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What Causes Farts

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 2

It is said that majority of people pass gas at least 10-20 times per day. This shows how farting is common yet a lot of people finds it very embarrassing. This is especially true when the fart is has a foul smell or it produces a sound that is comparable to a freight train. Flatulence is the scientific name for farts or burps. According to medical practitioners, normal flatulence does not smell at all. Foul smelling farts are a sign that your stomach is not digesting food properly. The inability to properly digest food is usually due to two reasons; one is type of food and the other one is poor eating habits.


Causes of farting
There several known causes of flatulence. Some are natural while other are related to health conditions of the digestive system. As mention earlier, a normal fart should not have any sort of smell. The most common cause of normal flatulence is swallowing air. It is inevitable to swallow small amounts of air while eating or breathing. Sometimes these small amounts of air can accumulate in the stomach. The only way they can get out is through farting. Some activities such as chewing gum, smoking, sucking on objects and swallowing large chunks of food increase the amount of air that is swallowed and increases the chances of experiencing flatulence.

What Causes Farts


However, there are two main causes of abnormal fart (smelly fart).  The first one is type of food and the other one is health conditions. What you eat can be the culprit of the flatulence.  The health conditions that cause you to fart can be a symptom that you should get your gastroenterologist to check you out.


A huge percentage of the foods you eat are comprised of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are made up of` long chains of sugar molecules, which are broken down into “simple sugars” in the stomach for absorption. Sometimes your digestive system is not able to absorb all the carbohydrates and when they are passed in the colon, bacterial will feed on it. In this process, the bacterium produces gas, which is released as a fart. It is important to note that there are more than 500 kinds of bacteria in the colon and their presence is not cause for alarm.  Even Escherichia coli, otherwise known as E. Coli, which is be infamous for negative publicity when found in hamburger meat at fast food restaurants, are present in a great number in the colon.  They are essential for helping digest food.  However, when there is too much E. coli in your system, it will make you sick and could be fatal.  E. coli are also one of the little guys who are responsible for making the gas that will come out as a fart. 


In addition, food that contain non absorbable carbohydrates take longer to be digested meaning that they are likely to start decomposing while still in the stomach. Sulfur gas, which is responsible for the foul smell associated with farts, is produced as a result. 
The list below represents the various foods that are known to contain large amounts of non absorbable carbohydrates.

beans
cabbage
broccoli
artichokes
brussel sprouts
lentils
cauliflower
raisins
prunes
apples


Slimming products especially those that have sorbitol or fructose are also know to cause farting. This is because both fructose and sorbitol are non absorbable carbohydrates.

I love to fart

Some of the health conditions that are known to cause farts are constipation, celiac bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance and gastroenteritis, and malabsorption.


-Lactose intolerance refers to a condition where the body is unable to digest and absorb lactose. Milk and other dairy products are one of the most common products associated with the smells associated with farts.


-Gastroenteritis is a type of stomach and bowel infection.  This is usually known as the “stomach flu.”  Stomach flu, or gastroenteritis can result in diarrhea, cramping in the stomach, vomiting, and of course, flatulence. 


-Malabsorption is a condition where intestine are not able to properly absorb food.  There are various reasons why a person may have malabsorption problems.  The most common being the lactose and other nutrient intolerances, but also from bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s Disease and other diseases such as cystic fibrosis and pancreatitis.  One other thing that causes malabsorption problems are the bariatric surgeries that are being performed.  Results could be malnutrition and anemia. 


-Celiac disease refers to gluten intolerance- gluten is a protein found in wheat or barley.  This is a genetic disorder that arises sometime after being born and is found in people of all ages.  It causes the child to have failure to thrive, which is a disorder whereas the child is not gaining weight and/or height as you would normally expect. 

Home remedies 

Herbal teas are a good way to spare your family and friends of the foul odor coming from down under. 


Drink at least a glass of warm-water mixed with honey and lime daily. This prevents constipation and ingestion.


Drink a concoction of a teaspoon full of baking soda, one lemon juice and 1 glass of water to treat foul smelling farts and bloating.


Chew a handful fennel seed after every meal - fennel seeds prevent bloating and improve digestion.


Drink a mixture of caraway seeds and hot water – This will prevent formation of gas and therefore, limits the amount of farts you deal.


Drink chamomile and peppermint to prevent bloating and improve digestion.

However you should not take peppermint tea if you suffer from heartburn or acidity as it can worsen the situation.


Life style and dietary changes 
Eating smaller meals has been proven to reduce flatulence in people. It is advisable to eat 4-6 small meals in a day instead of three large meals. This is also good for losing weight and I do not mean gas weight.


Avoid chewing gum, smoking and sucking on objects such as pens or toothpicks.  You can also drink from glasses directly and not use straws. - as mention earlier you swallow a lot of air when doing any of the above things.

If you are lactose intolerant, it is advisable to consume low lactose dairy products.  This is not only do help prevent farting but also do stop many other numerous problems dairy products can cause to you. 


Reduce the intake of the amount of the fart causing foods mention earlier in this article.  Even if you are not lactose intolerant, dairy products contribute to flatulence in all of us.  I am not saying do not eat dairy products, but limit them to the daily recommended intakes.


Exercise is very helpful as it improves digestion, reduces gas and prevents bloating and stomach pains. 


Medical remedies 
Charcoal tablets absorb gas inside the gut hence reducing flatulence symptoms.
Antibiotics such as rifaximin used for treating diarrhea can also be used to treat bloating and flatulence.

 

Remember if you are overly concerned and there are other problems associated with the flatulence, please see your doctor. The farting may be a symptom of something more serious. The body is a well made machine and if something is running “afoul” (pun intended), you

Farts are funny
should get it checked out.  Farts may be funny in some cases, but if it is a medical condition, that is no joke.  

 

Take care of yourself and others.  Make today and everyday a great day. 

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Comments

May 15, 2013 2:00am
Elize
When I eat Chinese food and have ingested a good load of MSG I find that the flatulence goes away. Is it really such an evil substance if the body makes it anyway - from food that breaks down in the intestine? Even soya sauce contains natural MSG (glutamine) becasue of the fermentation of protein.
May 15, 2013 12:57pm
Zuke258
My wife says I need to write an article about how to stop the farts. LOL
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