Release of excessive gas from the digestive tract is called flatulence. It occurs when the gas collects in the digestive system. Flatulence is a Latin word which means “a blowing, a breaking wind”. This gas collects in two ways first due to deglutition during eating and drinking and secondly due to production of hydrogen, methane and carbondioxide during digestion. It is normal for a person to pass gas but the daily amount varies greatly between individuals. Passage of feculent smell with the flatulence is also normal which may vary in amount as well. The gas is moved to rectum through specialized muscle movement and the associated sound is produced due to vibration of anal sphincter or sometimes due to closed buttocks. Flacentical is the herbal product which can be used for the treatment of flatulence.
Flatulence causes: Normally gas is passed 6 to 20 a day. The most common flatulence causes are selection of gas producing food, swallowing of gas, constipation, medicines and nutritional supplements, bowel obstruction, crohn’s disease and changes in hormone level. Some food products such as beans, cabbage, broccoli, raisins, lentils, prunes, and apples do not completely digest and is passed to colon as it is. The colonel bacteria causes its breakdown and in turn production of unwanted gases. The main gas production is due to fermentation by yeast or prokaryotes which are present as normal intestinal flora or may be abnormally present. Flatulence in female rite before the period is common in females due to excessive retention of fluid. Swallowing of gas is due to excessive salivation due to nausea or as a result of gastro esophageal reflux disease.
Flatulence prevention: flatulence prevention can be easily done by avoiding foods that cause excessive gas production. These foods include vegetables such as artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, green peppers, onions, peas, radishes, raw potatoes, beans, legumes, wheat, wheat barn, eggs, carbonated drinks, fried and fatty foods, milk and other dairy products, packed foods that contain lactose such as breads, cereal, salad and fruits such as apricots, bananas, melons, peaches, pears and raw apples.
Symptoms of flatulence: The four main symptoms of flatulence are pain, bloating and abdominal distension, excessive flatus volume, smell and incontinence (loose of voluntary control over passage of flatus).
Treatment of Flatulence: Self treatment of flatulence can be done by the control of diet. Additionally avoiding chewing gum and smoking is recommended which will prevent deglutition of gas. Alpha-galactosidase is the dietary supplement which can help treat flatulence. Other than this over the counter charcoal tablets are present which help absorb excessive gas in the digestive tract.
If the symptoms are severe such as swollen abdomen or abdominal pain with unexplained flatulence it is recommended to concern a doctor. A blood test will be done to insure an absence of infection.
Complications of flatulence: There are no serious complications of flatulence, if left untreated, but it can lead to depression and eating disorders. Other than this it can be an important cause of social embarrassment.