What is Flatulence and What Causes This Nasty Smelling Stomach Gas

Flatulence is one of those taboo topics which everybody experiences, but nobody likes to talk about honestly. Everybody gets gas in their stomach, but how much depends on how they live and what they eat.

But finding the root cause of your flatulence will allow you to take effective measures with your diet and lifestyle, to help your digestive system function more normally and let you live a more ‘free’ life.

If you are anything like I was, before I discovered a cure to my own flatulence, then I would bet that you are completely fed up of the abdominal discomfort, the gurgling and the rapid expulsion of smelly gas from your backside. And that you have reached your threshold with this problem and will stop at nothing before you discover how to rid yourself of this often, embarrassing problem.

Well, you have come to the right place.

As a long time sufferer of intestinal flatulence, constipation and abdominal bloating, and someone who will stop at nothing to find a natural remedy for any health condition before using pharmaceutical treatments, I was compelled to find out all about how our digestive system works and how to help it to function normally.

After much of my own research into what causes flatulence and experimenting with different types of food sources, I finally discovered how I could put an end to my own stomach discomfort, once and for all.

I’m not a doctor by the way, just someone who reached his own threshold with the bloated stomach and gas. I became almost obsessed with finding a treatment and once I found it, I felt I had to share what I discovered with anyone who was experiencing the same problems.

So, here we go.

What is Flatulence?

More commonly known as ‘farting’, flatulence is the end (and usually smelly) product of the mix of excess gases pushed from your large colon and out of your rectum. The noises that you hear are caused because the gas is pushed out between your buttocks.

The gas has to force them apart (as with the anal sphincter), which forces a vibrating of your ‘cheeks’ and surrounding area. This gas is a mixture of exogenous gases (air which you have breathed in through your mouth), and endogenous gases (production of intestinal gases, as food passes through it).

More serious flatulence causes can be attributed to underlying health problem, such as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease (gluten rejection by your body) or if you have a lactose intolerance problem. Constipation is also a cause, and I can testament to this because I was suffering a great deal with a blockage problem.

I found this great video on this subject, which you should watch.

For most of us it is the food we eat and the air which we swallow which causes our gas. Ways which we swallow gas include smoking, chewing gum, chewing and swallowing food too quickly, and sucking on things like pencils or pens perhaps at your desk when you are in work.

What Foods Cause Flatulence!

Did you know that your healthy diet could be causing your flatulence and bloated tummy? I imagine you didn’t.

We are all told to eat vegetables as part of a healthy nutrition plan because they are necessary for our body to function normally. But would you believe that the following vegetables contain a high amount of un-absorbable carbohydrates, which will inevitably produce gas in your digestive tract.

Most people jest about beans, cabbage and a few other vegetables as a definite flatulence cause in your belly, but the fact is that they really do. This is because they contain high levels of oligosaccharides, which are plant carbohydrates. They produce gas in your digestive tract because this proportion of plant molecules are poorly digested by your large colon. When they reach your large intestine, they come into contact with bacteria which then produces high amounts of flatus.

This is a list of vegetables that cause flatulence.

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Apples
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Beans

When you consume these foods, some of it resists the digestion process and is left in your colon, undigested. This undigested food ferments in your gut and produces¬†endogenous gas in your system which you cannot avoid if you don’t know that it is causing a ‘build up’.

You should also be aware that some of both simple carbohydrate food and complex carbohydrate foods will also give you trouble. Sugar (fructose, raffinose and sorbitol) and the following other carbohydrates also from gases as they are digested in your large bowel.

  • Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Wheat products such as breads
  • Pears
  • Prunes
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Cherries

And this is a list of fruits which is friendly to your digestive system.

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Pineapple
  • Grapes (white only)
  • Bananas

The only carbohydrate based food that you are safe to eat (apart from the list of fruits above) which will not give you problems, is rice.

White meat is good, but red meat is a little more unfriendly to your gastrointestinal system. So stick to meats like chicken, turkey and fish if you want to cut down on the ‘explosions’.

Dairy products also give people problems. Those people who have a lactose intolerance suffer when they consume dairy products because they contain lactose (another sugar). These people have low levels of an enzyme called lactase in their bodies, which is required to digest lactose.

