”The word "gas" was invented by Jan Baptist van Helmont as a phonetic spelling of the Dutch pronunciation of the Greek word "chaos".” (Wikipedia)
Gas reeks, smells, or often creates noise, and passing wind in a astronaut spacesuit damages them... Because everyone produces between 1-3 pints of gas a day and on average passes it fourteen times a day, it creates the question of what creates gas. What causes the smell? “The unpleasant odor of flatulence comes from bacteria in the large intestine that release small amounts of gases that contain sulfur.” (Mamas Health) The most rancid farts I’ve ever had are after eating eggs, which leads me to believe eggs have sulfur in them. “Gas that has a strong odor usually results from the metabolism of sulfur-containing proteins and amino acids in the intestines.” (Alt Medicine) Only 1 out of 3 people produce methane, if your stools float it is likely you are one of the 33%.
Two main causes of gas:
- Swallowed air
- The normal breakdown of certain undigested foods by harmless bacteria naturally present in the large intestine (colon)
The process of swallowing air is called aerophagia. It would make sense then if you reduce the amount of air you swallowed, you’d reduce the amount of gas you pass. “Everyone swallows small amounts of air when eating and drinking. However, eating or drinking rapidly, chewing gum, smoking, or wearing loose dentures can cause some people to take in more air.” (Mamas Health) So to reduce gas from aerophagia you need to take your time while eating and drinking, you need to reconsider chewing gum altogether or reduce your chewing habits, you need to stop smoking or don’t start it, and you need to tighten up those dentures if you wear them.
Some foods are not digested in the human body, not just fiber, because the body lacks certain enzymes to break them down. This suggests that foods that produce gas in one person may not cause gas in another. “Hydrogen and carbon dioxide are produced by colon bacteria in the presence of poorly absorbed carbohydrates. If flatulence is accompanied by diarrhea and weight loss, it may indicate a malabsorption disorder such as lactose intolerance or pancreatic insufficiency, and should be evaluated by your primary health care provider.” (Alt Medicine) On a personal scale I’m 19, I weigh 145 pounds, and am 6’ 2”. I’m lactose intolerant, have terrible gas and haven’t gained a pound in five years, which supports this claim. Fats and proteins are relatively low on the scale of gas creation, whereas most carbohydrates are on the high end of the scale. Four sugars cause gas: raffinose (beans), lactose (milk products), fructose (onions, wheat, sweeteners), and sorbitol (fruits and gum). People who are lactose intolerant probably have the worst gas, because they have a shortage of the enzyme lactase. None-prescription drugs/pills can help in the assistance of digesting such foods that contain these sugars. They will support you with the enzyme you do not have prevalent in your system, breaking down the food you normally cannot, reducing the amount of gas creation. The other solution here is to eliminate or reduce the amount of gas causing sugars you consume by changing your diet. There is a strong correlation that lying down after eating and drinking increases your likelihood of gas. If you have more gas in the morning than during other none-lying-down periods this is a sign to you to eat earlier before you retire for sleep. This is because it’s easier for gas to pass from the stomach into the intestines while lying down. Possibly related then would be if you have more gas after lying down, it would be because of this.
Most common symptoms:
- Abdominal bloating
- Abdominal pain
- Patience, take things slower so you don’t swallow air.
- Diet, edit to your nose’s content – or more importantly your neighbor’s.
- Supplemental enzymes that digest what you cannot.
- Drink more water – this seems to fix all physical ailments.
- Exercise, this can even help reduce gas by helping you have more bowel movements.
- Have more bowel movements, you should have a bowel movement for every meal you eat technically, so that’s three times a day. This gets rid of that decaying fecal matter sitting in your intestines. (I heard this from the "poo doctor" whose broadcast was on CNN several times in the last two months. I'll add a direct quote/source soon as I can find it.)
- Supposedly eating smaller meals through the course of the day, five meals instead of the typical three, can reduce the creation of gas.
- An occassional fast may also help.
Gas is also one of the five main stages of matter.