Whether you like it or not flatulence is a condition that all of us experience at some point of time or the other. Flatulence can be a major source of embarrassment when it happens in social settings making for some really awkward situations. Flatulence is basically a digestive condition that occurs as a result of an excessive buildup of stomach and intestinal gas. Such an excessive buildup of gas causes a great deal of discomfort and a feeling of fullness and bloating, along with possible abdominal pain. The pressure that results from such a buildup of gas is naturally relieved through the passage of gas from the rectum –flatulence, or through the mouth with belching or burping. Severe flatulence and bloating after eating is therefore likely to have causes that can be easily addressed. Flatulence is a completely natural phenomenon for all of us, but it can become problematic when excessive. This is therefore likely to be most of problem for individuals who suffer from digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome or lactose intolerance, as well as for individuals with unhealthy eating habits or irregular bowel movements.
On an average it is believed that most humans pass gas at least fourteen times in a day, producing around one to three pints of gas daily. Flatulence itself is not a cause for worry at all. It does not pose any health risk at all, but it certainly poses a high risk of social embarrassment which is why flatulence treatment and natural remedies for flatulence are so sought after. Excessive passage of gas or flatulence is often reason enough to seek medical treatment. It should be pointed out that in most cases of excessive flatulence it is important to identify possible underlying causes and treat them to eliminate the problem. As excessive flatulence causes would stem from digestive problems that are in most cases mild or easily treatable you could simply use diet modifications as the most powerful flatulence remedy to control the problem. Lifestyle changes may also be necessary and if the problem persists it could be because of a medical condition that requires additional medical treatment.
Gas accumulation of buildup in the digestive system occurs in two ways. When we swallow any food or even water or our own saliva for that matter, we also ingest some amount of air. This mostly includes oxygen and nitrogen. This does contribute to a gradual buildup of gas. In addition to this gas is also released as part of the digestive process when food is broken down in the digestive system. Some of the gases released could include hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane.
If you’re troubled by the problem of flatulence just keep in mind that this is a natural biological process, just like breathing for that matter and it affects absolutely everyone. Both men and women experience flatulence, but men tend experience flatulence a little more often than women. Age also holds no bars and the aged, children, toddlers and adults alike all experience flatulence. Flatulence may in fact more often than not go unnoticed as you may not even realize that you have passed gas because of the small quantities released and at most times the gas passed is odorless. Foul smelling flatulence in babies, children and adults alike are caused by the presence of trace elements of sulfur. This only tends to occur however if food has not been digested thoroughly and begins to decompose. Anyone suffering from constipation is therefore also likely to pass extremely foul smelling odor.
Excessive flatulence odor and excessive gas can be controlled through dietary and lifestyle changes. It is important that you minimize your intake of, or avoid consuming foods that cause flatulence for any flatulence relief. Lifestyle habits such as meal timings, regular sleep timings and most importantly regular bowel movements are also important. Some amount of physical activity is essential for the efficient functioning of your digestive system. Also make it a point to avoid controlling or delaying bowel movements. Treatment with such simple measures can help to control flatulence odor or excessive flatulence. In almost all cases of excessive flatulence the problem can be controlled with such home treatments. In cases of severe flatulence where such methods fail to reduce flatulence it would be advisable to seek a medical diagnosis as there could be some other underlying condition that contributes to the problem.
Flatulence or Gas SymptomsFlatulence, also known as "gas" can be identified by the following symptoms that the person may experience.
• A feeling of bloating and discomfort
• Excessive expulsion of wind
• Pain in the abdomen
Major Cause of Flatulence is Swallowed Air
Swallowed air, though this is a major cause of flatulence, it could still be a reason. Some people swallow air as a matter of habit, this condition is referred to as Aerophagia. While the oxygen present in the air thus inhaled is absorbed by the body, the nitrogen is expelled in flatus as it is poorly absorbed by the mucous lining.
