Flatulence (flatus), known as farting or excess stomach gas :
All the foods we eat has to be broken down by the digestive system.
Flatulence is produced by the 'friendly bacteria' in the large intestine during their action of fermenting undigested food which releases the gases carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, methane, nitrogen and oxygen - smelly wind.
What causes flatulence ?
A common cause of flatulence is feeble secretion of stomach acid which leads to the improper digestion of foods.
It can occur at any time but more commonly manifests after eating a meal.
Flatus occurs when the food eaten is not 'broken down' / digested and sterilised completely in the stomach (with stomach acid) and small intestine.
Subsequently, the food makes it into the Large Intestine in an undigested state.
There, the food comes into contact with billions of bowel bacteria - the friendly "intestinal fauna". These bacteria digest it further & this action produces a variety of gases - Hydrogen sulphide is the odour we associate with flatulence.
From the 3 food nutrients i.e. Proteins, Carbohydrates & Fats, the carbohydrates are the most efficient at producing smelly gas. The reason is that many contain indigestible carbohydrates & fibre e.g. beans.
These gasses & 'fermentation' can also cause bloating and in some long standing cases, pain in the gut area (especially upper left side).
Some causes of Flatulence are ...
- Food Intolerance.
- Use of certain medication e.g. antacids, stomach acid blockers.
- Digestive disorder (lack of stomach acids - our stomach HCL levels decline as we age)
- Poor diet & long term overindulgence in 'junk foods', salt, sugar, food additives, food colorants etc.
- Swallowing air when eating (not very common)
Food intolerance & digestive disorder are the two prime factors in the cause of flatulence.
For example, if you are "lactose intolerant", it means that you lack the enzyme, lactase in your intestine.
This enzyme is required to break down lactose into two sugar molecules so they can enter the bloodstream. Without the enzyme lactase, the lactose passes undigested through the stomach and small intestine. When it reaches the large intestine, it is attacked by the bowel bacteria and bad smelling flatulence is produced.
How to reduce smelly flatulence :
If there are no medical reasons causing the smelly air problem, improve eating habits / food intake, chew your food better, don't drink too much liquid with the meal & supplement your diet with Digestive Enzymes & Probiotics for a period of time.
- Alter and improve your diet - eliminate junk foods.
- Chew your food better.
- Reduce liquid intake during meals.
- Improve the digestive process.
- Digestive enzymes
- Probiotics e.g.. Acidophilus & Bifidophilus
- Fenugreek seed
- Digestive Enzymes
Page topic : improper digestion of foods, probiotics, poor digestion of foods, bloating and smelly wind, stomach acid, causes of flatulence.