Flatulence

Flatulence refers to the buildup and expulsion of intestinal gas (flatus) that is formed by the fermentation or food, incomplete digestion of foods (especially common carbohydrates) and/or swallowing of air. The gas buildup is alleviated by burping or by passing gas through the anus.

Symptoms of flatulence include a distended abdomen, discomfort in the abdomen, mild chest pains, or chest pains severe enough to mimic a heart attack.

What To Consider

Flatulence can be caused by overeating, eating too quickly, refined carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, food allergies, constipation, food intolerance, digestive disorders, intestinal disorders, stomach disorders, gallbladder disorders, nutrient deficiencies of B vitamins, excessive consumption of alcohol, parasites, emotional stress, and/or misalignment or spasm of the associated spinal vertebrae. In cases of chronic flatulence, all of these factors must be screened for and addressed before long-term relief can be achieved.

Note
When combined with bad breath and tiredness after meals, inadequate stomach acid is the typical cause of flatulence.

Caution
Chronic flatulence can be a sign of a serious gastrointestinal disorder or cancer. If you suffer from chronic flatulence, seek immediate medical attention.

Self-Care Tips

Diet
Do not overeat, as over consumption of food, even food that is healthy, is the most common cause of flatulence. Eat smaller meals consisting of only a few different food items at each meal. Also chew your food more slowly and thoroughly, and increase your consumption of high-fiber foods. Also be sure to identify and eliminate food to which you are allergic or sensitive. Chewing a sprig of parsley after meals can also help reduce symptoms of flatulence.

When eating beans, soak them overnight in a quart of water containing six drops of iodine to help reduce gas. Also drink lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in water with your meals, and add more fermented products such as yogurt, kefir, and buttermilk to the general diet (unless you are sensitive or allergic to dairy products).

A teaspoon or two of Bentonite clay dissolved in spring water and drunk once a day away from mealtimes, can also help, as bentonite absorbs both gas and food impurities.

Nutritional Supplementation
The following nutrients can be very helpful in helping to reduce and prevent flatulence: Digestive enzymes such as hydrochloric acid or pancreatin, acidophilus, charcoal tablets, and aloe vera juice or gel. Other helpful nutrients include vitamin B complex, vitamin B1, and niacin (vitamin B3). Lipotropic factors, which promote the digestion and assimilation of dietary fats, can also be helpful.

Aromatherapy
A few drops of the essential oils of bergamot, chamomile, fennel, juniper, lavender, peppermint, rosemary, coriander, or anise, added to water and taken orally can help improve digestion and eliminate flatulence.

Bodywork
Rub your abdomen in a clockwise direction to soothe symptoms of discomfort caused by gas buildup.

Herbs
Drink anise water, which is made by steeping one teaspoon of anise seeds in one cup of water for ten minutes. It can be taken as a tea or strained and taken as needed by the tablespoon. Or add several drops of peppermint oil in water and sip throughout each of your meals.

Asafoetida powder is another powerful digestive agent. It dispels intestinal gas and can be used as a spice over your foods to help decrease intestinal gas buildup.

Homeopathy
Carbo veg., Lycopodium, Argen nit., Chamomilla, Nux mosch and Cinchona are all useful homeopathic remedies for treating and preventing flatulence.

Hydrotherapy
Short, cold sitz baths can improve overall digestion.

Juice Therapy
Add one tablespoon of garlic or yellow onion juice to carrot, parsley, beet, and celery juice, and drink once or twice a day. Fresh squeezed papaya juice is also very effective in reducing flatulence.

Caution

If your symptoms persist despite the above measures, seek the help of a qualified health professional.

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