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Flatulence
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Flatulence

Hello,
I'm a sprout of a nineteen year old who has recently been plagued with the most pernicious flatulence of her life. She became vegan in the last six months, but the farting began about three weeks ago. They are silent and painless little bursts of air with the most foul smell. I've able to clear entire rooms.
I first noticed the gas (although this is not necessarily the cause) after eating a fruit kanten (the vegan form of jello made with an agar) for desert 5 days in a row. True, I do eat a considerable amount of beans, but I notice the gas even when I don't eat beans. The bursts of gas can run almost uninterrupted for hours in a day and are killing my social life.
I was curious about a possible cause and very much want to know how to kill the bacteria that are probably causing these releases in a natural way without taking any medication. Would a day of fasting help? A week of no beans?
I should also say that three years ago I had IBS, and although I haven't had a problem with it since, I was wondering if there could a connection.
Thanks so much.

-Molly
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23 Comments
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ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
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Molly, pls ignore Leon.

The following is from personal experience:

I'm 25 y/o and I developed the same problem about 10 years ago.  In my case, it's a hereditary problem.
I am not quite sure of the cause, but I avoid starchy foods, because they make the problem worse.
I have had terrible luck with doctors, but here is my advice:

1. Go to a gastro-enterologist.  
   I know that this is an embarassing problem, but a specialist
   may be able to help you.
   Be careful, if you have an HMO and one of those primary-
   care physicans, you may have some trouble getting a referral.
   If you have problems, INSIST.  Take a parent along if you
   have to.  

2. Do not take any drugs before you have had some diagnostic tests done. You may need to go on a special diet to find out if you are allergic to any particular food or food group, or have some stool samples diagnosed or something.  But taking drugs first is a bad idea (this is my opinion).

3. If you want to do something by yourself, try this technique:
   a. pick a bland food like plain rice or tofu.
   b. eat this food for a few days.  If you feel better, then this food is probably ok.
   c. add foods one by one until you figure out what may be causing problems for you.
   * this works if you do not eat complex foods, like sandwiches or casseroles

4. Natural things that work for me (most of the time).  
   a. not eating late at night.
   b. avoiding starchy foods.
   c. peppermint/simethicone capsules. be careful, too many of these can act like a minty laxative!

5. Other natural stuff:
   1. beano - tried it, not much difference
   2. charcoal caps - not much difference, made poop black. yuck.
   3. chlorophyll - ok. made p*** green.  odor control seemed to be minimal, but kind of effective.


Keep in mind, that digestive problems can be caused my many reasons: antibiotic use, stress, diet change, allergies, heredity

Read about your problem, be informed, and see a SPECIALIST, not a regular doctor.


Good luck,

I know exactly how you feel,

joanne

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Hi Molly,

I just wanted you to know that I too have had many problems with gas since I was about 29 yrs old, I am 38 now.  The last time I saw my doctor he laughed at me for asking the questions of gas!    I even started to feel that I was nuts, there are people with cancer and I just have GAS!!!  It is laughable, until, you live with it.

I have been on Atkins diet for almost two years because I dont have any gas on it. I dont think it is the healthiest diet but at least I do not have gas anymore.  it ran my life!  I would also have abdominal pains after eating & distention.  All these symptoms come back the minute I eat carbs again.  I am zoning in on wheat but it is not always wheat either, so it is confusing.

I just wanted to let you know that it is not laughable when you are bing thru it,  and it can be embarrasing.  I can go up a shole pant size with gas and distention.

Anyway, I hope you find releif since Atkins probley wouldnt work for you bring a vegetarian and all.

Good Luck
Deb
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Hi, I just can't believe how familiar your stories sound. I can especially relate to the comments by Deb and Joanne. Anyway, I described what I went through in a posting that's under a question about Gas/Bloat syndrome. Just look for the comment by Alison.

It makes me feel so much better to know that I'm not alone. By the way, I should probably mention that my problems started one semester at college after eating lentils and dried fruit for a week straight (I ran out of food). Sounds suspicious, but I was plagued by problems most notably when I stopped eating those foods. I, too, wonder if some weird bacteria set up shop in my gut.

