Medically speaking, flatulence is the particular condition when gas from the digestive system is released through the anus. Also called passing wind, farting or gas; it occurs because of accumulation of gas. Usual passing of gas is acceptable but when released in excessive manners; it may lead to other problems and shying away from social activities.
Causes – Swallowing air while drinking or eating and buildup of digestive gases while digesting food are the major reasons of flatulence. Taking carbonated drinks, quick eating, chewing gum or sucking on certain objects helps to swallow air. Taking some eatables including cabbage, prunes, lentils or apples may aggravate flatulence because they take longer periods for digestion. Fruits with excessive sorbitolor fructose may also lead to excessive flatulence. Celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome may also be behind this disorder that can be caused due to hurry in eating. Smoking may also aggravate flatulence as excessive air enters the smokers’ bodies.
Symptoms & Complications – People suffering from flatulence usually complain of abdominal bloating. Swollen abdomen and abdominal pain are also common amongst the patients. If not treated in time, it may lead to depression, eating problems and other complications.
Diagnosis & Treatment – Blood test may be required to check any infection or food poison etc. The doctor may recommend anti-gas medicines that contain simethicone, i.e. Di-Gel, Maalix II or Mylanta II. Use of bismuth (Pepto-Bismol, Bismatrol is also good. Over-the-counter medicines containing enzyme lactase is also suggested for the patients. Charcoal tablets help to absorb gas through the digestive system. Dietary supplements including alpha-galactosidase (Beano) also give relief.
Anybody suffering from flatulence is suggested to avoid diets that are difficult to digest. Taking high-fiber foods like cruciferous vegetables, beans, sugar-free products containing sorbitol and carbonated beverages should be suspended if one suffers from excessive flatulence. They may be continued when the condition improves. Avoid adding more fiber in rapid manners as it may aggravate the problem. Gradual increase of fiber in the food is good. Taking foods with easy-to-digest carbohydrates is good. Bananas, rice and potatoes are recommended for flatulence. Nonprescription products like Beano are helpful as they contain enzymes which are useful.
Correcting one’s eating habits is also good. Foods taken in smaller quantities help to say NO to flatulence. Remember to chew the food in proper manners. Taking food in calm environments helps to digest it easily. Smoking and chewing gum is harmful.
Excessive flatulence can be prevented with simple exercises, yoga asana and long walks etc. Physical activities are a must to digest the food in easy manners. Moreover the toxic substances are also removed. Taking sufficient water after frequent intervals also helps to treat this problem. It is useful in removing the toxins from the body including the stomach. Likewise taking fluids also relieves from flatulence.
Doctor should be consulted if flatulence affects along with bloating, sudden changes in bowel movements or abdominal discomfort. Patients suffering from this problem and diarrhea or constipation are also suggested to take medical advice and proper medicines.