Gas (Flatulence)

Overview of Gas (Flatulence)

Flatulence Meaning in Urdu

ہاضمہ کے نظام میں گیس بننے سے پیٹ کی بے چینی کا سامنا کرنا پڑ سکتا ہے۔ کچھ غذاؤں کے استعمال سے ہاضمہ کے نظام میں زیادہ گیس بننے لگتی ہے۔ ایسے مریض جنہیں گیس کا سامنا کرنا پڑتا ہے انہیں یہ مشورہ دیا جاتا ہے کہ وہ کھانا کم مقدار میں کھائیں اور باقاعدگی کے ساتھ ورزش کریں۔ اس کے علاوہ اس طبی مسائل کے شکار افراد کو یہ تجویز کیا جاتا ہے کہ وہ سگریٹ اور الکوحل نوشی کو مکمل طور پر ترک کر دیں۔ اگر ان مشوروں پر عمل کرنے کے بعد بھی گیس بننا بند نہ ہو تو پھر ڈاکٹر کی جانب سے مؤثر ادویات تجویز کی جاتی ہیں۔

Flatulence (ریاح) is a condition in which excessive gas builds up in the digestive system or swallowing of air due to intestinal bacteria, overeating, chewing gum, or smoking. Also may cause abdominal discomfort and distress. It is not a serious problem as it releases an embarrassing problem. Normally, it produces almost 20-25 times a day.

To cope with it, an individual can change their dietary habits and it is beneficial to control flatulence.

Prevalence of Flatulence

Flatulence is one of the leading problems that is associated with most gastrointestinal conditions. It is usually reported in people with any age group but is more likely to suffer in children or old people.

Signs and Symptoms of Gas (Flatulence)

Most of the time, the gas is produced due to the bacterial breakdown of foods that create hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane forms of flatulence. This pinching odour is from the other traces of waste gases or compounds such as sulfur-containing substances.

Below are the symptoms of flatulence:

  • An increased amount of passing gas voluntarily or involuntarily
  • Foul smell
  • Burping or belching
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain 

Some other signs of flatulence that is more likely to be present in the following cases:

  • Severe cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloody stools
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Abdominal pain on the right side along with flatulence

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Causes of Gas (Flatulence)

There are two major sources of production of excess gas in the digestive tract (oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon/large intestine) include:

  • Swallowing of air because of rapid drinking, chewing gum, after eating, intake of tobacco products, etc.
  • Excessive production of gas because of bacterial digestion of food in the colon. It may also stimulate if there are any chronic intestinal problems or infectious diseases such as giardiasis.

Some digestive disorders are also the sign of flatulence which are as follows:

Certain intake of foods is also another possible reason for causing flatulence:

  • Vegetables such as broccoli, leeks, cauliflower, cabbage, garlic, onions, beans, Brussels sprouts, and turnips
  • Cereals, such as wheat or oats
  • Pulses, including beans and lentils
  • Dairy produce
  • Yeast in baked products, such as bread
  • Cashews
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Risk Factors of Gas (Flatulence)

Some of the important risk factors for flatulence include:

  • Over usage of laxatives
  • Consuming certain medications
  • Existing conditions such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) 
  • Post-surgical alteration in abdominal anatomy can increase the risk

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Prevention

Here are some of the ways that can help to prevent flatulence:

  • Practice slow eating
  • Avoid foods that cause excess gas production
  • Keep your allergies in mind
  • Don’t chew gum
  • Don’t smoke
  • Workout regularly
  • Avoid beverages
  • Consume more probiotics
  • Consume enough fiber to keep constipation at a bay
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Diagnosis

Initially, a general physician asks some questions regarding their medical history and dietary habits. After that, a doctor carries out the physical examination of the patients, to find the cause of flatulence symptoms or determine any associated abnormalities.

A doctor may examine the state of excessive gas by tapping the abdomen and listening for a hollow sound.

These are the ways that a doctor usually asks for diagnosing flatulence:

  • Do you feel any difficulty when passing a stool?
  • Have you felt abdominal pain after a meal?
  • How long has the flatulence lasted?

If the flatulence is due to some underlying condition, then imaging studies like X-Ray, CT scans, or MRIs are required according to the patient’s case. 

Treatment of Gas (Flatulence) | When to Consult a Doctor

Flatulence is reduced by adopting a healthy lifestyle and swallowing less air. As you know, flatulence is not a serious complication but can easily be treated at home. Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications are also beneficial for their treatment.

The best Treatable Home Remedies are:

Avoid carbohydrates rich foods that are more able to cause flatulence.

Low carbohydrates containing foods that are easier to digest:

  • Bananas
  • Citrus fruits
  • Grapes
  • Lettuce
  • Rice
  • Yoghurt

If people can't take as many carbohydrates but they should maintain their daily requirements. So consult the nutritionist before reducing carbohydrates rich food.

Other ways to reduce flatulence include:

  • Eat smaller chunks of meals on daily basis ( at least 4 to 6 smaller meals per day)
  • Add peppermint tea in your diet plan
  • Eating slowly 
  • Chew the food thoroughly for proper digestion
  • Avoid chewing gum and carbonated drinks
  • Quit smoking
  • Intake of low lactose dairy products.
  • Eat fermented beans before cooking
  • Do physical exercises vigorously
  • Place the charcoal pads inside clothing help to absorb released gas 
  • Intake of probiotics 

Over-the-counter medications include:

  • Antacids- It helps to reduce the acidic condition in the digestive tract. Those medications are more efficient which contain simethicone and bismuth.
  • Probiotics- These products are helpful to kill bad bacteria and add good bacteria to the digestive tract.
  • Lactase Products- Such as Lactaid and Dairy Ease for the prevention of people suffering from lactose intolerance.
  • Beano- Helps to digest sugars in beans and many other vegetables. A doctor may also prescribe certain drugs that improve digestion quickly. That is good for reducing flatulence and bloating. 

Do not take any medications without a doctor’s consultation.

In case you exhibit any concerning signs and symptoms for flatulence, consult a medical professional as soon as possible.

Doctors to treat Gas (Flatulence)

Last updated on Friday 21/10/2022

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Prof. Dr. Khalid Mahmud Khan

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