Flatulence is not usually a serious problem. In most cases, a change in lifestyle and diet is all that is needed.
Diet and digestion
Flatulence can be avoided by not eating foods that are likely to cause it, such as those containing high levels of carbohydrates that cannot be absorbed.
Foods containing carbohydrates that are easier to digest include:
- citrus fruits
- yogurt, but people who are lactose intolerant should check with a nutritionist
Remember, if you cut out certain foods, you need to make sure that what is left can meet your daily nutritional requirements.
Other ways to reduce flatulence include:
Eating smaller meals: Symptoms often improve if the person eats four to six smaller meals each day, rather than three large ones. Peppermint tea may help.
Eating slowly: Digestion starts in your mouth, so food should be chewed thoroughly before swallowing.
Avoiding gum and carbonated drinks: Chewing gum makes people swallow more air. This can increase flatulence.
Not smoking: Smoking causes people to swallow more air, and it can also irritate the digestive system.
Choosing low-lactose dairy products: Eliminating foods high in lactose may improve symptoms.
Choosing beans that are fermented before cooking: These have less soluble fiber and a higher nutritional content and may decrease flatulence.
Doing exercise: Activity enhances the functioning of the digestive system, and this can help reduce gas and bloating.
Charcoal pads: Placed inside clothing, these absorb released gas and reduce the impact of foul-smelling gas. These are available to purchase online.
Probiotics: These may reduce symptoms in some people. Probiotic supplements are available to purchase online from different brands.