Everyone in the world has faced problem of flatulence many times - just that some know it by different jargons such as farting, passing wind and excessive gas problem. Let me just correct one thing - flatulence is not just passing gas, it is more complex issue than merely passing gas from the mouth or rear end. Having a flatulence problem is painful and embarrassing at the same time.

Definition of flatulence

Flatulence is undoubtedly one of the most embarrassing conditions to suffer from and the symptoms, such as the noise and odour of passed wind, can only add to the embarrassment one has to cope with. Excessive flatulence will affect more than just social situations so it is important to seek medical advice as soon as you notice you have an abnormal amount of wind and any pain that might come with it.

Everybody will have flatulence and daily too but excessive flatulence relates to passing wind more than the average amount often with foul smells and sometimes these sporadic outbreaks can either hurt or be considerably loud.  Releasing gases that the body makes as the digestive system breaks down food is normal and important as gas is a by product of digestion. Excessive flatulence indicates that one is producing too much gas when digesting food and therefore corresponds to a digestive system that is malfunctioning.

Flatulence can be painful
Flatulence can be painful

When the stomach fails to break down food correctly flatulence can be extremely painful and even cause a burning sensation. It is crucial to identify the cause by looking at what foods are being eaten. Eliminating those foods which bring on flatulence or increase pain should therefore be removed from ones diet. Changing ones diet is the first step and perhaps the most effective in treating the embarrassing condition of flatulence.

Flatulence is defined as the passing of gas from the digestive system out of the back passage. Flatus is the medical word for gas generated in the intestinal tract. Medical literature describes flatulence as "flatus expelled through the anus"

Flatulence causes

Flatulence is of two types: 1) Mild flatulence which stays temporarily;  2) Chronic type which is about excessive gas and reoccuring type.

Causes of mild/common flatulence

Some of the foods which are otherwise healthy are the reason behind common flatulence. Swallowing air during meal times is one of the major reason. Not all of us will have the same reaction to specific foods; in fact some of us will be able to digest them much better than others. So it may be a question of preparing foods differently by cooking them in a different way. So which foods are known as the flatulence foods?

List of some of the foods which will cause common flatulence:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Beans (dried, cooked)
  • Bran
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Dairy products (mostly for persons allergic to lactose)
  • Eggs
  • Eggplant
  • Nuts
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Popcorn
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Sorbitol
  • Soybeans

Beans are guilty contributors of flatulence and it is also true that the gas let off after digesting beans is often bad smelling. The reason for this is that beans are difficult for the body to break down. Other foods referred to as flatulence foods are broccoli, sprouts, cabbage and just about any cruciferous vegetables. It is due to their complex cell structure that the digestive system can struggle to break them down as efficiently and therefore produces a lot of gases in the process. In some cases the gases produced in the digestion of these foods can cause some abdominal pain, so it might be an idea to limit the amount of times we incorporate them in our diet.

Causes of chronic flatulence

For people with chronic flatulence, life can become very difficult. They should try understand reasons behind the issue.

Lactose intolerance: the body's inability to digest the particular sugars found in cows milk will produce excessive amounts of intestinal gas. This is because the bacteria of the gut digest the sugars by fermentation, a gas-creating process.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Irritable bowel syndrome is the cause of Denise Brunettes chronic flatulence. In general, IBS commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation.

Intolerance of short-chain carbohydrates other than lactose: certain people may be susceptible to gas production from fermentation of other carbohydrates such as fructose, present in many foods including honey, corn syrup and some fruits. These short-chain carbohydrates together are now known as FODMAPS.

Upper gastrointestinal disorders: Occasional belching is normal, but frequent belching may be a sign of an upper gastrointestinal disorder. These include peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or gastroparesis, also called delayed gastric emptying.

Intestinal bacteria: The bowel contains a host of bacteria that help digestion by fermenting some of the food components. The process of fermentation produces gas as a by-product. Some of the gas is absorbed into the bloodstream and breathed out by the lungs. The remainder is pushed along the bowel.