Flatulence, known as farting, is a medical term for releasing gas from the digestive system through the anus. It occurs when gas collects inside the digestive system; however, one should not worry because it is a normal process.
Flatulence is due to swallowed air, the breakdown of undigested foods, lactose intolerance, and malabsorption of certain foods. Some foods that increase gas include beans, cabbage, broccoli, raisins, lentil, prunes, apples, and foods that are high in fructose or sorbitol, such as fruit juices. These foods can take a long time to digest, leading to the unpleasant smell associated with flatulence.If this condition is in excess, it can be because of various pathological conditions, such as constipation, gastroenteritis, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, ulcerative colitis, GERD, peptic ulcers, etc.
About 99% of the volume of flatus is composed of non-smelly gases. These include oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane. Volume range of normal flatus is around 476–1,491 mL per 24 hours. The normal range of flatus episodes is given as 8–20 per day.
Medical help should be considered if you experience symptoms, such as severe cramps, fever, diarrhea, bloody stools, nausea, and vomiting and/or right-sided abdominal pain along with gas or flatulence.
Flatulence can be diagnosed in the following ways:
Diagnosis is made with the help of the patient's history and physical examination.
Most of the times tests are not required, but if required analysis of patients' breath and flatus (gas passed out of the rectum) tests are done. Other tests, such as colonoscopy, X-rays and/or CT scans are rarely performed; it depends on the case.
Flatulence can be managed in the following ways: