Is excessive flatulence bothering you (and others around you a lot)? Then there may be reasons why you have it.
The good news is that you can do something about being the one who ‘supplied it’.
What you are about to learn in this article will hopefully help you get rid of this embarrassing problem.
Excessive flatulence is sometimes called passing wind or farting.
While it is a condition that is often laughed out about frequently, the issue with having persistent flatulence is that it can become rather embarrassing and even troublesome.
Sometimes, the flatulence can be so bad that is essential to pass it even in public.
See, the thing is that passing gas is a normal biological process. There is nothing really embarrassing about it provided it happens only a few times a day like it normally should.
It is currently understood that we as individuals pass gas about 5 to 15 times a day.
Why Do We Pass Gas?
The process of gas formation within the bowel is quite simple to understand.
When we consume our food, we not only just swallow the food but we also swallow a small amount of air.
This air can accumulate in the stomach and often comes out through the mouth in the form of a burp or a belch.
Once food is eaten, the digestion process leads to the formation of a number of different gases within the digestive tract.
Many a times, this gas is odourless and is produced in small quantities. However, sometimes the gas may contain excessive amounts of sulfur which can make it rather smelly.
Excessive flatulence is related to either dietary causes or certain problems affecting the digestive system such as irritable bowel syndrome.
To put it in a nutshell, passing gas is a normal physiological process.
Some people naturally fast excessive gas but this can frequently lead to frustration regarding it.
Causes Of Excessive Flatulence
There are many reasons why you might be farting a lot.
The most common reason why gas is passed is swallowing of air during the normal processes of breathing and eating.
Some of us may swallow excessive amounts of air without realising it when we eat. This could sometimes lead to excessive farting.
Some of the common causes of excessive flatulence are included in the table below.
As I have mentioned above in the table, there are certain foods that are notorious in leading to the formation of gas in the digestive tract.
Foods that are high in poorly absorbable carbohydrates are those which cause gas problems.
In India, pulses, cabbage, onions, cauliflower, beans, daal (lentils) and apples are a common cause of excessive gas formation.
Some of us enjoy bran flakes as a part of our morning breakfast which are also a cause of flatulence. Other vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and prunes may also produce excessive gas.
Chewing gums contain sorbitol, a type of sugar that helps sweeten them. Sorbitol is also present in certain slimming products as well. Fructose is another type of sugar there is also present in certain dietary supplements.
Both sorbitol and fructose can both produce a large amount of gas after digestion.
Investigating Excessive Farting
Well, often there is no requirement to investigate patients who have this problem.
However, if there are associated symptoms that may indicate an underlying bowel disease, then certain tests may be required.
I will not go into details regarding this as it is irrelevant in this article.
Treatment Of Excessive Flatulence
If you are experiencing problems with excessive gas, then making a few changes to your diet and lifestyle might help.
First and foremost, try and reduce your intake of foods that contain poorly absorbable carbohydrates.
I have included the list of these earlier in this article.
Processed foods and canned fruits must be avoided at all costs. Try and keep your intake of artificial sweeteners and fizzy drinks to minimum.
That being said, if you are following dietary restrictions to prevent excessive flatulence, then make sure you replace the above ‘gassy’ foods with a healthy balanced diet that is rich in citrus fruits, rice, potatoes, yogurt and bananas.
Mix and match and see what works best for you. It may well be that only certain foods that have listed earlier affect you and the others do not.
Secondly, instead of having three large square meals a day, try and cut down your meal portions into smaller portions.
In other words, eat small frequent meals.
This way the digestive process does not result in too much gas formation and you will stay comfortable throughout the day.
Remember, smaller meals are easier to digest why large meals make you feel bloated and uneasy in the tummy.
Many of us sometimes chew on ‘somph’ after a meal. This is not only a breath refresher but also helps improve digestion.
Some people find that drinking peppermint tea after a meal can help improve flatulence. Chewing on a small sticker ginger may also help.
Change Your Lifestyle
If you are a smoker, then stop smoking straightaway.
If you enjoy chewing gum, try and kick the habit.
Chew your food slowly as eating fast can sometimes make you swallow excessive amount of air.
Be wary of how you chew your food as well and try and change the way you do it to see if it makes a difference.
Regular exercise can help improve digestion and reduce gas formation. Just a simple 30 minute walk every day can boost your metabolism and reduce excessive flatulence.
There is some belief that drinking water while eating a meal may alter the process of digestion.
While I am not sure how true this is, it might be better to have water well before your meal rather than have it during or immediately after. There is no harm in trying this is a really do not see how it might bother your digestion.
In my practice, I often use probiotic agents for patients as a way to help reduce gas formation in the abdomen.
Probiotics are good bacteria that alter the way food is broken down in the bowel. Often, this is sufficient by itself and no further treatment is required.
That being said, some people do not get the same benefit that others do.
While I am not aware whether it is available in India, it appears that charcoal tablets may be helpful in absorbing gas that is produced within the digestive system.
In dietary supplement that contains alpha – galactosidase can also improve the breakdown of carbohydrates and reduce gas production.
Also bear in mind that there are the causes of excessive flatulence such as irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer and lactose intolerance.
These problems may require separate management so it is important that you seek medical attention regarding this.
Excessive flatulence is an embarrassing problem. Make sure you take the right steps to ensure that it does not trouble you anymore.
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