Flatulence. It is something we all do, yet none of us ever talks about aside from the occasional joke. But whether you call it flatulence, cutting the cheese,
farting,stepping on a duck or plain old bowel gas, it is a byproduct of a normal and healthy functioning bowel…for most of us.
When you suffer from a bowel disorder however, excessive gas is a telltale sign that something is up. There can be many reasons that you are suffering from bowel gas as a symptom of various bowel disorders, some of those can have very unhealthy consequences if left untreated for a significant length of time.
Whether your flatulence is due to diet, disorder or sickness, there are things you can due to reduce the amount of bowel gas you expel.
Why You Have Excess Gas
The main cause of bowel gas for relatively healthy individuals is almost always diet. Particularly a diet that is heavy in starch and proteins, as the diet in the United States invariably is. Some people like Dr. Bernard Jensen, believe that it is necessary to greatly reduce animal proteins specifically for a variety of reasons, one of which is excess gas. The truth is that for most people, a diet with moderate amounts of starch and protein won’t cause gas to the point of social embarrassment, unfortunately not a lot of people have a well-balanced diet to accomplish this.
Then there is the issue which Dr. Jensen calls ‘incomplete protein digestion’. This refers to undigested proteins inside the large intestine that nourish bacteria that is undesirable to the colon. These bacteria are undesirable because they are solely responsible for breaking down organic compounds through a process that is putrefactive, which then produces metabolic waste that is toxic, causes gas and produces disease. While these bacteria are always available in small amounts, it is undigested proteins that give them what they need to grow and cause injury to the tissues in the body. Healthy bacteria requires a healthy environment to flourish, and as Dr. Jensen reminds us, a poor diet will turn the bowels into a dirty, toxic and gaseous place ripe for the growth of unhealthy bacteria.
Eating spoiled food or food that easily putrefies inside the digestive tract is another major way in which food can cause excess gas. Processed meats (hot dogs, sausages, hamburgers and luncheon meats) specifically putrefy quickly inside the warmth of the small and large intestines. These meats rupture the sac of enzymes (lysozymes) whose job it is to break down and digest the cells of the meat, which are in whole form in non-ground meats. Basically this ruptured sac acts as, what Dr. Jensen calls a self-destruct apparatus, because the enzymes flood the cells of the meat causing them to putrefy much quicker than say a steak or a chicken breast.
The other reason you may have excess gas is that your body is not equipped with sufficient digestive enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for processing food inside the body so that the nutrients may be absorbed. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but the most common is age. As we grow older the body produces fewer enzymes in the saliva and pancreas and less hydrochloric acid in the stomach, all of which are responsible for helping us break down and absorb food. Blockages, bowel disorders and even disease can also affect the production of these enzymes that are so crucial to proper digestion.
When these enzyme deficiencies occur the food proceeds normally through the small intestine and toward the lower bowel, but the main difference is that a ton of partially digested food is hitching a ride, which putrefies and produces bowel gas instead of exiting as the fully digested food does.
I know you’re probably thinking that the phrase “good gas” is a misnomer but there is such a thing, I assure you. Some foods naturally produce gas, such as sulfur foods (broccoli, onions etc…) and those with indigestible sugars such as beans. It should be noted however that those who have healthy bowels with a rapid transit time will experience little to no gas, even when eating these gas-producing foods.
If you love broccoli, cabbage or onions but you want to reduce your output of bowel gas you can always eat them raw as cooking seems to produce more gas in these sulfur foods.
If you consume a mostly raw diet yet still suffer from bowel gas; don’t worry as it may be a sign that your bowel health is improving. A raw food diet will certainly speed up your transit time, but if you currently have sluggish bowels that time will not be quick enough that you experience zero bowel gas. Over time however, as your bowel health improves you will notice fewer and fewer instances of gas.
Saying “So Long” to Gas
One of the best methods of reducing or eliminating gas altogether is a detox diet. There are many reasons why this can be the most effective method of getting rid of your gas problem. The first is obviously that you will eliminate awful things like processed animal proteins from your diet, which will get rid of not only those quickly putrefying elements inside your intestines, but also put less pressure on those digestive enzymes that work hard to keep your insides healthy.
A proper detox diet will include raw, organic fruits and vegetables which do have protein, but are far less likely to remain in the body as undigested proteins that cause gas.
Then there is what I call the “liquid factor” which is just a different way of saying drink more liquids. Between the juice from fruits and vegetables and the water you will be drinking during your detox diet you will reduce the amount of bowel gas you expel. Dr. Jensen points out that drinking a lot (of anything) during meal time can cause gas, but during the detox you will be consuming whole raw foods and liquid fruits and vegetables so that will not be a problem.
During the detox period your body will become acquainted with whole raw foods, which for a while may still cause gas as your body is still getting rid of plenty of toxins and disease producing bacteria. But as those healing symptoms slowly subside you will find that a healthy bowel gobbles up raw foods and quickly transits them out of the body, leaving very little time for them to spoil and produce gas.
As you prepare for your first detox to help you get rid of your gas problem, there are things you can do today that will help rid you of the anxiety and embarrassment associated with excess gas problems. The detox will be of great help to you, but before you detox let these tips help you:
- Drink less water during meals and more between meals. In fact you should drink soup, broth, juice or water between your meals.
- Slow down during meal time so you ingest less air when you eat. Avoid talking during meal time or at least while you chew your food.
- Add an “apple a day” to your diet; they are filled with (organic) potassium and sodium that give the bowel walls much needed minerals.
- Reduce the amount of processed animal proteins in your diet.
- Eat a salad a day to help quicken your body’s transit time.
- Sit up straight! A 2003 study indicates it can reduce gas expulsion.
- Drink your food and eat your drinks, this means that you have to chew your food until it become liquid in your mouth and chew your drinks even if they are already liquid to add digestive enzymes in your mouth with the food.
Good luck & happy digestion!
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