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What is Flatulence?


1st Jan 2015 Health Conditions

What is Flatulence?

What goes in must come out–one end or the other–of the digestive tract. The average adult passes wind at least 10 times a day. This is made up of air we've swallowed as well as gases such as smelly sulphur dioxide produced during digestion.

What causes flatulence?

Flatulence is often caused by gas-producing foods and foods that the body finds difficult to digest, so one of several cures for flatulence is to cut down on certain types of foods.

Could you be lactose intolerant?

If you are, you have a low intestinal level of lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose, which is a type of sugar found in dairy foods. Bacteria in the gut feed on the undigested lactose and produce gas.

Chronic flatulence

If persistent flatulence causes you embarrassment, or is accompanied by diarrhoea and bloating, talk to your doctor. You may have irritable bowel syndrome or lactose intolerance; or you may be experiencing a reaction to a drug. Some antibiotics, anti-ulcer drugs and antidepressants can cause flatulence.

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