What is Flatulence?
Flatulence is caused when there is excessive gas in the stomach or intestines. This can cause bloating, belching and gas may pass out of the rectum. This gas can sometimes pass out with a loud noise and have an obnoxious odor, which can cause social embarrassment. Most people are worried about excessive gas and seek treatment for it because of the fear of embarrassment. In this article, we reveal the causes, symptoms and treatment for flatulence and how to prevent it in the first place.
Causes of Flatulence
Sometimes our body is not able to properly digest carbohydrates like fiber, starches and sugar which leads to the production of excess gas. Foods have a different impact on each person’s digestive system, so some people produce more gas compared to others. Foods containing carbs produce more gas, while proteins and fats produce little gas. Foods likely to produce more gas include beans, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, wheat, noodles, corn, potatoes, onions etc. Soluble fiber found in some foods can also create gas in the intestines during digestion.
Symptoms of Flatulence
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal bloating
- Gas passing out of the rectum
Treatment for Flatulence
You can use the following nonprescription medicates to treat flatulence and reduce symptoms:
- An enzyme supplement called Beano can help to ingest beans better. But it is not effective for gas produced due to fiber or lactose.
- Antacids like Di-Gel, Maalox II and Mylanta II help to belch away gas in the stomach. But they have little impact on gas in the intestines. You can take these medications before meals.
- Colon gas can be relieved by taking Charcocaps (charcoal tablets) before and after meals.
- Medicines like metoclopramide (Reglan) are taken to increase gut activity and reduce gas complaints.
How to Prevent Flatulence
To reduce or prevent flatulence cut down on carbohydrates and heavy foods. Chew the food properly during meals and cut down on using chewing gum. The following foods can produce flatulence:
- Tuna, soybean, raisins, prunes, popcorn
- Dairy products, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, Brussels sprouts
- Broccoli, bran, beans, apricots, apples
It is next to impossible to prevent flatulence and the production of gas in the stomach because many nutritious foods have this effect. But you can get rid of the gas in the stomach and intestines by performing certain yoga poses like boat pose, bow pose, cobra pose, pigeon pose and by doing pranayama every day.