You denied it, blamed it on the guy next to you, you even blamed it on the poor grandma. Having gas is fine until someone hears you or smells you. People find it embarrassing and may find it difficult to ask for help. Let’s discuss the causes and home remedies for this.
Flatulence is passing gas from the digestive system out of the back passage. It is more commonly known as ‘passing wind’ or ‘farting’. It is a common problem that affects everyone at some time or other. Gas is usually released under pressure through the anus which creates sound and is often accompanied by a foul odor. It can be a major source of embarrassment when it happens in social settings making for some really awkward situations.
Gas (flatus) is made in the stomach and intestines as your body breaks down food into energy. It occurs when you need to drive out the excess air that builds up in your body. The gut from esophagus to rectum contains a lot of gases, mainly nitrogen and oxygen, which are produced during eating and talking. Carbon dioxide is produced when the acid present in the stomach comes into contact with bile and juices from the pancreas. Some of these gases are absorbed into the blood and will be breathed out in due course. The rest is passed out through the rectum.
Common Causes of Flatulence
- Swallowed air. If swallowed air is not burped up, it passes through the digestive tract and is released through the anus as flatus.
- Foods containing a lot of fiber.
- Digestive disorders such as gastroenteritis.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Contaminated food or water.
- Food prepared under unhygienic conditions.
- Amino acids in the intestines.
- Fat mal-absorption.
- Breakdown of undigested foods.
- Lactase deficiency.
- Dark beer and red wine.
- Starchy food, such as potato, corn, etc.
- Certain medication/drugs.
Symptoms include: A feeling of bloating and discomfort, excessive expulsion of wind, belching, pain in the abdomen, and foul odor.
Some of the gas-producing foods are: Vegetables such as artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, green peppers, onions, peas, radishes, and raw potatoes. Beans and other legumes. Fruits such as apricots, bananas, melons, peaches, pears, prunes, and raw apples. Wheat and wheat bran. Eggs. Carbonated drinks, fruit drinks, beer, and red wine. Fried and fatty foods. Sugar and sugar substitutes. Milk and other dairy products. Packaged foods that contain lactose, such as breads, cereal, and salad dressing.
Home Remedies for Flatulence
- Consume papaya as it contains enzymes that help digestion and prevent complete flatulence.
- At each meal, sipping diluted lemon juice or a mixture of two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and two of honey in a glass of water.
- Mix 1/2 teaspoon dry ginger powder with a pinch of asafoetida and a pinch of rock salt, in 1 cup of warm water.
- Drink ginger tea after meals, it will promote proper digestion. Ginger is among the most effective home remedies for gas trouble.
- Mustard seeds: Take two with a glass of water before breakfast and then go up in the amount of seeds to reach 12 per hour. Once the gases are under control, the number of seeds can be reduced gradually to take one or two a day.
- Herbal tea and cardamom, chamomile, cinnamon or cloves to stimulate digestion, reduce the bacteria that cause putrefaction and improving intestinal mobility
- Take, after dinner, a cup of tea made with a quart of boiling water and sugar, about 10 grams of fennel seeds.
- Powder 1 teaspoon of pepper, 1 teaspoon of dry ginger and 1 teaspoon of green cardamom seeds. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of this mixture with water and drink an hour after a meal.
- Chew on some fresh ginger slices that are soaked in lime juice after meals.
- Citrus fruits. Vitamin C in tablet form may cause gas, especially amounts in excess of 500 milligrams. So, reduce the dosage and replace the C with citrus fruits – they’re high in vitamin C.
- Pumpkin. It soothes the stomach, and best of all, it cuts down on flatulence. Try some baked, steamed, or broiled. Or, make yourself a simple pumpkin soup.
- Yogurt with acidophilus. It alleviates digestive woes, including gas. But the yogurt must have live acidophilus, a bacteria that helps with digestion.
- Cardamom seeds. These speed up digestion. Add them to sautéed vegetables or to rice or lentils before cooking.
- Cloves. They pep up digestion and eliminate gas. Add 2 to 3 whole cloves to rice before cooking. Sprinkle on apples and pears when baking.
- Coriander. This helps in the downward movement of foods being digested and can ease cramps, hiccups, bloating, and flatulence. Crush the seeds into powder and add to foods such as vegetable stir-fry. Its flavor really enhances curry and Middle Eastern dishes, too.
- Turmeric. This may stop gas problem altogether. Turmeric is one of the many flavorful and curative spices found in curry powder. You can add turmeric itself to rice or season a bland dish with curry powder, which contains turmeric.
- Tea herbs. Steep and drink a tea made from any of these: aniseed, basil leaves, chamomile, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, peppermint, sage. Steep about 1/2 teaspoon in 1 cup boiling water, then add honey or lemon to taste. Drink one to three times each day.
- Asafoetida can also be used as a home remedy for gas trouble. Take a glass of warm water, add a pinch of asafoetida in it. Mix well and drink it.
Tips to Remember
- Do not forget the basics of eating as this is the most natural and effective way to treat flatulence. Eat slowly and chew the food thoroughly. Do not gulp the food. This is the best way to cure the problem of gas.
- Stay calm. Emotional stress can play a role in worsening a flatulence problem. The gastrointestinal tract is exquisitely sensitive to anxiety, anger, and depression.
- Exercise helps to regulate the process. So when things get uncomfortable, take a walk. You can also apply pressure to your abdomen or lie face down on the floor with a pillow bunched up under your abdomen to help relieve discomfort from gassiness.
- Sip your drinks directly from the glass and avoid using straw. Drinking with straw make you swallow more air.
- Don’t go to sleep immediately after eating.
- Do not drink water after 15 minutes or during meals. It weakens the digestive system.
- Eating smaller meals is a good idea rather than consuming a large meal at a time.
- Avoid meals containing a large amount of monounsaturated and essential fats.
- Ginger and garlic combination is very effective for gas problems. Take 3 cloves of garlic and some pieces of ginger in the morning in an empty stomach.
So, fear not friends, there is life after gas. Everybody passes gas; people are simply made that way. EHC is just trying to keep you on the safer side and farther from embarrassment.