Facts About Flatulence

Many people think that if their digestive system is normal they won’t have any gas unless they eat a particular food like beans. The fact is that normal people on a normal diet expel nearly a quart of intestinal gas a day. Most of us aren’t aware of this. It’s when we become aware of the gas and it becomes uncomfortable and embarrassing.

Gas is formed when certain foods reach the large intestine without being completely and adequately digested. Once they arrive there bacteria go to work to digest them and in the process produce gas. This is a normal occurrence and in most cases intestinal gas is not a sign of an illness or disease. Today we eat more high fiber foods than our grandparents. Fruits and vegetables can be a source of intestinal gas, especially in people not used to eating a lot of them, or in the case of fructose intolerance.

The major cause of occasional excess gas is gas-producing foods. Most people are aware that beans are a major suspect, but there are other foods that will put you are risk including: apricots, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, onions, and mangoes.

Obviously, the first step in reducing flatulence is to avoid the foods that cause this problem for you. Keep in mind that people react differently to different foods.

Some people have found that corn, oats and any wheat-containing product give them gas. (I talk about food allergies in another article).

Many people are unaware that dairy products are causing their gas. In fact lactose intolerance is probably the major cause of bloating and excessive gas. It seem this author that complete avoidance of dairy products is the smartest solution.

There is a simple home test for lactose intolerance. Avoid ALL dairy and cheese products for ten days to see if your symptoms are alleviated. Then have some, if the gas and bloating returns you have your answer and you didn’t have to pay for any expensive blood tests. Acidophilus is often helpful for many people. The best acidophilus is the kind that needs to be refrigerated, so don’t fall for those cheap pills they sell in the chain drug stores.

Don’t fret there are cheddar cheeses that are lactose free. They are usually aged for two or more years. These hard cheeses should say lactose free on the label. I think the lactase-the sugar found in milk-is the culprit is broken down over time to become lactic acid.

If you are a person who swallows a lot of air you most likely are a person who also chews gum or a smoker. In addition, drinking carbonated beverages will add excess air into your system and thus promoting flatulence.

If you have chronic gas it is possible that you are suffering from something other than a simple case of flatulence. Check out articles on the following conditions: Celiac Disease, Diverticulitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Avoid activated charcoal tablets for several reasons. While activated charcoal tablets are effective for absorbing gas, they do however interfere with the absorption of any medication taken within two to three hours. This includes any prescription medications like the birth control pill, hormones, antibiotics and vitamin supplements. Those medications need to be effective.


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