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How often do you fart in a day? Do you know it could be a sign of something deadly – Say Experts

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

Whether you call it farting, passing wind, having a gas, or flatulence, the release of excess air through the intestinal tract is both normal and natural but if you notice you’re passing wind more than usual, it could be down to an underlying health condition.

From a change in diet or routine to more serious allergies and illnesses like Crohn’s disease an increase in farts could be dangerous.

Doctors however say there are simple tips should help relieve your gas problem — and perhaps make you less anxious in social situations.

Irritable bowel syndrome

Too much farting is one of the main symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS.

Dr. Daniel Atkinson from Treated.com says:

Irritable bowel syndrome affects the digestive system and can be uncomfortable.

Flatulence can be a sign of the condition, as can stomach cramping – particularly after eating – bloating and constipation.

The condition is life-long and can be managed by lifestyle changes such as getting enough exercise, cutting back on the amount of spicy food you eat and avoiding the foods that are harder to digest such as beans and broccoli.

Change in diet

If you’ve recently changed your diet you may find you’re passing more wind more than usual as your gut adjusts to the change in food.

Most healthy diets should include a wide range of vegetables, some of which can make you need the toilet more and can also increase how many times you pass wind a day.

Foods don’t affect everyone the same way and most people know what foods make them pass wind more, but common culprits are cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus produce more gas than other vegetables. (But they’re also nutritious, so don’t avoid them altogether!), says gastroenterologist Christine Lee, MD.

But if you’re farting more after meals and you don’t know why you may have lactose intolerant.

This is essential as it help your body correctly digest dairy products.

You can be born with a lactose intolerance or it can develop as you age.

If you do eat milk, cheese or yogurt, consider taking Lactaid® beforehand to help ease your digestion, Dr. Lee says.

Inflammatory bowel disease

It could be a sign that you have inflammatory bowel disease, according to Dr. Atkinson.

He says:

Inflammatory bowel disease tends to refer to ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

With Crohn’s disease, any part of the digestive system can be affected rather than just the colon with Crohn’s disease.

The symptoms of IBD include pain or swelling of the stomach, fatigue and recurring diarrhea – these tend to come and go in flare ups.

Coeliac disease

If you’re farting more than you think you should you may have Coeliac’s disease.

Dr Atkinson says:

Flatulence is one of the symptoms of Coeliac’s disease, alongside constipation, abdominal pain and indigestion.

As the small intestine becomes inflamed and cannot absorb nutrients as we would expect it to, it can be very painful.

The reaction comes to having gluten, which is commonly found in a wide range of foods like pasta, breakfast cereal and bread.

Opting for gluten-free alternatives will help to manage the symptoms of the disease.

The excess gas buildup is also likely more of a problem if you have medical conditions such as diabetes, scleroderma, thyroid dysfunction, small bowel bacterial overgrowth, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis, or if you have a sedentary lifestyle, Dr. Lee says.

How to limit gas buildup or avoid passing wind?

Dr. Lee suggests:

Exercise: The more active you are, the more frequently and discreetly you’ll eliminate gas from your intestinal tract. Focus on abdominal-strengthening exercises to help keep the digestive tract moving. Aim to work out for at least 30 minutes three or four days each week.

Avoid constipation: Having a bowel movement anywhere from three times daily to once every other day is normal. This helps limit a buildup from gas-producing bacteria. Hydration and exercise can help keep things moving in this department.

Review your medications: Narcotics, decongestants, allergy medications, and some blood pressure drugs can slow your intestinal processes. Talk to your doctor if you think you need to make a change.

Limit carbonated beverages, fermented foods and drinks containing high fructose corn syrup: These products just add more gas or feed the bacteria in your digestive tract.

Speaking to The Sun registered Dietitian Dr. Megan Rossi said:

It’s worth knowing that ignoring the urge to poop allows more time for the water to be absorbed, which can mean a hard and dry poop that can lead to constipation.

She also gave her top tips to avoid flatulence.

She said it’s important to avoid sweeteners as they are hard for your small intestine to absorb.

As well as this she added:

If the smell is getting to you, watch how much protein you’re eating. 

Try limiting protein to 1g per kg of your body weight daily for two weeks. If you then want to increase, try balancing higher protein with fibre (e.g wholegrains or vegetables) at each meal.

For those who like a drink though Dr Rossi said you should limit your consumption of wine because of the amount of sulphates it contains.

She added:

Try peppermint oil capsules, especially with trapped wind as it relaxes the gut.

“There’s no clinical evidence for peppermint tea, as it’s probably too low a dose – but it won’t hurt if you feel it helps.”

Libby Limon, who is a nutritionist for Link Nutrition said she would recommend a probiotic.

Excess wind causing bloating, discomfort or smelly frequent passing of gas, can be a sign that there is an imbalance in the gut flora and then there is an over-colonisation of non-beneficial bacteria.

Probiotics are a family of gut microbes, that generally help digestion and bring balance to the gut flora including less wind.

Taking one regularly with a dose of at least 10 billion probiotic bacteria.

Image Credit: Getty

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