Passing gas, or flatulence, is a normal biological occurrence. While most people pass gas at an average of 15 times a day, this act is not an acceptable social practice. This is why people with excessive flatulence may find their condition to be socially debilitating.
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Normally, during digestion, when food is broken down to waste and energy, flatus (or gas) in the stomach and intestines forms. This gas is then released either through the mouth (burps), or through the anus.
However, excessive gas can accumulate in the digestive system, which can cause extreme discomfort. WebMD.com lists the following causes:
• Swallowed air. Usually, when a person talks, drinks, or eats, air is swallowed along with the saliva, food, and drink, and that air is usually burped up. However, if that air isn’t burped up, it passes through the digestive system and comes out as flatulence.
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• Food and beverages. Although most food and drinks produce gas during digestion, beans, potatoes, cabbages, and beer are known to cause excessive gas buildup in the digestive system.
• Medical conditions. Conditions such as bowel obstruction and Crohn’s disease are also known to cause excessive gas build up.
Excessive gas buildup in the digestive system due to normal causes is easily treated by a lifestyle change. Avoiding gas-producing foods, exercising regularly, or taking dietary supplements can help keep gas production down. However, for more serious cases, visiting a doctor is highly recommended.
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Steven Lash is the CEO of Satori World Medical, a leading provider of medical travel services. Visit Satori’s website for more details.