Are you one of those people who feel like you often have a lot of gas? Or maybe you work around people most of the time and have to hold it in for long periods of time and feel bloated. Fortunately for me I work at home so I am alone a lot and that’s not a concern of mine. I don’t feel like I have an abnormal amount of gas but I’ve known people who do. And aren’t shy about talking about it. So what’s the deal? Why makes some people more gassy than others? What I want to know is what can be the root cause of all this moving air? So if you are one of those people who ask yourself why am I so gassy let’s find out why that might be!
So before we answer the question you’re asking yourself of why am I so gassy let’s look at what gas is. Or as it’s known by it’s more formal name, flatulence.
Flatulence is caused by gas in the bowel. Ordinarily, the intestines produce between 500 and 2,000 mls of gas, which is passed out of the anus at regular intervals. The gas, or ‘flatus’, consists of a number of gases including methane, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The varying smell depends on the ratio of gases, which is influenced by the foods we eat. Getting interesting, right?
Flatus is generated by swallowed air, digestion, higher fiber foods and the by-products of intestinal bacteria. Some digestive system disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, can produce excess gas.
Causes of Flatulence
Remember intestinal gas is a normal part of digestion. The gas is produced by a variety of different means which include:
- Swallowed air – the mouth isn’t vacuum-sealed, so small quantities of air are swallowed along with food and liquid. The oxygen and nitrogen from the swallowed air is absorbed into the bloodstream from the small intestine, and any excess is allowed to continue its journey through the bowel for expulsion. This will often occurs in people who are anxious.
- Normal digestion – stomach acid is neutralised by pancreatic secretions, and the resulting interaction creates gas (carbon dioxide) as a by-product.
- Intestinal bacteria – the bowel contains a host of bacteria that help digestion by fermenting some of the food components. The process of fermentation produces gas as a by-product. Some of the gas is absorbed into the bloodstream and breathed out by the lungs. The remainder is pushed along the bowel. Hence…..gas.
- High fibre foods – fibre is essential to the health of the digestive system, but beware, it can create excessive gas. The small intestine can’t break down certain compounds, which means extra work for the gas-producing intestinal bacteria, and accompanying flatus. High-fibre diets should be introduced slowly to allow the bowel sufficient time to adjust. Or else you may wind up buying a new toilet.
- Lactose intolerance – the body’s inability to digest the particular sugars found in cows milk will produce excessive amounts of intestinal gas. This is because the bacteria of the gut digest the sugars by fermentation, a gas-creating process.
- Intolerance of short-chain carbohydrates other than lactose – certain people may be susceptible to gas production from fermentation of other carbohydrates such as fructose, present in many foods including honey, corn syrup and some fruits.
Why Am I So Gassy
So what can cause excess gas? Let’s take a deeper look.
- Certain Foods can make you fart more than normal and make you ask why am I so gassy. They are typically harder to digest type foods. They include:
- bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- dairy products containing lactose, such as milk or cheese
- fructose, found in some fruits and often used as a sweetener in soft drinks and candy
- carbonated beverages, such as soda and beer
There are certain digestive disorders that can make you fart a lot more than normal and make you feel gassy. I’m not going to go into detail on this, just provide a list for now. If you are not eating much of the foods above, take a deeper look into the detail on these.
- autoimmune pancreatitis
- celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- dumping syndrome
- eating disorders
- gastroesophageal reflux disease
- inflammatory bowel disease
- irritable bowel syndrome
- lactose intolerance
- peptic ulcer
- ulcerative colitis
Why does this not surprise me at all. As I have written various articles for this website stress seems to pop up over and over again. It’s amazing to me how much effect stress has on all of us both mentally and physically. Some people experience symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome — which includes excessive farting — when stressed. Some people may also engage in habits that cause excessive farting when they’re stressed, such as smoking, chewing gum, eating sweets or drinking alcohol.
No surprise that the longer food stays in your bowels being processed the more time it has to ferment. And therefore smell worse when it finally get’s released into the world. Not that I’m saying anyone does this on purpose. That being said it can lead to more frequent and smelly farts. And you or I wondering why am I so gassy.
What Can I Do
If you find yourself passing gas all the time you are probably wondering how you can stop thinking to yourself why am I so gassy. So let’s look at some options to cut down on your frequent wind sharing.
- Avoid foods you know usually cause you to fart. You probably know the foods that make you fart more often. Stick to eating foods that cause you the least amount of gas.
- Try eating more frequent and smaller meals throughout the day. This reduces the amount of stress on your digestive system, hopefully reducing the amount of gas you experience. I write this and Thanksgiving is happening this week. Oops.
- Eat and drink more slowly. Eating and drinking fast increases the amount of air you swallow. Eating and drinking more slowly can reduce this and hopefully reduce how much you fart.
- Exercise regularly to prevent gas buildup in your digestive tract. Healthy adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day. So another positive for hitting the gym or whatever you like.
- Eat fewer fatty foods. These foods slow digestion and give food in your digestive tract more time to ferment, resulting in excessive gas.
- Give up smoking and chewing gum. This can make you swallow excess air, which builds up in your digestive tract.
- Avoid carbonated beverages such as soda and beer. This can cause gas bubbles to build up in your digestive tract.
In the event of gas here are some quick remedy options. Not to be used all the time but on an as needed basis.
Gas X – Enough said
Zenwise Health Digestive Enzymes – by Zenwise Health
Simethicone Anti Gas Ultra Strength Gas Relief – by Advance Pharmaceutical
Beano Ultra – by Beano (My Wife’s Favorite)
Well, there you have my gaseous friends. When you ask yourself asking why am I so gassy you’ve now got some idea’s as to why. Of course there could be other reasons but we’ve covered the main ones here. Normally if you take a look at your recent diet that’s a good place to start.
In good health,