Flatulence(gas)


An average human passes gas between 10 and 18 times a day. Many a time people don’t notice that they have passed gas. The problem can be corrected through minimal lifestyle changes.

Flatulence can be defined as a buildup of gas in the digestive system that which leads to abdominal discomfort. Most of the individual experience flatulence. Excessive flatulence can cause discomfort and distress. Eating certain food items can result in flatulence. Flatulence can often be a sign of some serious digestive conditions like recurring indigestion or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Why does it happen?

When the food or water is swallowed, there is a tendency to swallow a small amount of air. This gets collected in the digestive system. Gases can also be build up when you digest the food. The body needs to get rid of this formed gas. So, it releases either in the upward or downward direction called farting

The normal gas passed out is harmless and has no odor; it contains the smell, it is due to the presence of Sulphur. Excessive gas is produced due to swallowing more air or eating foods that are difficult to digest.

What Are the Causes of Flatulence Gas?

Flatulence is a part of normal bodily processes, or it may stem from any disease that affects the digestive system.

Exogenous sources – Those sources that come from the outside which is mainly the air when we eat, drink, or swallow saliva. When excess saliva is produced due to nausea or acid reflux. 

Endogenous sources – These are the factors which are inside the gut. Flatulence may arise as a by-product of digestion when certain foods are taken, or when food is not completely digested. If this is happening due to incomplete digestion, then gas is formed when food reaches in the large intestine.

Few examples of foods that can worsen flatulence include:

  • Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, garlic, onions, beans, sprouts, and turnips
  • Certain cereals such as wheat or oats
  • Pulses, including beans and lentils
  • Dairy products
  • Yeast in baked products, such as bread

Here we discuss some food times which is often consumed and ends up in gas formation. Being aware of those can help in reduction of gas problem.  

Beans: Beans has complex carbohydrates in it which is difficult for the humans to digest. The digestion of these carbs happen through microorganisms present in the gut which produces methane. When these complex particles reach the lower intestine, bacteria act on them and produces the gas. 

Lactose intolerance: When the dairy products like milk, curd etc. is consumed and the body doesn’t have the enzymes to break it down, the bacteria feed on the lactose. Due to this in some people, it produces large amount of gas.  

Celiac diseases: Intolerance to certain proteins and gluten, leads to excessive flatulence. This may be present when barley, wheat, etc. is consumed.

Artificial sweeteners: Sorbitol and mannitol are the artificial sweeteners found in most of the food items. They result in diarrhea along with gas when excessively consumed. 

Fiber supplements: Rapid intake of diet rich in fibers also causes cause flatulence.

Carbonated drinks: Fizzy drinks and beer leads to build-up of gas in the intestinal tract.

Few disease conditions that can worsen the flatulence are:

Constipation: Due to hard feces, it becomes difficult for expulsion of excess gas. This results in accumulation of gas in the abdomen and results in discomfort. 

Gallbladder problems: Gallstones and cholecystitis can lead to additional gas formation.

Gastroenteritis and other intestinal infections: Any bacterial or viral infections, relating to parasitic infection that leads to food poisoning can cause buildup of gas. E.g.: Amoebiasis, Escherichia coli. 
Antibiotics: Long term intake of antibiotics can disturb the intestinal flora that leads to flatulence.
Laxatives: Regular and excessive usage of laxatives increases the risk of developing gas in the abdominal region.
Other conditions include pregnancy, hernia, pancreatitis, premenstrual syndrome, endometriosis.

Symptoms of Flatulence, Bloating and Gas are:

The common symptoms of flatulence include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas is persistent and severe
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Heartburn
  • Blood in the stools

Natural Home Remedies for  Flatulence gas and Bloating

1. FRESH GINGER JUICE


Take a piece of ginger and clean it. Cut into small pieces. Dip in pinch of salt and chew and eat it. Repeat this twice or thrice depending upon the severity of gas trouble.

Ginger is known to possess carminative properties that help to expel gas and reduces the cramps and symptoms of indigestion. Ginger also helps in alleviating abdominal bloating.

2. PUMPKIN SOUP


Take pumpkin and cut into small pieces. Add 2 cups of water to it and boil it. Once it is cooked add salt and pepper to enhance the taste. Have it before the meals. Alternatively, pumpkin can be added to the diet and consumed.

Pumpkin is a natural source of optimum fiber and potassium, which can be of great help to reduce stomach bloating. The potassium in pumpkin helps to remove excess sodium, which has a role in gas formation.

3. WARM JEERA WATER


Take 1 teaspoon and add to 3 glasses of water. Boil the water. Drink the warm Jeera water regularly. 

Jeera has antispasmodic properties which aid relaxation to our digestive tracts. Due to its carminative properties, it helps to release the gas and treats dyspepsia and abdominal bloating. 

4. ASAFOETIDA WITH WARM WATER


Mix 1tsp of Asafoetida with lukewarm water and drink for gas trouble. This mixture should be consumed thrice daily half an hour before the meals. 

Asafoetida acts as an anti-flatulent and also has the capability to prevent the growth of excess gut bacteria that produce excess gas in the stomach.  

5. SPICED INDIAN BUTTERMILK


Buttermilk prepared with spices like coriander leaves, grated ginger, green chili, a pinch of Asafoetida, 1tsp of cumin seeds, pinch of fresh curry leaves and a pinch of salt. Have this half an hour after every meal. 

Ayurveda describes Buttermilk as an aid which helps in digestion. It is superior to yogurt in properties. Together with the spices, buttermilk helps to alleviate the gas and helps to better the condition of bloating.