Getting to the Bottom of those ill Winds!
Now that ex-hurricane Ophelia has been and gone, it would seem that we, in Dingle, dodged the worst of it. For some people, however, the matter of internal wind can be an endless torment and a great source of discomfort and embarrassment. Flatulence is very common and normal with every human being experiencing it, even the ladies, up to 25 times a day! It is the body's way of expelling gas (via the rectum) produced during the digestive process - of eating and breaking down food for the assimilation of nutrients. Beneficial bacteria residing in the small intestine are responsible for most of the gas passing as flatulence. These bacteria are involved in completing the digestion of certain foods such as complex carbohydrates, sugars and starches. This gas is made up of carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen and is predominately odourless. Foul-smelling gas is caused by gases containing sulphur which is found in protein foods such as meat and eggs, as well as some cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage). For most, flatulence does not cause problems but if it is becoming a nuisance there are some measures you can take to improve digestion and reduce your own personal emissions!
All in all, excessive flatulence is more symptomatic of a poorly functioning digestive system. The cause can be wide-ranging but will most likely come down to diet and gut flora. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), constipation, lactose intolerance, food intolerances, coeliac disease, gastroenteritis and malabsorption issues often are accompanied by excessive flatulence and may warrant consideration. But for most of us, rather than throw caution to the wind, pay a little more attention to it!
Written by Irene Ní Fhlannúra, Nutritional Therapist
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