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Flatulence (Gas) (cont.)

How can excessive flatulence or gas be prevented?

  • The reduction or prevention (cure) of increased flatulence is often best accomplished by understanding what foods cause you personally to produce excess gas. This can be done by starting off with a simple diet and slowly adding one food at a time to determine which foods cause you to produce gas. If you get excessive or increased flatulence after eating a particular type of food, you have likely identified how to eliminate gas by eliminating that food from your diet. Once these foods are identified, they can be avoided resulting in less gas production.
  • Taking the time to chew your food and swallow it without introducing air and avoiding carbonated drinks may also reduce flatulence and/or burping.
  • Some individuals can reduce or prevent excess gas formation by using OTC products like Beano that will help digest sugars found in beans. Other nonprescription products such as simethicone can help reduce gas formation.
  • For those individuals who are lactose intolerant, lactase may be taken before eating or drinking dairy products may help reduce gas; some health-care professionals recommend simply trying to avoid dairy products in general. There are some lactose free products available such as milk, cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt, and ice cream, and some are sold under the names "Lactaid," or "Green Valley."
  • In addition, some individuals have invented underwear with charcoal embedded in the clothing and claim it is effective in reducing smelly flatulence.

What's the prognosis for a person with excessive flatulence or gas?

The majority of individuals with flatulence have a good to excellent prognosis if they simply change their dietary habits and occasionally use OTC anti-gas medications. People with more serious causes of flatulence have a fair prognosis as they may require additional treatments to reduce or eliminate the underlying cause.

REFERENCES:

Goebel, S. U., MD. "Malabsorption Clinical Presentation." Medscape. Dec, 16, 2014.
<http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/180785-clinical>

Grace, E. et al. "Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth." Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013;38(7):674-688.

Johnson, D. A. "Belching, Bloating, and Flatus: Helping the Patient Who Has Intestinal Gas." Medscape. Oct 07, 2010.
<http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/729672>


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/1/2016

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Malabsorption »

Malabsorption is a clinical term that encompasses defects occurring during the digestion and absorption of food nutrients by and infections of the gastrointestinal tract.

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