Wind, gas, flatulence; call it what you want; passing noisy and/or smelly gas by way of the anus is not only embarrassing socially but may also be something that one hesitates to get help with. After all gas isn’t something that one wants to discuss with anyone; even a doctor!
The fact is that all of us pass gas many times a day; most of it is in small and unnoticeable quantities. This gas is caused by the natural process of digestion in the intestines, where gut bacteria and enzymes break down the food as it passes through the digestive system.
However some of us seem to have the condition of excess wind, where belching and breaking wind (what is known as farting in common parlance) can actually become a problem.
There could be many reasons for excessive wind:
Many foods (famously beans) are known to cause wind. Foods containing complex carbs may be difficult for the body to break down and this could result in gas. Certain vegetables; artichokes, Brussels sprouts and cabbage also typically produce certain odors during digestion. Spicy foods, fizzy drinks and so on add to the problem.
Indigestion or food intolerances may cause excess wind. If, for instance a person is lactose intolerant (even mildly so) this could cause the buildup of larger amounts of gas, bloating and distention of the abdomen. Some of us lack certain enzymes needed to digest certain foods and this can cause gas and other discomfort.
3. Swallowing air
We all swallow some amount of air when we eat, but at times we swallow rather a lot. Some of it will result in burping and belching, and some will exacerbate the problem of flatulence. Also when we have conditions such as a cold (a blocked nose that causes us to breathe through the mouth) we will swallow more air along with the food.
Certain dental problems could also cause more air to be swallowed. Anxiety and hyperventilation can add to the problem (consider the fact that burping once can make us anxious and make us want to burp even more).
4. Other conditions that could cause excess gas
Constipation can cause gas; as can stomach ulcers in certain cases.
So clearly, in some cases it is possible to control gas by the way we eat and what we eat; however in some cases medical help may be required to tackle the underlying problem that causes wind.