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Flatulence or farting is a common thing that everyone experiences daily. It is a natural process by which your body releases digestive gas. Your digestive system, particularly your intestines, has a variety of ‘good’ bacteria that help break down complex food substances. Since we eat all kinds of food, some of these food substances cannot be digested by the enzymes naturally present in our system. These good bacteria aid in the digestion of these food substances.
During digestion, gas is released as a byproduct that escapes through your mouth as a burp or through the anus as farting. On a regular basis, an average person farts almost 15 to 20 times a day. It can vary among different individuals. But apart from your natural mechanism, can there be any other reasons for flatulence? Let’s understand some other causes.
There are two types of gases found within your digestive tract that can be released naturally from your system. One is the exogenous type which contains oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. These gases are present outside your body and enter your digestive tract while eating food, drinking, or smoking. The other is the endogenous types of gases which contain hydrogen, methane, and a few pungent-smelling compounds such as hydrogen sulfide. Your gut flora releases these gases during the process of digestion.
Here are some causes that may produce flatulence in your digestive system:
Eating in large boluses: Whether you are too hungry or in a hurry to finish the food, you may swallow air while swallowing large boluses of food at once.
As explained above, gas production and release from your system is a natural process. If you pass gas almost 15 to 20 times a day, there is nothing to worry about. Most people feel embarrassed about this issue, but it can be reassuring to understand that it is natural.
However, if you experience persistent farting or other associated symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, etc., it is better to seek a medical professional for this problem. It may be occurring due to dietary irregularities or an underlying disease. It would help if you openly discuss your symptoms with your doctor without shame or hesitation. Most of these conditions are treatable and can be improved with lifestyle modifications.
Dietary modification is generally the first step recommended in treating excessive flatulence. Lessen the intake of foods rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, and sulfur compounds. These foods include beans, broccoli, asparagus, garlic, onion, potatoes, artificial sugars, nuts, wine, beer, dairy products, and baked goods. Take them in small portions to achieve a balanced diet.
Develop a habit of eating food in small boluses and chewing it well before swallowing. Also, avoid drinking water or other drinks in large gulps. Carbonated or fizzy drinks should be reduced.
Smoking should be avoided if you have a frequent complaint of flatulence. Physical activity is suggested because it aids in better digestion and prevents constipation. Also, if you’re intolerant to any food substances, it is better to void those and look for alternative products.
Consult a doctor if you experience a severe problem of flatulence. Medications or treatment measures recommended by your doctor can help in reducing this issue.