Anyway, I've been dealing with this for at least five years now, and at first it was so frustrating that I barely ate for a long time. If you get desperate for relief, I can tell you that even now I sometimes will drink Ensure or Boost for a week and it makes me feel so much better. Also, I wanted to mention that I initially tried taking Gas-X and a few other OTC remedies, and they just made things worse.

Good luck, I hope this or my previous posting helps! If you have any questions that I might be able to answer let me know.

Alison
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Just a follow up to all of your comments:  Try phazyme.  I've had some SERIOUS stomach problems for the last year from eating at Wendys (tip:  Don't eat Wendy's.)  I've had numerous, expensive tests and been put on many different prescription drugs.  The only drug I can rely on is Phazyme.  Go figure.  I get bad gas, but it get's trapped in my intestines.  Quite painful I might add.  I use the Phazyme chewables - within 2 minutes the gas is gone.  You may want to try it.
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I`ve got a fair amount of gas and am able to release it at any time with out any disconfort at all. I also have a small amount of leakage of fecies that generally shows up on my underpants. That I find very embaressing. The gas a can normaly contain but I cannot control the leakage. I know that it is not incontinance, I hope.  Thanks for you attention to this problem.  Bob G.
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Hi Molly:
You might try peppermint oil capsules with an enteric coating. They dissolve in the small intestine, not the stomach and often can sooth an irrritable bowel. You can get them at a health store. Also, you must avoid beans and any fruits that contain indigestable carbohydrates. If the problem persists, don't be too embarrassed to see a doctor !
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Molly,

I had similar symptoms that came on all of a sudden a year or so ago. I can definitely relate to what you're saying. At the time, I was pregnant so the Dr. put me on Gaviscon. I drank 3 bottles a week but the symptoms were much better. My Dr. said it is most likely acid reflux.  After the baby she put me on Tagamet (prescprition) and within a couple of days my life was back to normal.  Talk to your Dr. about reflux. It doesn't always come with heartburn - mine didn't.

Hope this helps.
Ellan
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I am having a gas problem also. I also suffer with a blotted stomach. The gas is is usually very loud and I have no control of the situation.  The gas some times pass through my vagina as well.
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Molly--I can SO relate to your problem.  I have had the same problem since I was in high school (I am now 24) and am now just getting my flatulence checked out by a gastroenterologist.  It frustrates me to no end that none of the over-the-counter or prescribed medicines have worked on me.  Miralax, Charcocaps, Metamucil, Phayzme, Mylanta, Lotronex, etc., etc., etc.!!!!!!!  But the weird part is that I have at least 4 or 5 bowel movements a day but I'm still gassy in between and have no idea why.  My first doctor thought I was lactose intolerant, but I don't think I am.  Anyway, I'm going on yet another medicine--my doc suggested Pepcid--so hopefully it works.
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Thank you everyone.  I am in late fifties, and I can really identify with the frustration of trying to deal with gas.  I don't have much of a problem with it during the day, but in the evening and at night, it seems like all I do is pass gas.  I live alone, but would prefer not to.  However, I am afraid to even consider a relationship because of this problem.  Anyway, it is nice to know I am not alone in this problem.
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Yeah i got a problem with excessive gas also. my problems started with stress at work and I was diagnosed as having GERD or reflux disease. After a year of taking Prilosec, the problem seems to be getting worse but moving from reflux to stomach and intestines with painful gas build-up. I had blood test for H.pylori- negative. The doctor has so far been of little help. just dread goning back and goning thru test which im sure would include colonostophy and esophageal examination.
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Yeah i got a problem with excessive gas also. my problems started with stress at work and I was diagnosed as having GERD or reflux disease. After a year of taking Prilosec, the problem seems to be getting worse but moving from reflux to stomach and intestines with painful gas build-up. I had blood test for H.pylori- negative. The doctor has so far been of little help. just dread goning back and goning thru test which im sure would include colonostophy and esophageal examination.
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Hi.

From my experience, I found that drinking alot of water usually help with a gas attack.  It doesn't stop the problem fully, but it eases the situation and makes it a lot easier to control (Another advantage of drinking water is it takes out the foul smell when you have gas)

Another thing that I noticed, when ever you have a gas attack, try as hard as you can to think of something else.  To fully focus all your senses on that distraction.  For example, reading a book and fully concentrating on its contents, would make me forget about the gas, and my digestive system would go back to normal (However, this didn't work so well for me in a crowded situation)  

Finally, I read somewhere that the spice cumin is suppose to be great in helping with gas.  I did not have a chance to try it  yet, but it could possibly work.

