Although flatulence is a natural body reaction, it can still cause a person to be socially embarrassed. Flatulence is passing built-up intestinal gases through the anus. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, the average person passes gas 10 times a day; passing gas up to 20 times a day is still considered normal. Besides social discomfort, gas can cause increased abdominal pain and discomfort. Decrease smelly flatulence by making dietary and lifestyle changes to reduce the amount of gas in your body.
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Decrease the amount of gas-promoting foods. Avoid carbohydrates. Limit your daily bean and lentil intake, suggests the Mayo Clinic. Avoid vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Decrease the apples, pears and peaches in your diet. Include rice and products made from rice flour; gas is least likely to be produced when following a rice flour diet.
Monitor if gas increases when consuming dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt; you may be lactose intolerant. Avoid dairy products, including ice cream and cottage cheese. Consume lactose-free products if you suspect dairy products are causing an increase in gas. Lactase is the enzyme responsible for digesting lactose. The Medical University of South Carolina states that up to 90 percent of Asian-Americans and up to 70 percent of African-Americans lack the enzyme to digest lactose.
Change your eating habits to reduce swallowing air. Chew foods slowly and do not gulp beverages when drinking. Avoid carbonated beverages such as soda and beer. Stay away from drinking with straws. Do not chew gum and smoke cigarettes; both habits greatly increase the amount of air that is swallowed. Fifty percent of the gas passed from the rectum comes from swallowed air, states the American College of Gastroenterology.
Consider taking over-the counter medications such as simethicone, activated charcoal and Beano. These products break down the bubbles in the gas and may help eliminate flatulence. Purchase products at most pharmacy or grocery stores.
Visit your doctor, if changing your diet or eating habits does not decrease the flatulence. Understand that an underlying medical condition in the intestinal tract may be causing increased gas. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Don’t let intestinal symptoms, though possibly embarrassing, stop you from seeking help, recommends the Mayo Clinic.