Bloated stomach is as common in North America as cars on a highway. Bloating affects nearly everyone. Bloating can make the stomach uncomfortable and prevent enjoying dinner parties. Yet the aftermath of the bloating, popularly called farting, can be socially worse than the bloating itself.
Causes of Bloated Stomach
There are many causes of bloating. There are also many solutions to flattening a bloated stomach. Different cause requires different treatment method. You will find some of the solutions in the links below:
- Causes of bloated stomach
- Bloated gassy; which food?
- Stomach acid and bloated feeling
- What causes bloating
Gas type detector
Not very many people know that the type of flatulence (farting) can give a clue as to the causes of stomach bloating. This is where we need to divide farts into smelly and non-smelly without going into a much discussion about their noisiness.
You may suspect that the fart aromas do not depend on the hygiene of the bum, but depend on the composition of the intestinal gasses. Sorry, you can’t deodorize your farts by obsessively washing your rear. You may mask them by using specialized gas absorbers in the pants or drop a gas-neutralizer into the toilet bowl before the poo. Anyhow, bloated stomach or not, malodorous farts will make not only you, but also people around you quite uncomfortable.
Bloated stomach solution for non-odorous farts
Flatulence that is odorless is undetectable by others and therefore socially more accepted than the stinky counterparts. In Traditional Chinese medicine odorless flatulence is related to spleen deficiency, which may be translated into western language as lack of digestion or poor food assimilation. The “poor digestion” flatulence comes in a relatively large volume and because of that it may be noisy.
From my clinical experience this type of stomach bloating is most common in people who have trouble digesting fructose, lactose, and some types of carbohydrates. Avoidance of these foods can bring rapid relief of gas pains. Onions, mushrooms, split peas, and cauliflower belong to this category. For a full list of foods please refer to FODMAP book. People suffering from IBS benefit from low FODMAP diet tremendously. Constipation and incomplete bowel movements also aggravate bloated stomach. A stuck poo prevents flatus from getting out.
To flatten bloated stomach with non-odorous farts you should follow three tips:
- Never be constipated,
- Whenever possible find and avoid bloating foods, use FODMAP guide
- Reduce carbohydrates; they are frequently the culprits, and
- Use digestive aids such as digestive enzymes as a temporary solution
Bloated stomach solutions for odorous farts
Stinky farts have a different origin. The two most stinky gases, indole and skatole, are produced by intestinal bacteria. Although skatole and indole may only make 5% of gas volume their fragrances cannot be missed. These concentrated aromatic bombs come as a by-product of amino acid digestion. Interestingly indole and skatole are also contributing to halitosis[i] thus one may conclude that stinky farts and bad breath are likely to accompany each other. The good news is that dealing with stinky farts can, as a side effect, also improve halitosis.
Stinky farts do not come in large volume, but rather in small concentrated sips and they are more common in people who eat meat. The stink effect is very dependent on the concentration of the skatole and indole which is related to the volume of meat consumed.
To deal with a bloated stomach that produces odorous farts remember these tips:
- Never get constipated. You MUST empty your bowels daily and feel fully empty
- Reduce the amount of meat consumed or go vegetarian for a week
- Reduce portions, especially if you are overweight
- Increase the amount of fibre (vegetables) in your diet
- Add naturally fermented products such as pickles or sauerkraut to your meat portions.
- Use probiotics (good bacteria) on a daily basis
Bloated stomach is not inevitable. It only signifies digestive problems. Although it is normal to produce flatus, it is not normal to have difficulty expelling it easily. Check your dietary habits, foods choices, portion sizes, eating style as well as your poop consistency, its size, color, and smelliness. The more you know the fewer chances you will have that your bloated stomach will act out again.
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