Why Do I Have So Much Gas? 6 Ways to Get Relief
The discharge of surplus air via the digestive system is normal and natural, regardless of whether you name it farting, passing wind, having a gas, or flatulence (the official medical word).
So, why are farts the punchline to so many jokes? Perhaps because of those embarrassing occasions when the body’s internal horn section suddenly starts playing a bit too loudly, drawing the attention of everyone in the area.
However, some people pass gas more than others. If you’re concerned that you’re stinking up the place, gastroenterologist Christine Lee, MD, says there are options for determining what’s wrong with your stomach.
“If you have a lot of gas and it’s bothering you, you should see your local GI [gastrointestinal] physician for an examination and advice,” adds Dr. Lee. “You should have it looked out for if you are unable to take care of it in a socially acceptable manner and it is interfering with your lifestyle.”
If your gastritis is interfering with your everyday activities or giving you discomfort or humiliation, she says you can take action to alleviate the situation.
What really causes flatulence?
Simply swallowing air while drinking, eating, or laughing can cause gas to build up in your digestive tract. However, some nutrients, such as prebiotics and high-fiber diets, cause excess gas. This can make controlling its passage more difficult.
Excess gas can accumulate if your intestines are sluggish, passing food through your gut too slowly (slow motility). The longer food stays in your system, the more gas-producing bacteria grow, creating stomach pain.
You also create more gas as you age because your metabolism slows, as does the passage of food through your colon. Yes, even your digestive tract naturally slows down with age.
Excess gas accumulation is also more likely to be an issue if you have diabetes, scleroderma, thyroid dysfunction, small bowel bacterial overgrowth, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis, or lead a sedentary lifestyle, according to Dr. Lee.
How to Get Rid of Farting
Dr. Lee recommends the following steps to help reduce the impact of excess gas in your system:
The more active you are, the more regularly and discreetly you will expel gas from your digestive tract. To keep your digestive tract flowing, focus on abdominal-strengthening workouts. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise three or four days a week.
2. Consume cruciferous veggies in moderation.
Other veggies release more gas than cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus. (However, they are also healthy, so don’t shun them entirely!)
3. If you are lactose sensitive, avoid dairy products.
Dr. Lee recommends taking Lactaid® before eating milk, cheese, or yogurt to help digestion.
4. Prevent constipation
It is typical to have a bowel movement three times each day to once every other day. This helps to keep gas-producing germs at bay. Hydration and exercise can also aid in keeping things moving in this aspect.
5. Examine your meds
Narcotics, decongestants, allergy medicines, and certain blood pressure medications can all slow down the digestive process. If you believe you need to make a change, see your doctor.
6. Limit your intake of carbonated beverages and fermented foods.
These goods just provide extra gas to your stomach or feed the microorganisms in your digestive tract. Drinks containing high fructose corn syrup can accomplish the same thing, so limit your intake when possible.
Finally, Dr. Lee’s advice should help alleviate your gas problem – and maybe make you less nervous in social situations.
It’s also critical to notify your doctor of any changes in your health. “Consult your doctor if you’ve noticed a change in your bowel motions (particularly if they’re abrupt) or if you suspect something is wrong,” she advises.
Can sleep apnea aggravate flatulence?
In certain situations, the manner you sleep might lead to a buildup of gas in your system.
“People with sleep apnea are usually mouth breathers, and they swallow a lot of air when they snore,” Dr. Lee observes. “As a result, people wake up with gas pains from swallowing air all night.”
If you feel you have sleep apnea, consult your doctor.
How much gas is excessive?
Passing gas happens far more frequently than you would imagine. It’s common to fart between 14 and 23 times each day, generally without drawing much attention. It is not a serious issue for the majority of individuals. However, if you find yourself constantly farting excessively or if it causes you discomfort, you should see a doctor.