When in polite company we always hope to avoid the embarrassment of an obvious fart. Telltale odors and loud noises may send us red-faced and embarrassed to the rest room, wishing we could erase the previous few moments and start over. While we will have moments where those moments can’t be avoided, depending on what we have eaten along with various other factors can help reduce your gassy times. Learn below what causes farts and how to avoid them.
Gas is produced by everyone of us!
Many people, kids in particular, will tease someone for doing an audible fart, which is a universal physical reality. In digesting all we eat (everything!), gas is formed. Sometimes gas may be odorless, or nearly so, and often they may not be heard. We aren’t always that lucky though. Since 5 gases are formed in the digestive process, odor can be quite common.
The 5 gases formed during digestion are:
- Carbon Dioxide – Co2
- Oxygen – O2
Methane is the major culprit for producing gas bad odor. (Note that it is even estimated that the methane produced by cows in the fields is responsible for 18 percent of the poor air quality contributing to global warming!)
But why do some of us produce more gas (and more smelly gas) than others? Below are some answers.
What Causes Gas
(Reasons for Being Gassy)
Various foods and food intolerances can cause gas. If we are somewhat careful about which foods we consume, we can avoid embarrassment from our farts. Foods high in sulfur content, such as cauliflower, eggs, or meat, which form bacteria in the process, in turn produce the odorous compounds released in the flatus (aka fart).
Food intolerances can also cause gas as well as bloating and abnormal digestion. If someone is suffering with excessive gas and farting, ruling out food intolerances is a must. Gluten, dairy, and eggs are usually a great place to start!
For some, the food intolerance may be in the form of FODMAP foods which cause excessive gas and bloating. FODMAPS are “Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols.” An elmination diet of FODMAPs can clear up symptoms and provide relief. The FODMAPs to avoid in a diet are:
- Fructose (fruits, honey, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), etc)
- Lactose (dairy)
- Fructans (wheat, garlic, onion, inulin, etc)
- Galactans (legumes such as beans, lentils, soybeans, etc)
- Polyols (sweeteners containing isomalt, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, and stone fruits, such as avocado, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, etc)
Furthermore, carbohydrates may bring symptoms of bloating or temporary abdominal pain, and if in large amounts ingested at one time may create an excess of gas. Many people find their gas reduced significantly by going on a grain-free diet.
Most fruits and vegetables too would not bring the symptoms, but in excess they certainly can.
Serious Medical Conditions
If gas problems are severe and persistent and/or are combined with fever, diarrhea, bloody stool, and a persistently hard belly or constipation, seeking medical help should be in order. Note that many people suffer with excess gas when they have conditions such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, cancer, cirrhosis, or complications of diabetes.
Those with type 2 Diabetes are also more prone to these discomforts since they have a more sluggish digestive process as a rule than many of us, made more severe in the presence of heavy starch in the diet.
Other Reasons for Gas:
Likewise, an imbalance in the gut flora can cause excessive gas and farting.
Also, some people suffer with gas just as a matter of copious air-swallowing in certain times of stress or rapid eating. This would be evident with a breath analysis showing higher amounts of hydrogen.
For most of us, flatulence is a normal part of living which gives us little concern, but for others it can be painful, embarrassing, and even disabling. For these individuals, medical support is needed to determine exactly what is causing their serious abnormal gas.