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Do you know farts can be flammable because they may contain methane and hydrogen gas? But what causes you to fart? Are there some food substances that increase the risk of a fart? What is the average number of times a person can pass gas? Excessive flatulence may be due to some abnormality in the digestive tract. There are many causes of flatulence, some of which are controllable. Symptoms of flatulence are also discussed in this article. To know more about bloating and flatulence, continue reading this article!

What is Flatulence?

Flatulence is also known as gas, in there is the production of gas inside the digestive system that causes excessively uncomfortable feelings. Flatulence is an ordinary biological process, it is not a disease. An average person can pass gas around 5-15 times a day.

Excessive Gas Causes

There are many causes of flatulence. Some of the main causes are given below:

  • Air Swallowing - It is one of the main causes of flatulence, as air can be swallowed because of smoking, chewing gum, hot and fizzy drinks.

  • Diseases - Flatulence is very common in many diseases, especially, diseases of the digestive tract such as constipation, indigestion, giardiasis, etc.

  • Medication - Many medicines can cause flatulence. These medicines include laxatives, antifungal medicines, (NSAID) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, etc.

  • Food and Drinks - Certain food and drinks can cause flatulence. Substances that contain more amount of in absorbable carbohydrates are the main of cause flatulence. Examples of these substances are - cauliflower, raisin, lentils, onions, etc.

Flatulence Symptoms

Flatulence is a normal phenomenon. When we swallow air along with food or any other method and there is also gas production in our intestines, now this air or gas has to be expelled out of the digestive system. This gas can be expelled from the mouth in the form of belching, if this gas is expelled from the anal canal this causes flatulence.

The Flatulence Symptoms include -

  • Passing Gas - when there is excessive gas in our digestive tract, it can pass from the anal canal and is known as flatulence.

  • Belching - It is defined as the expulsion of gas from the intestine from the mouth.

  • Bloating and Distension - Bloating is defined as the feeling of fullness in our abdomen. It may be due to excessive gas production in our digestive passage.

Diagnosis of Gas in the Digestive System

Now if there is excessive flatulence or any problem associated with gas in the intestine, we can diagnose the cause or problems associated with gas problems by following the methods:

  • History Collection - Now to know the cause or problem associated with gas production - the history collection of patients is one of the main steps of diagnosis. Tell your doctors about symptoms, dietary intake, present and past medical history, and medication.

  • Physical Examination - Doctors may conduct a physical examination, to look for problems associated with our digestive system. The first doctor will inspect the abdomen and he will just look at the distension or any other enlargement on the abdomen. Then he will do palpation and percussion with his hands to check the problem. Then he will auscultate with a stethoscope to listen to bowel sounds.

  • Medical Test - Doctors may conduct various medical tests to look for the problem, medical tests include stool tests, x-ray, and blood tests.

Flatulence Treatment

Flatulence can be corrected by simply changing the diet or doing some modifications in lifestyle in some cases but some people may require treatment.

  • Antacid - Examples of antacids include aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, calcium bicarbonate, and sodium bicarbonate.

  • Lactase - It is an enzyme used to digest milk sugar lactose. It helps people with the condition of lactose intolerance.

  • Probiotics - These are the medications that help in the growth of good bacteria and inhibit the growth of bad bacteria.

  • Ask the Person to Swallow Less Air - For this advice to eat slowly, wear proper fitting dentures, and do not use straws.

Interesting Facts

  • Flatus is the medical term for fart.

  • Every fart has no bad odour; only a fart that releases sulfur is bad in odour.

  • If anyone tries to hold a fart it could leak out of the mouth.

  • Some pills claim that bad odour farts can be made sweeter.

  • Only 1% of the smell expelled in a fart is bad in odour and the remaining farts are odourless.

  • People pass more gas when they are asleep.

Important Questions

Q1. What causes excessive flatulence?

Ans: Excessive flatulence can be caused because of various reasons: it can be caused by excessive swallowing of air or eating food that contains carbohydrates that are difficult to digest.

Q2. What is the worst food for gas?

Ans: Following are the foods that are linked with excessive gas production: Beans, lentils, lactose (the sugar found in milk), fructose, asparagus, and broccoli.

Q3. Does flatulence increase with age?

Ans: Yes, some doctors believe that with the advancement of age risk of flatulence increases because of the slowing down of metabolism.

Key Features

  • In this article, we have studied flatulence and its causes as well as symptoms of gas or painful gas.

  • Flatulence is the passing of gas from the anal canal. On average a person can pass gas 5-15 times a day.

  • There are many causes of flatulence some of the causes are swallowing too much air, eating food that contains too many unabsorbable carbohydrates, or diseases of the digestive system that may cause more flatulence.

  • The passing of gas or belching is some of the symptoms of flatulence.

  • Treatment includes dietary changes, consuming a high-fiber diet, and over-the-counter medication.

Practice Questions

Q1. What is the fastest way to cure flatulence?

Q2. What causes excessive flatulence?

Q3. Can you fart while sleeping?

Q4. Is flatulence a disease?

Q5. Which foods cause flatulence?

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FAQs on Flatulence

1. What are cures for gas pain?

There are many methods of decreasing fart or gas pain. Some of the methods are given below: 

  • Eat Slowly - Eating too rapidly can lead us to swallow more air with food, and eating slowly will also help in digestion. 

  • Avoid Chewing Gum - These substances increase the risk of swallowing air.

  • Stop smoking - Do not smoke. 

  • Avoid Carbonated Drinks - As carbonated drinks contain more carbon dioxide, this will lead to passing more farts.

  • Do Regular Exercise - These exercises can relax the muscles of the intestine.

2. What are some of the complications of flatulence?

There are many complications of flatulence. Some complications are given below:

  • An excess amount of gas can accumulate in the stomach or digestive system. 

  • There may be sharp pain or cramps in the stomach or any part of the abdomen. 

  • There may be a bloated feeling in the abdomen.

  • Persistent pain and discomfort may be there in some people. 

  • Sometimes, people also have to feel social embarrassment due to farting. 

3. Explain some of the home remedies for flatulence.

It is possible to reduce flatulence, but impossible to stop farting. Some of the home remedies are explained below:

  • Drinking a lot of water help to fart less. 

  • Eating smaller meals more frequently can help to reduce the fart. 

  • Changing posture can also help to fart less. 

  • Consuming substances that help in digestion, for example, ginger aid in digestion and hence reduces the fart. 

  • Keep a food diary in which you can write what kind of substance increases the fart. Then try to avoid that substance.

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