- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How to Prevent Flatulence | How to Stop Farting
Is Flatulence Normal ?
Flatulence, fart or “breaks wind” is a normal body process for everyone. For patients in hospital who have just gone through major surgical operation, flatulence is one of the expected processes before the person is allowed to take any solid food. So, flatulence is in fact a healthy process of the body. However, excessive flatulence can become an embarrassing and stressful experience.
How much fart is normal?
Normally, 400 to 2000 ml of flatus or fart gas are released each day from the anus. The gas consists of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane. Most of the time, this gas is released without much odour or sound. However, under some circumstances and in some people, undigested food products pass from through the small and large intestine (colon) where the mass is fermented by large amounts of bacteria. The presence of these bacteria is normal, but it is their presence that produces gas that gives flatus its characteristic odour when released from the body.
There are ways to combat this gas, if you find it difficult to ignore.
How to Prevent Flatulence or Stop Farting
1. Reduce Carbohydrates Intake
For some people, carbohydrates can cause flatulence. However, we need to consume carbohydrates for our body energy consumption. The trick is to eliminate simple carbohydrates such as refined sugars, like fructose and sucrose, and white-flour foods if you have flatulence problem.
2. Reduce Milk Consumption
Milk can cause gas for some people especially if they do not have enough enzyme lactase in their gut or intestine to digest the milk sugar lactose. Consuming skim milk or buttermilk will not eliminate the problem either since the lactose is in the non-fat part of the milk. Cultured buttermilk may have less lactose, but not everyone likes the taste. You can stop drinking milk for a few days to check whether milk is the root cause of the flatulence problem. If flatulence problem doesn’t go away, then you can rest assured that milk is the not the cause.
If you are lactose intolerant but still want to drink milk, you can buy the lactase enzyme from the pharmacy counter, called Lactaid and Dairy Ease. It helps to break down lactose.
3. Soak the beans
For many people, eating beans can cause excessive flatulence. To decrease the flatulogenic effects of beans, soak the beans overnight, then remove the water. Pour in new water to cook the beans for about half an hour. Throw the water out again and put in new water and cook for another half an hour. Drain the water out for the last time, put new water in and finish cooking.
4. Avoid flatulogenic food
Some foods are natural flatus producers. You may want to temporarily give them up until the flatulence problem has been relieved. Then, start adding the foods back one by one to see which food is tolerable by your body. If you can tolerate small quantities, you can gradually increase your intake.
Highly flatulogenic Food
Mildly flatulogenic Food
Bread and other wheat products
5. Try Beano
Beano is one of the over-the-counter food modifiers which contains enzyme that breaks down some of the sugars that generate flatus. It may help to make foods such as beans, cabbage, broccoli, legumes and other vegetables more tolerable.
6. Try activated charcoal tablets
Activated charcoal tablets, available from over-the-counter in pharmacy, may help to absorb some excess gas and calm flatulence.
7. Stay calm
Emotional stress can worsen flatulence. The gastrointestinal tract is very sensitive to anxiety, anger and depression. When you are stressed out, the muscle in your stomach will tighten, resulting in painful spasm. Hence, you should avoid consuming food under stress; it will make you swallow air, and worsen the flatulence problem.
Caution : If you are taking any prescription medications, please consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter anti-flatulogenic products.
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