Flatulence, commonly referred to as ‘farting’, is caused by gas in the bowel. Ordinarily, the intestines produce between 500 and 2000ml of gas, which is regularly passed out of the anus. The gas, or ‘flatus’, consists of a number of gases including methane, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The varying smell depends on the ratio of gases, which is influenced by the foods we eat.
Flatus is generated by swallowed air, digestion, high-fibre foods and the by-products of intestinal bacteria. Some digestive system disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, can produce excess gas.
Sometimes, you make more gas than you can handle, or some gets stuck inside you. When that happens, your body tells you. You may have pain, cramps, or a knotted feeling in your belly.
Foods that tend to produce large amounts of flatus also contain essential nutrients and shouldn’t be eliminated. Limiting their consumption is a better option. Examples of foods that commonly cause flatulence include:
- dairy products – such as milk, if lactose intolerance is present
- dried fruit – raisins and prunes
- fruit – apple, apricot, peach and pear
- foods high in insoluble fibre – particularly seeds and husks
- legumes – beans, peas, chickpeas, soybeans and nuts
- vegetables – carrot, eggplant, onion, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.
Besides tweaking your diet and habits, you might get help from natural remedies. Try drinking peppermint or chamomile tea. Or consider taking charcoal products or other over-the-counter preparations.
If you continue to feel abdominal pain associated with excess gas, consult your doctor.
Have you ever experienced pain from intestinal gas? Did you find a solution? What worked for you?
If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.
Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.