Does Salad Cause Flatulence?

Unless they are pre-packed, which means they are washed and potentially stored with some preservatives, they do not create gases, apart from green peppers. If it is fresh (and preferably organic), salad is a safe bet right throughout the summer months. But of course, this does not apply to fruit salads.

It is important to note that not all foods affect all people in the same way. Pasta and bread may not affect you, but they certainly do expand my abdomen and give me gas.

What is the Most Effective Remedy for Flatulence?

Many flatulence remedies promise great results, but all too often these promises are simply not true. In fact, to find the most effective cure for your gas troubles, you will normally not have to look further than your current diet and lifestyle habits.

Because more often than not (unless you have an underlying health condition), the way you live your life, is actually causing your flatulence and your bloated stomach.

In today’s ‘milli-second’ fast pace world, far too many people ignore this fundamental aspect our bodies natural being. Something my mother always told me when I was a kid, was ‘what you put in your body, is what you get out’. In other words, what you eat and how you treat your body will determine your level of health for years to come.

And that is true of our digestive system – if you eat too much junk food, or if you don’t know which foods will have an adverse effect on your digestion, you can normally expect a bloated stomach and a lot of gas.

Lack of exercise is a big cause of reduced functionality of the digestive system, and you can eat what you think is the perfect healthy, natural diet, but you could still suffer with bloating and uncontrollable gas.

This was true of my own problems, until I uncovered a few dietary secrets, which under normal circumstances you would never have the need to find out. Not unlike most men (I guess), I had always suffered with some level of gas and belching.

Until one day I reached my threshold with what became a constant irritation and embarrassment. And I had to do something about it.

After I met my current partner, with whom I now have a two year old daughter, I was compelled to find a cure for what had become a ‘butt trumpet melody’ and burping concerto’! I had been single for a few years, and although I knew I was farting way more than I thought I should, I just put it down to the Italian foods and Indian curries which I loved so much. I hadn’t given the situation much of a thought. But you know what it’s like when a new relationship begins and you decide to move in together.

The bad habits which made you giggle and took for granted suddenly become enormous problems! At this threshold moment, I knew I had to find an effective flatulence remedy, and quickly!

What follows is what I discovered, from various authoritative sources of Government and Health Care Professionals, along with personal stories of successfully overcoming flatulence and the realization that the best remedy for gas and belching, is to be proactive, NOT reactive.

Pharmaceutical Remedies for Flatulence Are Not Always What They Seem

Warning: Some antibiotic treatments and other pharmaceutical medicines could actually make your condition worse!

Everywhere you search on the web for flatulence remedies, you will find reference to antibiotics, digestive enzymes and charcoal treatments. And while most will reduce symptoms, one antibiotic in particular that you should avoid, is Ciprofloxacin.

The most common over-the-counter remedy for gas is charcoal tablets. But you MUST BE AWARE that if you are currently taking other medication, the charcoal tablets will absorb that medication, rendering it ineffective. You have to be sensible here. If your other medical conditions which require medication are more severe than your intestinal gas, you should consult your doctor before ingesting them.

However, if your bloated stomach, constipation or flatus has become intolerable and are your main health concerns, as was my own symptoms, charcoal tablets could help to reduce your symptoms.

Also, and they are not really a remedy – but you can buy flatulence pads and flatulence underwear, which absorb the smelly gas which is expelled from your anus. Whilst they seem like a great idea, and from testimonials I’ve read online which say they work, I think I would choose to find a prevention (which I did) to my gurgling stomach and gas, rather than wear ‘special underwear’!

One of the best products which worked for me (and solved around fifty percent of expulsions) – (and you can buy this in pharmacists as a liquid), was live cultures in the form of probiotics. I live in the United Kingdom, and the best live culture product I used was in a yogurt drink. I presume you will readily find these in your supermarkets, as I did across the pond!

Probiotics work by helping your body to grow what is commonly known as ‘friendly bacteria’. This attractively named bacteria helps to balance things a little in your digestive system, thus reducing the effects of intestinal gas – and your embarrassment.

