You might not enjoy talking about your bodily functions with your friends and family, however, understanding how your body works is an important part of staying healthy. Flatulence, or passing gas, might seem like one of the most embarrassing functions of your body, but it’s something we all have to deal with every day.
What is Flatulence?
In the simplest terms, the National Institutes of Health defines flatulence as air in the intestine that passes through the rectum. More specifically, gases are either generated in the intestines during digestion or swallowed while eating, and then collect in the intestines until enough pressure has built up to cause the air to expel.
The particular odor of this gas usually comes from the sulfur compounds that are released by intestinal bacteria during digestion. Foods that are naturally rich in sulfur (such as eggs, meat, and cauliflower) will produce more offensive odors. Other foods may produce greater quantities of gas, however, it won’t be quite as smelly.
What Causes Gas?
Swallowing of air occurs when you eat too quickly or when you don’t chew your food well enough. Although there are some medical conditions that cause excessive gas to be generated in the intestines, it is usually caused by a reaction of your body’s enzymes to the food you’re eating. Common culprits include beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, garlic, dairy products, onions, artificial sweeteners, and carbonated beverages.
When Flatulence is a Problem
Whether they admit it or not, everybody experiences flatulence. In fact, the average person can pass gas up to 15 times per day. The trouble starts when gas becomes excessive – either excessively frequent or excessively smelly. Excessive gas can also cause pain and discomfort as it builds up inside the intestines.
Eating slowly and chewing thoroughly will help you swallow less gas. Eating fewer sulfur-containing foods and avoiding other gas-causing foods can also help reduce gas. If you don’t want to cut your favorite foods from your diet, you can seek out natural remedies such as CharcoCaps that will help your body digest these foods better for a less intrusive outcome.