Medications to absorb gas from the gastrointestinal tract
  • Controlled intake of gas-promoting food 


Nonobstructive bowel gas pattern is a common condition that is at least diagnosed for 6 in 10 people. However, not everyone affected has any serious health condition. But, some of them could only identify the abnormalities in their body after finding out that they had excess gas in their bodies.

Therefore, understanding and identifying the condition is essential. If diagnosed, the treatment options are less complicated. You may simply make some dietary modifications to reduce the production of unwanted gas, or just consult a doctor and take the medications properly. Anyway, your life will not be adversely affected even if you are diagnosed with this condition.

Dr. Jun Ren is a dedicated and experienced registered dietitian and nutritionist who is committed to helping people achieve their health goals through personalized nutrition plans. With a passion for promoting healthy eating habits and preventing chronic diseases, Dr. Ren has been able to assist numerous clients in improving their overall quality of life.

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