Passing wind, farting, or flatulence all refer to the release of excess air through the intestinal tract. It can happen a lot throughout your day, and it is not a major problem for most people. However, if you are experiencing frequent flatulence symptoms, there are several factors that can contribute to excess gas buildup in your intestine.
Causes of Excessive Gas
You can have gas accumulated in your digestive tract simply by swallowing air frequently. This can occur while eating and/or drinking too fast, smoking, sucking on hard candy or even laughing. You might also burp it out, but some can still remain in your stomach, which will eventually be released through your anus when you pass gas.
There are also common gas-causing foods that will cause your stomach to bloat or pass gas, such as cruciferous vegetables, like Brussels sprouts and broccoli, and most starches such as bread and pasta.
Excess gas can also be collected when your intestines are sluggish and food moves through the gut too slowly. The longer that food sits in your system, the more gas-producing bacteria builds up, which causes abdominal discomfort. The intestinal tract also naturally slows down due to ageing, which will reduce your metabolism and the movement of food through the colon, thus producing more gas.
How to Reduce Gas Buildup
- Limit your consumption of fermented foods, carbonated beverages, and drinks that are high in fructose. These products will feed the bacteria in your digestive tract and add more gas. Drink plenty of water daily.
- Avoid eating too fast and swallowing your food with little chewing. You are much more likely to swallow air when you rush down food. Additionally, when you savour your meals and chew longer, more saliva is mixed with the food you are eating. This is important for digestion to assist in the enzymatic breakdown of your meal.
- Exercise regularly. The more active and frequently you do, exercising can help stimulate and support the passage of gas through the digestive system. You can try abdominal-strengthening exercises which benefit in keeping the digestive tract moving. Aim for at least a 30-minutes work out a day, 3 to 4 times a week.
- Limit your intake of well-known gassy foods such as cruciferous vegetables, dairy products and certain fruits like pears and apples. They contain fructose, lactose and insoluble fiber that releases gas when fermented in the large intestine. However, don’t avoid them altogether as these foods are still nutritious and make up a part of a healthful, balanced diet.
- Look out for food intolerances and allergies. Different people are sensitive to different foods and may experience allergies that will cause a reaction in the body. These can lead to symptoms like diarrhoea, bloating and nausea. Having an elimination diet can help someone with excessive gas. Cut out known gas-causing foods and introduce them back in one at a time, to figure out which ones are causing problems.
When to See a Doctor
If you are so gassy and your flatulence is affecting your daily activities, causing you embarrassment or accompanied by symptoms like vomiting, stomach aches, and blood in the stool, it is recommended that you see a gastroenterology doctor in Singapore. It could be a sign of something more serious.