I wish you the best of luck

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Hi.

From my experience, I found that drinking alot of water usually help with a gas attack.  It doesn't stop the problem fully, but it eases the situation and makes it a lot easier to control (Another advantage of drinking water is it takes out the foul smell when you have gas)

Another thing that I noticed, when ever you have a gas attack, try as hard as you can to think of something else.  To fully focus all your senses on that distraction.  For example, reading a book and fully concentrating on its contents, would make me forget about the gas, and my digestive system would go back to normal (However, this didn't work so well for me in a crowded situation)  

Finally, I read somewhere that the spice cumin is suppose to be great in helping with gas.  I did not have a chance to try it  yet, but it could possibly work.

I wish you the best of luck

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I have a gas problem also. Many replies have helped and I think I should see a doctor. I have severe stomach cramps in the mornings. No control of farts, I think this behaviour has occured especially since I started exercising - I think I swallow air when running.
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Not one of you mentioned Celiac Disease to my surprise! I am not formally diagnosed yet but am pretty sure I have it, and from the sound of it you all probably have a good chance of having it too. Try staying away from anything containing wheat or gluten (barley, rye, oats). Usually rice and corn is o.k. because they contain very little gluten. You can eat other grains such as quinoa and soy flour to my understanding, and those things usually do alright by me. You need to really watch everything you eat because everything in the stores prepackaged usually has some kind of wheat derivative or gluten in it like malt flavoring or modified food starch. Hint: stay away from sneaky things like distilled white vinegar, soy sauce (La Choy o.k.) vanilla extract containing alcohol, and beer (hard cider o.k.). Very tricky!

I got all the above symptoms including leaking feces (!) while pregnant with my third child and I thought it was pregnancy related and would go away, but things just got worse and I finally made the connection that when I ate whole wheat, three hours later I would get uncontrollable gas, and at the same time, after nursing, baby would start having colic. When I refrained from whole wheat I had no gas and baby had no colic. I got by on white flour for awhile, but eventually have had to cut out all sources of gluten in my diet. Occasionally it's extremely difficult like when you're traveling or at a social function to find something to eat, so I take something called Zymex made by Standard Process which I think you can only get through an alternative doctor (they have a website) which is an intestine strengthener, and this has never failed to keep me from getting gas if I take it before eating that pizza or whatever. Of course if I do have Celiac Disease, I probably shouldn't be doing even that.

There are tests that can be done to determine whether or not you have Celiac Disease. If so it's terribly important that you stay away from gluten because further destruction of your intestines can cause malabsorption and lead to all kinds of disastrous consequences. I hope this helps at least some of you people, although I wouldn't wish CD on anybody!

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All of these comments are very familiar to me.  I have had gas for at least twenty years now.  I didn't realize how bad of a problem it is untill a few months ago.  The gas does not cause pain, however it does cause a very foul odor.  Most of the time, it is not like a "fart" but seems to leak from my pours.  This sounds crazy and might be.  It is very embarrassing and I have not been able to talk about it with anyone.  It certainly is not a secret as I have overheard coworkers talking about it.  Very embarrassing.  I thought it might be my liver, but my liver is OK according to my doctor.  I drink a lot of beer and thought that was the cause.  I have a lot of friends who drink a lot of beer and do not have this problem, but the month of August I did not drink beer or any other alcohol.  This helped a little.  My whole diet contains cheese.  I eat pizzas, lasagne, tacos, nachoes, ect.  My next step is cut out all cheese.  I do not know what foods I should try.  I am desparate.  I actually fear for my job.  The head of the company, the little *****, actually bought a gas mask from one of those military magazines.  Again very embarrassing.
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hahahaha DUDE you've got problems! The Rock has one word for ya! BEANO
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Damn, sorry dude, they really need to supply some sort of fart cushion in a public bathroom for people in your situation!
Sorry bout your luck!
Beano
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In regard to B's post.
   Hey B, you're not alone. I know many people who have the same problem. It can happen to everyone. It happens to me as well. Although I'm not a doctor that offensive smell that seems to come from your "pores", most likely originates in your intestines, gets absorbed in the bloodstream and gets exhaled out your lungs.
As for me I stay away from lactose products such as cheese and yogurt. Eating those products makes the smell very offensive. Our lungs exhale hydrogen at various times due to lactose that hasn't been properly digested. This lactose can ferment, and eventually very offensive odors can be exhaled along with the hydrogen. My advice is stay away from junk food, drink lots of water, don't eat cheese products. Don't despair cuz' you're not alone.

