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A Doctor Answers a Reader's Question About Excessive Gas

DrSugar Answers: Excessive Gas?

DrSugar is in the house and answering your questions.

Dear Doc Sugar,
I'm having a lot of trouble lately with gas. Yeah, it's really embarrassing, but no matter what I eat (high fiber, low fiber, healthy food, junk food) I start farting constantly. A month ago, I lost a lot of weight because I couldn't handle how bad my gas pains were.

I'm going to give you a few details that might help you, help me. The farts aren't like normal ones. They're high pressured, loud, and sound like I opened a valve to let air out. Sometimes they don't even smell; it's just air. Then I can feel my abdomen deflate. I don't want to go to the doctor yet (because I know they're going to ask for a stool sample, and I think that's so ick), so I was hoping you could help with an explanation and advice.
— One Gassy Gal

To see what DrSugar has to say on this matter,

.

Flatulence is a normal phenomenon that occurs in everyone, but it can become a big problem for some people, as you have described. Gas comes from two main sources: air that you swallow and gas produced during the digestion of food. Sometimes excessive flatulence can represent intolerance to certain foods such as dairy products or gluten. Eliminating dairy from your diet is a good first step to evaluate whether the problem could be related to lactose intolerance, which is a very common problem. There are also a wide range of foods that have been implicated as “gassy foods,” and an extensive list can be found at GICare. This site also gives information on how to prevent excessive gas, and it might help you.

The fact that your gas is sometimes odorless could provide an interesting clue as to the source of your excessive gas. It has been observed that gas from swallowed air is generally odorless, and gas from the digestion of food usually has an odor. It is possible that your gas problem is from swallowing too much air. Swallowing air can happen when food is eaten very quickly. It can also occur by drinking through straws and drinking carbonated beverages. Try eating slower, taking smaller bites, and avoiding carbonated beverages for a few weeks to see if this helps. If your problem persists, or is associated with pain or diarrhea, it would be best to see a doctor. Many problems can be solved without the dreaded stool sample.

If you have a question for DrSugar, send me a private message here and I will forward it to the good doctor.

DrSugar's posts are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. Click here for more details.

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luv_bug1211 luv_bug1211 8 years
Most delicious things make me gassy. Dairy, carbs, broccoli, ect. However when i went on a canoe trip i wasnt at all! My friend that i went with was really bad after we had beef stroganoff and she was in the front of the canoe, however i was fine, and the most regular ive ever been, ever! I swear it was like clockwork. Im seriously contemplating moving to the bush!
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 8 years
Mayo and melted cheeses make me gasy, so I avoid that.
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 8 years
I'm soy and lactose intolerant, which will REALLY ruin the day for a cheese lover! If I eat dairy, I am Farticus Maximus, Destroyer of Worlds. Seriously, it's BAD. So now I only indulge in the pain of cheese when I know I'm going to be alone!
fuzzles fuzzles 8 years
My culprit is that I mouth-breathe when I sleep. Not much I can do for that short of duct tape!
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
Food intolerance...Gluten/lactose/soya/sugar? It could be anything like that.A stool sample isn't that bad. Maybe that's because I work as a carer and have to deal with them all the time though...
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
Food intolerance... Gluten/lactose/soya/sugar? It could be anything like that. A stool sample isn't that bad. Maybe that's because I work as a carer and have to deal with them all the time though...
MissyE543 MissyE543 8 years
Do you chew a lot of sugar free gum? For me, my gum addiction causes major stomach issues from the Sorbitol. I wish I could stop!
MissyE543 MissyE543 8 years
Do you chew a lot of sugar free gum? For me, my gum addiction causes major stomach issues from the Sorbitol. I wish I could stop!
JenSaysThis JenSaysThis 8 years
Something that works for me is drinking lemon juice with water. I forget where I picked up this tip.
imcs imcs 8 years
I have had to switch to Soy milk, and seem to be having bloating (not gas) problems with peanuts... maybe check that too.
imcs imcs 8 years
I have had to switch to Soy milk, and seem to be having bloating (not gas) problems with peanuts... maybe check that too.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
What about lactose intolerance? that seems like an obvious one...
meshele meshele 8 years
About 4 years ago I had a similar problem with excessive gas (sometimes smelling horrible, other times only embarrassing because of the sound.) I worked the morning shift at a clothing store and often found myself wandering through the empty section of the store trying to "cover my tracks" ;[Like Dr.Sugar suggested, I played around with various parts of my diet and came to the conclusion that I am lactose intolerant. I stopping eating breakfast for a few days and quickly noticed the AM gas attacks went away. So I switched from skim milk to soy milk and now only seem to have problems when I eat an over abundance of cheese. If you find out this is your problem as well, I recommend Silk Soy Milk in the Lite Vanilla flavor.
meshele meshele 8 years
About 4 years ago I had a similar problem with excessive gas (sometimes smelling horrible, other times only embarrassing because of the sound.) I worked the morning shift at a clothing store and often found myself wandering through the empty section of the store trying to "cover my tracks" ;[ Like Dr.Sugar suggested, I played around with various parts of my diet and came to the conclusion that I am lactose intolerant. I stopping eating breakfast for a few days and quickly noticed the AM gas attacks went away. So I switched from skim milk to soy milk and now only seem to have problems when I eat an over abundance of cheese. If you find out this is your problem as well, I recommend Silk Soy Milk in the Lite Vanilla flavor.
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