(stock photo)

Excessive Flatulence: When to Worry and What Might be the Culprit

Passing gas is a normal bodily function, but when it occurs more frequently than usual, it may raise concerns about underlying health issues.

While breaking wind, whether called a fart, trump, toot, or by any other name, is universal, variations in frequency are considered normal. The NHS notes that the average person experiences flatulence between five and 15 times per day, but individual baselines can differ.

If you find yourself unexpectedly experiencing increased flatulence, medical experts highlight potential causes and when it might signal a more serious issue.

  1. Fizzy Drinks and Habits: Carbonated beverages, along with chewing gum and sipping through a straw, can contribute to excessive flatulence by trapping air in the colon, accounting for 50% of increased gas. Dr. Sarah Jarvis, Clinical Director of Patient.info, advises adjusting dietary habits, such as reducing sugary fizzy drinks, to address this common cause without requiring medical attention.
  2. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Excessive flatulence could be a symptom of IBD, including conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Dr. Daniel Atkinson of Treated suggests that persistent symptoms like stomach pain, swelling, fatigue, and recurring diarrhea might indicate IBD. Seeking medical advice is crucial if these symptoms persist, according to NHS guidelines.
  3. Vegetables: While vegetables offer health benefits, certain ones like cabbage, sprouts, and broccoli contain carbohydrates that can lead to increased gas production. Dr. Jarvis recommends being aware of foods that are known to cause flatulence but emphasizes the overall health benefits of consuming vegetables.
  4. Processed Foods: Diets high in processed foods, such as fast food, can disrupt the balance of healthy gut bacteria, contributing to more frequent flatulence. While not necessarily a reason to see a doctor, maintaining a balanced diet is recommended for overall health, according to NHS guidelines.
  5. Coeliac Disease: Persistent and excessive flatulence may indicate Coeliac disease, an autoimmune condition triggered by gluten consumption. Dr. Atkinson suggests opting for gluten-free alternatives to manage symptoms like stomach aches, bloating, and indigestion. The NHS advises seeking medical attention if these symptoms persist, as there is no cure for Coeliac disease, but dietary changes can help manage it.

Understanding the potential causes of increased flatulence and recognizing when to seek medical advice can help individuals address digestive issues and maintain overall well-being.

Related Post