                                          Bob
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i'm also a little bit "conforted" when i see i'm not alone. i started having problems when i was 19, now i'm 28, i can't remember how nice was before all this started... i began whith intestinal gas and motility problems that made my intestines make noise (very embarrasing), i was desesperate, after foods my abdomen began to increase with gas that i couldn't put out. i went to the doctor and after lots of probes i was diagnosed irritable bowle. i think that having concience of what you have is good, it helped me. i've reading a lot about that problem, it seems it is a syndrome caused by stress, and i'm very stressful.
when i'm alone it's ok, but with people i start to get worried about my intestine noises, and all is worse with the stress.
with the years i can control a little bit the problem. as somebody said before, it's good to get concentrate in other things. i know now that the problem probably will be chronic, but i have decided it won't distroy my life (difficult).
i tried hundreds of medecines, no result! in the last months i've discovered foeniculum vulgare pills, i take them before foods and  the problems are not so big, i recommend you to try them.
best regards to everybody.
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In reading this, I find a bit of comfort knowing that others are having similar problems.  Although I have no problem with movements, recently I have noticed the smell of gas while I sit at my desk, or anywhere else where I'm stationary for a minute or two.  I've had gas most of my life, but lately I've noticed that small volumes of gas (1 to 2cc) seem to work their way of of my sphincter in a silent, intermittent creep.  I can feel small "bubbles" of gas, if you will, creeping out, and realize that this must go on at random moments throughout the day and evening.  Now I am very self-concious at work, and a few nights ago, while at a party, I was sitting on the floor with about eight other people, and noticed the "creep" about five minutes or so into an hour-long game of "pig" (rolling a pair of rubber pigs as dice for points), and hoped that the person next to me didn't notice it.  I seriously doubt that it went unnoticed, though.  I tried Bean-o two weeks ago for a day but only became constipated for four days and had to take 10oz. of magnesium citrate to get back to normal.  I am lactose intolerant, so I stay away from dairy products, and I'm also type II diabetic, so I take glucophage 500mg. twice a day, along with Lescol once a day for high cholesterol.  I realize that the glucophage could cause more gas, but it doesn't seem to be the cause of this current problem.  Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Man do I empathize for you poor bastards. I to have a problem, well not with myself, but my roommates' gas problems. He is constantly breaking wind, to the point that I'm doing research to see if there's anything I can do to get him to stop cutting gas all the damn time. You guys think YOU'VE got probs, well check out this...I recently tried giving him some Beano b/c we were planning on attending 4:30 mass and I did NOT feel like being embarrassed...but he ripped *** the entire time!!! He sounded like he was playing the tuba!! Then later on we went to Blockbuster...and he thought it would be funny to pass gas in the middle of the video store, but low and behold while trying to do this he actually **** his pants...IN THE MIDDLE OF THE VIDEO STORE!!!...Boy was I embarrassed..if he doesn't stop letting juicy fartss he's getting evicted...good luck gang!
Ned
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One mroe note: my furniture seriously smells like ***...b/c of his flatulating all day long, all of the cushions reek like farts!!! I tried to lie down on the couch for a nap and was almost isfixiated...please be considerate of the people's furniture that you guys are farting on all the time..that is all...again, good luck to you all,
Ned
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Molly,
    Perhaps all thee protein you are consuming could be causing gas. When I used to eat a high protein diet, too much amonia (ammonia) was being formed in my bloodstream,It smelled horriblew and very musty. Also, make sure you soak your beans before cooking for a while so that a lot of whatever causes gas is eliminated. I have heard that soaking them for a couple of hours and then rinsing and resoaking over night is recommended. Also eating carbohydrates helps gas causing bacteria to gow in the intestines. It sounds like it is your diet that is the cause. I know how you feel because I have this problem myself.
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