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Flatulence

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Flatulence

What causes flatulence (farting)?

Though you might not think it, we each have an average of 14 occurrences of flatulence per day. For an excessive amount of daily flatulence, there can be many reasons. These include:

  • Smoking.
  • Lactose intolerance.
  • Eating certain foods.
  • Swallowing too much air.
  • An overabundance of bacteria in the colon.

How can I control my flatulence?

Controlling ordinary flatulence is basically a matter of watching how you eat and what you eat. You may wish to monitor your intake of high-fibre foods such as cabbage, corn, and beans to determine which may be causing a problem. Substituting the problem food for other high-fibre foods such as bran may lessen the problem.

Beans are famous for their wind-inducing properties. However, they are less likely to lead to flatulence if they are soaked overnight along with a couple of tablespoons of vinegar. They should be then be drained and rinsed before cooking in fresh water.

Eating slowly and chewing food for longer allows the enzymes in saliva to break the food down before it enters the stomach and digestive tract. The more that food is chewed, the more it is broken down for the digestive system. What’s more, swallowed air is a prime cause of flatulence, and careful chewing avoids the swallowing of air that occurs when food is eaten too quickly.

Some processed food items contain ingredients, such as sweeteners or preservatives that can induce wind, especially:

  • Dietetic foods.
  • Sugarfree sweets and chewing gum.
  • Fizzy drinks.
  • Whole grains and bran.

When should I consult my doctor about flatulence?

Excessive flatulence may be a symptom of a serious health problem such as:

  • Appendicitis.
  • Gallstones.
  • Stomach ulcers.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome.

If you suspect that you may be suffering from any of these ailments, you should consult your GP.

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