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  Category: Articles » Health & Fitness » Diseases & Conditions » Article

Five steps to fixing flatulence

By Alwyn Lee Beikoff

Here. Pull my finger…

Blaaat! - The flatulence orchestra tunes up.

The rear-end musically inclined love to play that joke on kids. We've all laughed at farting jokes and suffered the unpleasant odour from someone's released gas. You've probably felt the discomfort, even pain, of gas, bloating, and trying to hold flatulence in because someone is nearby.

And you've probably also felt the embarrassment of being caught out when you didn't hold it in. It always happens … no one's around so you think it's safe to let it go … ahh what a relief! But two seconds later someone walks into the room. Sometimes it's a bit hard to blame it on the dog.

Then of course there are the times when someone else does it and everyone looks at you! You can't do much about theirs but you can do something about yours.

Follow these five ideas for minimizing the amount of flatulence gas your body produces.

1. Avoid laxatives
These can irritate the intestinal lining and cause bowel spasms which can trap gas and produce pain from the gas accumulation.

2. Soak and cook legumes
Legumes include peas, beans of all types, chickpeas, peanuts and lentils. Soaking and cooking reduces the concentration of alpha-galactosides (the substance apparently responsible for the gaseous distention associated with these foods.)

3. Try anti-gas agents
An anti-foaming preparation called simethicone, when swallowed, breaks down large gas bubbles into smaller ones.

A product called Beano contains an enzyme that, when added to food, can break down the complex sugars found in beans and other gas-forming foods. If milk and milk products are a gas problem you could try lactaid which assists the milk sugar to be absorbed.

4. Eat charcoal
Charcoal is a strong absorber of gas and can be effective at preventing gas accumulation.
And no, you don't have to go out and chew on an old hunk of burnt wood. Nor do you have to raid your kid's drawing supplies. Charcoal can be obtained in tablet form. If you like to chew them up though be prepared for a hideously black mouth.

5. Avoid gas-forming foods
Complex carbs, while great for long term energy, are frequent sources of gas. We need bacteria to digest complex carbs. A very high carbohydrate or fibre diet increases the bacteria in the small intestine thus increasing the fermentation processes.

Vegetables which are known gas producers include beets, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, lettuce, parsley, spinach and squash.

The gas-forming grains include oat, rice and wheat bran, whole-wheat flour, sesame flour, rye and barley.

So even though to many, flatulence is an endless source of amusement, self-expression and male bonding the real truth is that it is simply a by-product of digestion. Normal though it is, unless you're producing enough to run the stove and heating appliances in your house or you somehow earn money from farting, you'll probably want to reduce production if you can.

Therefore, if you're prepared to lessen your entertainment value among your mates, taking these few simple precautions could help you avoid painful gaseous bloating and having to blame that stink known politely as flatulence on the dog.
About the Author
Alwyn Beikoff ( is an educator and personal performance coach who helps people the world over to change the way they think and create the body and life they desire.

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