This sounds like a big word, right? Don`t fret, flatulence can also be called gas. We pass gas every day from the intestines through the anus. It is most commonly called a fart; it is quite normal to fart. Gas is passed because of the air that is swallowed in small amounts when eating; this gas builds up in the digestive system and is gotten rid of by the body either by farting or belching (burping). Flatulence smells bad when it contains sulfur. One may swallow air when drinking carbonated drinks, smoking, eating too quickly and chewing gum. There are some foods that take longer to digest because the body finds it a little bit hard to absorb them. They pass through the intestines to the colon without being fully digested. It is the colon that contains the number of bacteria that can break down such food, thereby, releasing gas as they do. Here are some foods that can increase flatulence:
- Dried fruits such as prunes and raisins
- Legumes such as beans, peas, and soybeans
- Vegetables such as broccoli
- Fruit juices because of their high fructose and sorbitol level
- Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and ice cream
In some cases, passing gas excessively may be as a result of a medical condition. Here are some medical conditions that cause excessive flatulence.
Crohn’s disease is a severe inflammatory bowel disease that compromises the digestive tract lining. Crohn’s disease can be managed and treated but cannot be cured. Patients may complain of excessive flatulence, fatigue, blood in the stool, mouth sores, weight loss, malnutrition, fistula, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. This condition can cause complications that may be fatal. See a doctor for proper treatment if a number of these symptoms are noticed.
Diabetics are most likely to pass gas more because they have a high sugar level. This high sugar level fuels overgrowth in bacteria of the stomach. See a doctor to take measures that would reduce or eliminate symptoms such as flatulence.
This is a severe change in one’s eating behavior, caused by one’s obsession with the body shape, weight or even food. Anorexia nervosa, purging disorder, rumination syndrome, night eating syndrome, bulimia nervosa, avoidance food intake disorder, orthorexia nervosa, and pica, are some types of eating disorder. Flatulence may be one of the symptoms that patients with an eating disorder manifest.
The celiac disease manifests various symptoms among sufferers, so it may be difficult to diagnose. No one really knows why people have celiac disease. Some people don`t manifest any symptoms but test positive to it. Some children may complain of constipation, vomiting, abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatty stool, foul-smelling stool, weight loss, fatigue, flatulence, short stature, behavioral issue or mood swings, teeth defects, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Some adults may experience bone pain, arthritis, bone loss, depression, missed menstrual periods, flatulence, liver disorders, seizures, infertility or continuous miscarriages and sores inside the mouth. It is safe to consult a doctor as soon as possible, so as to commeñce treatment that would give the patient some relief and possibly increase the quality of life.
This is a condition whereby the intestines are infected and inflamed. It may be as a result of a bacterial infection. It sometimes resolves itself and is often mistaken for stomach flu. One may have a headache, stomach cramps, flatulence, fever, stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. It is important to watch what one eats and drinks as this may cause gastroenteritis, also always wash the hands after changing a diaper or using the bathroom.
Constipation is when one finds it hard to pass feces. Constipation can cause one to fart regularly all in a bid to release the trapped gas in the body. This can be caused by dehydration, low dietary fiber, and physical immobility. Constipation can be resolved by drinking more fluids, using stool softeners or laxatives, and physical movement.
Ulcerative colitis is a severe condition that causes inflammation of the digestive tract. It compromises the colon and large intestine, which finally causes the large intestine to have sores in its lining. These sores are called ulcers. Ulcerative colitis has no cure, it can only be managed and treated. Flatulence occurs when the patient finds it hard to empty the bowels.
This is a condition that causes sores to form on the esophagus, small intestine or stomach lining. It may be caused by smoking, tobacco especially, excessive alcohol and it could be a side effect of some medications. See a doctor to know the cause, so it can be treated.
Can Excessive Flatulence be Avoided?
Yes, it can, if it is not caused by any unlying disease. Here are some tips to deal with flatulence at home:
- Drink a lot of water some minutes before eating. Some people make the mistake of drinking during a meal; this leads to loss of stomach acids. The stomach acids help break down food properly.
- There are some foods that would most likely cause one to fart excessively, avoid them. Foods such as apples, broccoli, beans, dairy products such as cheese, milk and ice cream would most likely cause excessive flatulence. They have high levels of starch, sugar, and fiber that make it a little bit harder for the body to digest them. Sorbitol is a type of sugar that is found in fruits; try as much as possible to avoid foods that contain sorbitol. It may be quite uneasy to do without some of these foods, so one could reduce their intake instead. It is important to know that when some foods are combined, they cause a reaction in the body that may upset the stomach, thereby, causing intestinal gas to build up. Being observant is the key here as no one knows for sure what combination of foods would upset the stomach. Eat and observe, if it upsets you, eliminate it from your diet or reduce the intake.
- Activated charcoal is different from the regular charcoal used in the fireplace. Activated charcoal is a drug used to treat poisoning or body toxins. So, it can help the body get rid of unwanted substances such as gas.
- Eating slowly and properly is important because swallowing air while eating would cause flatulence; this happens when one eats in a hurry. So, relax and eat slowly and properly, so as to avoid swallowing air.
- Digestive enzymes can be helpful when treating flatulence. They are known to aid people with this condition. If flatulence persists 3 days after using digestive enzymes, it is advisable to see a doctor.
- Avoid habits that fill the body with air. Some habits are dangerous to one’s health which makes it necessary to rehabilitate the mind so as to stop them. Smoking, chewing gum, drinking carbonated drinks and using a straw to ingest drinks may cause one to gasp while doing them. This means that the stomach is filling up with air, this is an unconscious activity. So, avoiding these habits would be most helpful to curbing excessive flatulence.
- Avoid ingesting artificial sweetness. Remember that the consumption of sugar or products that contain sorbitol would most likely increase one’s chances of having excessive flatulence.
It is quite normal to pass gas but it can be very embarrassing to do so in public loudly. So, one can observe and identify the foods that increase their odds of passing gas more often than usual. It is also important to notice when flatulence is excessive, it could be a sign indicating that something is seriously wrong in the human body. This could help one get diagnosed in time to curb and treat any underlying disease causing excessive flatulence. Being observant just might save a life.