Gases are a taboo subject and farting is something very personal and quite embarrassing when it happens in a public place or when you have a company. On one hand it is understandable since gases may be accompanied by a foul smell, but on the other hand, passing gases is a perfectly natural aspect of digestion. A lot of people don’t want to talk about this problem and claim that passing gases is something that hardly ever happens to them. While the amount of gas that gets produced in the bowels differs from person to person, we all do it, no matter what.
An average person passes gases or burps 14 times a day. Anything above that might be considered a problem with gases. If you do notice that you pass gases too often or that you feel any discomfort or pain when you have to hold them, you should look into some of the lifestyle and diet aspects we talk about below and choose the best remedy for your problem.
Causes Of Flatulence
Gas is produced in the large intestine when food particles are broken down and the solid waste is separated. It is a natural consequence of the digestion process. Some of the gas we pass is actually air that we swallow while eating, drinking carbonated drinks, chewing gum or smoking. A part of it may be released through burping, but a lot of it passes through the whole gastrointestinal tract and leave the body through the anus.
Sometimes the gases are completely odourless, which is a sign of a healthy state of your intestines. When you notice that the farts are smelly, you should consider increasing the intake of probiotics. Why? The foul smell of gases is caused by the bad bacteria that exists in your intestines. In order to reduce their activity, you need to make sure that the level of good and bad bacteria is balanced and you can achieve it by taking probiotics.
Remember that the imbalance of bacteria in the intestines may be triggered by prolonged intake of medicines. Every pill you swallow has to go through the digestive tract and almost every person that takes medicines on a daily basis will experience some gas-related problems at some stage.
Certain foods tend to increase the flatulence. The majority of those products are the ones that contain a high level of cellulose. Since cellulose is too hard to digest completely in the short digestive tract that we have, it causes the production of gases once it reaches the larger intestine. If you wanted to avoid the problem of flatulence caused by food, you would have to drastically reduce the amount of beans, lentils, root vegetables (e.g onions, garlic and potatoes), green vegetables (e.g broccoli, sprouts and cabbage), as well as dairy products, spices, bread and meat in your diet. That sounds like you would be left with water and fruits, which would be quite difficult. Therefore, below we give some tips on how to reduce the flatulence effect when you eat products high in cellulose.
Some people have problems with gases due to the intolerance of lactose. In that case, the lactose you take in by drinking milk or eating dairy products doesn’t get properly digested and fermentation in your intestines. Gases caused by lactose intolerance usually have a foul smell and the body reaction to lactose in the case of its intolerance is almost immediate, with symptoms like abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Thankfully, many dairy products containing lactose can be replaced with their counterparts without this ingredient, so it’s relatively easy to switch to a lactose-free diet.
Allergy to gluten, called celiac disease, is very common nowadays and people who cannot digest gluten suffer from flatulence whenever they eat products that contain this protein. It is difficult, however, to avoid gluten altogether as it is present in wheat, rye, barley, bread and pasta. The market offers more and more gluten-free replacement products, so if you suspect that your problem with excessive gases is related to gluten intolerance, try to follow a gluten-free diet for a few days and see if you notice any change. If so, contact your doctor to confirm the diagnosis.
Health Conditions That Cause Flatulence
When you don’t go to the toilet often enough, the faeces in the colon go into the fermentation process, which causes gas build-up. This doesn’t mean that if you defecate regularly, you don’t need to worry about gases. Some remains of faeces can still be left in the intestine, which often happens to people who don’t drink enough water or have a diet consisting of solid foods only.
Even though the doctors cannot explain clearly how stress is related to the problem of flatulence, it does have a huge influence on the way the gastrointestinal tract works. A higher level of stress may either stimulate the digestive tract, which will lead to diarrhoea in a very stressful situation, or the other way round, it may block the waste in the colon, which will cause fermentation, foul-smelling gases and some major discomfort.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome range from constipation, bloating and abdominal pain to diarrhoea. It is almost always accompanied by the excessive production of gases and the cause of this condition is very difficult to determine since there are various diseases that usually occur simultaneously with IBS. Some of them are anxiety, depression, liver malfunction and ovarian cysts.
Reasons Of Foul-Smelling Gases
Not all farts are created equal. Primarily, gases are made up of odourless gases, like carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen and methane. You must have noticed that very often you pass the gases and… nobody notices anything unless they are accompanied by some noise. Farts have foul smell only if the gases mix up with hydrogen sulphide and mercaptans or some pungent substances, like sulphur, indole and skatole, all of them being byproducts of the breaking down the foodstuffs in the gastrointestinal tract. Their production tends to be higher when we consume meat, cheese, eggs and other dairy products, as well as beans and cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage.
Home Remedies For Gases
Drinking herbal tea can bring an immediate relief from flatulence, especially if the main ingredient of the tea is chamomile, fennel or peppermint. All of them soothe the abdominal pain and reduce the flatulence. You can mix the three ingredients in equal amounts, put them in a mug and pour some hot water over it. Leave the mixture to strain for 10 minutes so that the water absorbs all the beneficial ingredients from the herbs. Drink the tea every time you feel bloated and if it happens to you regularly, try drinking it after every meal. This should significantly reduce a number of times you will have problems with gases. Herbal tea based on chamomile, fennel and peppermint may be also very beneficial when you suffer from constipations. Since this mixture is a hundred percent natural, it is safe and may be drunk as often as you feel the need to do so. Fennel tea is even recommended for small children and babies.
Flax seeds are a rich source of fibre, which promotes healthy and problem-free digestion. What’s more, they have anti-inflammatory properties and tend to lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels. You can buy ground flax seeds or you can grind them yourself in a coffee grinder. It is important that you don’t consume entire flax seeds as they don’t get digested in this form and you will not be able to make use of their versatile benefits.