Another product, which I cannot get on with is acidophilus tablets. And although this forms a big part of the probiotic yogurt, they are also widely available in tablet form. As it happens, my dear mother is a big fan of these tablets and uses them to ‘keep her digestion in good health’, she says. More of a prevention, than a cure for any digestive disorders.

However I simply cannot get on with them because I mistakenly bit into one a long time ago and tasted the contents. The ‘powdery’ taste has stuck with me for many, many years! So I stick to the probiotic yogurt, because I believe in them.

Diagnosis of Flatulence

If you have symptoms such as constant unbearable abdominal pain or passing blood on a regular basis when you visit the toilet, it is time to visit your doctor. You may then be referred to a specialist, who may recommend an internal investigation by way of an endoscopy to find out what is causing you problems.

This is a rather intrusive long thin tube, with a bright light and a camera stuck on the end which, after your sedation will be used to look at the inside of your digestive system – stomach, intestines and colon. It is either inserted into the mouth and down the throat, or into your anus.

This is a big enough reason by itself, to make changes to the way you life! Who the heck wants a camera stuck up their behind and tickling your insides? If that is not a good enough reason to eat healthy, I don’t know what is!

Prevention is Always Better than the Cure

We all know how fundamental a balanced nutrition plan is and generally follow a healthy diet. Or at least we do know, but neither have the time nor the concern for our future health to actually eat a proper diet.

You know what it’s like. We get caught up with the struggles of life and the law of familiarity and get complacent with our eating habits. This is particularly true for many people living life second by second, working extremely long days and who have stressful jobs.

But this is where health disorders problems begin. Ignore these essential rules of living at your own peril, because they will lead to the demise of your bodies functionality at some time in the future.

What is the Best Cure for Flatulence?

The best cure is prevention. To stop it before problems arise with totally natural remedies which make up a healthy diet plan. And it is not difficult either. All you may have to do is to make a few simple changes with what you eat and the way you live. It will be more psychological, than anything else because you should steer clear of junk type foods and sugar.

Avoiding the following foods is a good place to start because they contain polysaccharides. This means they are foods which make your body produce gas – beans, onions, leeks, sprouts, sweet potatoes, oats, wheat, yeast and garlic. Beans are typically known for causing problems, because our bodies struggle to digest them.

Some sources recommend adding citrus juice or vinegar to meals, which stimulates digestive enzymes in the digestive tract. But from nearly every source I’ve read, adding acidic liquids to meals only helps a little!

Also, try splitting up your meals into smaller and increase eating times up to six per day. This should form part of eating a healthy diet normally, even if you don’t have tummy troubles, because your system has to do less work.

Chew your food slower and longer, which should reduce the air that you swallow with your food.

Avoid chewing gum, because you swallow air when you chew.

Drink carbonated water occasionally, because when your burp it has a reliving effect.

After you have consumed any meal, refrain from lying down as gases can more easily enter your bowel from your stomach.

And finally, taking regular exercise is a must to help your body function properly. We were never designed to sit still, just like I have been doing for a couple of hours while writing this article, we need exercise to help our circulatory system, respiratory and digestive system do its job. This forms a big part of the most effective flatulence remedy you will find.

When should you seek medical advice, if you think you’re passing too much gas?

If you have eaten an extra ordinary amount of food or types of food which you would not normally eat, this is the first thing you should consider before seeking medical advice.

However, a visit to your doctor is recommended if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Passing blood in your stool
  • Rapid weight loss – for no apparent reason
  • Continuous abdominal pain and bloating
  • Continuous diarrhea or bowel obstruction
  • Incontinence

Any of these symptoms experienced in excess could also indicate an infection called Giardiasis. If you think you have consumed unsanitary water in any way and feel unwell, consult your doctor immediately because flatulence caused from unclean water can be harmful to your body.

Thank you for reading, I hope you found this page helpful – I am going for a long walk now to help my digestive system work normally!

About Andy

I have a huge interest in keeping the digestive system in a very healthy condition, because I know from my own personal experience that when you do have problems with your digestion, it can also have many adverse affects on your overall health. You can subscribe to my free daily news paper at Improve Your Digestion and follow me on Facebook or on Twitter.

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