• Presence of excessive amounts of bacteria in the intestines
• Consumption of large amounts of fibrous foods
• Consumption of products that contain malt extracts
• Digestive disorders that affect the GI tract such as gastroenteritis
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Irregular bowel movements or constipation
• Food or water that may be prepared under unhygienic conditions
• A high-fat diet generates a huge amount of carbon dioxide, some of which is released as flatulence or gas
• Odorous flatulence is caused due to the metabolic breakdown of sulfur-containing proteins and amino acids in the intestines
• Persistent bloating and flatulence that is present consistently over a period may be an indication of a serious medical condition such as colorectal cancer. This may need deeper investigation and treatment
• Fat malabsorption could be another cause for flatulence. This problem produces loose and light-colored stools accompanied by gas.
Tested Methods for Treating Flatulence
Gas or flatulence can to a great extent be remedied at home using kitchen cures. Here are some of the tried and tested methods for treating the breaking wind problem:
• Mix 1/2 tsp of dry ginger powder with a pinch of asafoetida and a pinch of rock salt in a cup of warm water. Drink this concoction to get relief from gas.
• Mix 2 tsp of brandy with a cup of warm water and drink this before going to bed.
• Chew on some fresh ginger slices that are soaked in lime juice after meals.
• A drop of dill oil in a tsp of honey taken immediately after a meal should be of great help.
• Dry grind 1 tsp of pepper, 1 tsp of dry ginger and 1 tsp of green cardamom seeds. Add 1/2 tsp of this mixture to water and drink after 1 hour after meal.
• Chewing peppermint after a meal does a lot more than just freshening your breath. Peppermint contains menthol that soothes the digestive muscles. It helps in treating flatulence, bloating and abdominal pain that accompanies gas. Peppermint oil combined with caraway oil has been used since ages to treat abdominal discomfort caused by flatulence.
Avoid Foods Which Produce Gas when Consumed
No matter what course of treatment you choose even your doctor would advise you to avoid eating or to at least reduce your consumption of foods that contribute to the problem. The problem here is that this may also involve cutting back on some healthy foods like certain fruits or vegetables and whole grains and milk products. High fat foods may also need to be reduced as they can add to the problem of bloating and abdominal discomfort. While carbohydrate rich foods can be a major cause for gas as compared to foods with a high protein or fat content, fatty and protein rich foods may at times be the main culprit. The cause can vary for different people so you will have to examine your own diet and make changes accordingly. Fatty foods and protein rich foods like red meats can be a problem as they put a lot more stress on the digestive system and take a lot longer to get digested completely. This means that there is a higher likelihood of bloating, discomfort and also less room for gases to move into the small intestine, leading to a buildup of gas. The amount of gas released from digesting specific foods can also vary from person to person unfortunately which is why it would be advisable to experiment with your diet.
If flatulence is a major problem, a look at your diet is important. There are foods that inherently produce gas when consumed. You must take care to avoid such foods.
• These include foods such as beans, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, yeast-containing foods such as breads and cheese.
• Carbonated drinks produce gas too.
• High carbohydrate content in oats and potatoes make them the culprits for gas.
• Foods that produce negligible amounts of gas are rice, bananas, citrus, grapes, hard cheese, meat, eggs, peanut butter, non-carbonated beverages and yogurt made with live bacteria.
Eat Smaller Meals
• Eating smaller meals is a good idea rather than consuming a large meal at a time.
• Avoid meals containing a large amount of monounsaturated and essential fats.
• Chewing the food slowly and steadily is important. Avoid swallowing or gulping down food. Properly masticated food is better digested.
• Regular exercise such as walks keeps the intestinal muscles in ship shape. Regular bowel movements keep the levels of gas producing bacteria low resulting in less flatulence.
• Yoga is believed to be extremely helpful in relieving a variety of digestive problems, flatulence included. There are in fact various poses that are meant specifically to address the problem of excessive gas, abdominal discomfort and bloating and flatulence. Yoga poses in fact include a posture known as the ‘wind relieving pose’.