- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Because Farts are no Laughing Matter!
Flatulence or Farting
If you suffer from flatulence or what is commonly called farting, you will know how embarrassing this can be. The feeling of trapped wind is painful whether it is in your stomach or in your intestines and the need to release it can cause embarrassment for all..
Many jokes are made about it and some men are even proud of their ability to fart on cue. Even so, if farting is something you wish to avoid, there are products to help you.
Some products help to alleviate the intestinal gas whilst others mask or cover-up the smell.
Charcoal Tablets for Gas
Activated Charcoal works like a sponge soaking up toxins and gases which causes flatulence. Because of Its high porosity it absorbs these from the intestines and stomach. This is often used in hosptial if someone has injested poisons as well.
*One thing to note. This will make the faeces black whilst the charcoal is being taken and shortly after you stop taking it as well.
What Causes Intestinal Gas?
As you eat your digestive system begins working, breaking down the food you've just consumed and turning this into the fuel that keeps your body functioning. All foods are not created equally and as such some are more difficult for the body to break down than others. The types of food that your body finds problematic to digest, might be different than other people. Even people in the same family may find some foods cause gas for some and for others not.
Your body will be using some of the food you ate as fuel, some will be waste and this is when the gas begins to form. In the colon there are bacteria which begin to ferment with these particles of unused food. This causes gas to form.
Which Foods Cause Gas
Because everyone's body's different, you may find that some foods cause you discomfort but not so for others. Your body naturally expels the gases either as a burp or flatulence many times a day. If you are finding that your body is producing excessive gas, then it will possibly be a result of your diet.
Determining which foods are causing you to be gassy requires a little detective work. It's a good idea to write down what you have eaten and your any reaction you have to it. Many people have an inability to digest milk products, they are lactose intolerant. Others can't digest wheat products easily, this could be Coeliac disease.
If you ask many people which type of food causes gas they would say, 'beans'. These do cause many people to produce excessive wind. There are other foods you can get gas from, below I have listed just a few.
Some people have an inability to break down the sugar in certain foods. Wheat products and milk products are the two largest groups.
- Milk and dairy products
- Wheat products such as bread
- Foods with artificial sweeteners, such as soft drinks
- Prunes and prune juice
- Beans and pulses
- Onions, peppers, cucumbers
- Broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts
- Fats and oils
The list of foods that can cause you gas may be different and if you find it a problem then it is best to find an alternative to that food. It is worth noting that often by including small amounts of these foods your body will begin to adapt and be more adept at digesting it.
Other Causes of Flatulence
Sometimes it may not only be what you are eating. There are other reasons you may be having trapped wind.
- Eating too quickly
- Not exercising enough
- Chewing gum
- Change of eating habits
If you are eating too quickly then you are swallowing a lot of air as you eat. This has to go somewhere and it is either a burp or flatulence. This is the same for chewing gum, you are pulling more air into the digestive tract.
Not exercising can cause flatulence as well. Movement is the key to life and it keeps the body functioning properly. If you exercise and drink water this keeps your bowel movements regular and doesn't allow the waste particles in your colon to begin to ferment.
Certain medications can cause flatulence. This would, more than likely, be mentioned in the side effects of the medication. If the medication is something that is necessary then you have no choice but to take it or ask if there is an alternative which doesn't produce this unwanted side effect.
A change of eating habits can also cause you to have an increase in trapped wind. If you have ever started a new diet such as The Atkins Diet, or introduced more vegetables into your diet you will know what I am referring to. To reduce this, change your routine slowly and your body will have time to adjust to the new eating regime. If you are using diet foods that are artificially sweetened this will cause wind. Normally there is an advisory on the package.
What to do if You Fart in Public
For most people it's embarrassing and many people don't know what to do. It's best if you released gas to apologize straight away. "Excuse me" or "pardon me" will suffice.
What do you do if you break wind in public?
Flatulence pads help to cover the smell when you fart. Slip them into your underwear, they work like an air freshener. These will mask the smell and give you a sense of renewed confidence.
Although not a long term solution, if you are going through a period of being excessively gassy, then these are a great solution.