Whether you’re 16 or 60, one thing that remains unchanged from teen adolescence to adulthood is laughing at farts. We all do it (some more openly than others), so even if you’re blaming it on ‘that squeaky chair’, the dog or your partner, it’s important to understand while passing gas is a normal bodily function, if you’re releasing foul smells more often than not, your farts may be trying to tell you something about your health.
‘Light relief’ on how to maintain a healthy gut
There are a number of reasons why gas gets trapped in the body, although when you begin to experience an excessive build-up of gas, this could mean:
- You are suffering from intolerances or food allergies
- You are experiencing bacterial overgrowth
- You are constipated
- You are experiencing symptoms of IBS or Crohn’s disease
- Fermentation is occurring within the gut
More often than not passing gas is harmless and in fact can indicate your body is in good running order, but the Taymount Clinic points out that it’s not necessarily about how often you’re farting, but why you are passing more gas than usual.
Our Top Tips
Too fast, too furious?
Do you eat quickly when you’re on-the-go? Or do you often find you’re standing up when you’re eating? Either way, when you eat rapidly, you tend to swallow more air. Once the air gets into your body, inevitably it has to come out again.
Too much stress does your digestive health no favours. Stress reduces a protein called secretory IgA (slgA) which is found in large quantities in the gut and acts as part of our immune system’s first line of defence. When functioning properly, slgA ‘tags’ foods to let us know they are OK and we don’t need to mount an allergic response to them. It also discourages ‘bad’ bacteria in the gut. Make sure to take time to relax. Stress is not only bad for your bowels but also for your general health – relaxation tapes, yoga, aromatherapy or massage may help.
Fibre is your friend
Fibre encourages beneficial bacteria and helps speedy elimination of waste from the body. Research has found that microbes need fibre in order to maintain optimal health, therefore foods such as beans, dried fruit, wholegrain rice and nuts are great for your digestion. However moderation is key. The gastrointestinal tract may need some time to adjust to an increased fibre intake, so introduce fibre rich food to your diet gradually.
Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, however limit drinks that contain caffeine and also fizzy drinks. For constipation especially, it is recommended that approximately two litres of water should be consumed a day.
Your body talks
Listen to what your body is trying to tell you. If you’re finding that excessive flatulence is affecting your quality of life, your body is more than likely just removing unwanted gases that it doesn’t need.
Like all symptoms, your flatulence is just your body trying to communicate with you. The more you understand what makes your body happy, the easier it will be to maintain a healthy gut and a positive healthy lifestyle.