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 Health Hint #25
What to Do about Flatulence
Excerpted from "A Year of Health Hints"
365 Practical Ways to Feel Better and Live Longer

Flatulence may be perfectly natural and something that everyone gets, but if you have more than your share, it's a major annoyance.

Where does all that gas come from, anyway? Often, it comes from swallowing air. It's also generated by intestinal bacteria that produce carbon dioxide and hydrogen (both odorless, by the way) in the course of breaking down carbohydrates and proteins in the food you eat. The problem is minute quantities of other, more pungent gases that gives flatus its characteristic odor. Eating certain foods, like peas, beans, and certain grains produces noticeably more gas than eating other foods.

Common sense says eliminating foods that are considered notorious gas-producers (or eating them in small quantities) can go a long way to ward reducing excess flatulence.

Well-known offenders include:

Beans (dried, cooked)
Brussels sprouts

The medication simethicone may help reduce flatulence by dispersing gas pockets (and preventing more from forming). It has no known side effects. Simethicone is available by prescription as well as over the counter under the brand name Mylicon.

Gas may signal a variety of other problems worth looking into:

Lactose intolerance (inability to properly digest milk, cheese, and other dairy products). (See Tip
113 in chapter 4, Eating for Better Health.)
Bacterial overgrowth in the intestines (often caused by certain antibiotics).
Abnormal muscle contraction in the colon.

 About The Author
This article has been taken from A Year of Health Hints: 365 Practical Ways to Feel Better & Live Longer, a book published by the ...more
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