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What is Extreme Flatulence?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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Flatulence is a term used to describe the expulsion of gas through the rectum. Therefore, extreme flatulence is this process in excess of what is considered normal for most people. The average person passes gas between four and 20 times per day. Any amount much over 20 is considered excessive and may indicate an underlying digestive problem. It may also indicate that the person has consumed a food or drink which causes the production of unusually large amounts of gas, but this is generally a temporary state.

The most common causes of extreme flatulence are dietary and lifestyle habits. Gas enters the intestines in only one of two ways. The first is swallowed air that enters through the mouth and makes its way through the stomach and into the colon. The second is through the breakdown of certain foods by intestinal bacteria which are naturally present in the body.

Those experiencing extreme flatulence may only need to avoid eating foods which are known to cause intestinal gas in order to alleviate symptoms. Gas is most commonly caused by foods which contain large amounts of fructose, such as fruits, beans, and some vegetables; and lactose, which is found in milk. Cruciferous vegetables also result in excessive gas production, as well as carbonated beverages like soda. Avoiding these things may quickly alleviate flatulence.

Swallowing air should also be avoided in those who suffer from extreme flatulence. This occurs most commonly while chewing gum, talking, eating too quickly, or smoking. Carbonated beverages may also cause air to enter the stomach. Much of the air that is swallowed exits through the mouth, but a certain amount may work its way into the large intestines.

There are also anti-gas medications sold over the counter which can alleviate gas. In some cases, distention and painful bloating may occur if excess gas is not passed quickly enough. These cases may warrant stronger medications. Exercise can also help loosen up trapped gas so that it can pass more easily.

Extreme flatulence can be an embarrassing problem that affects social interaction in sufferers. Some people may continue to suffer from extreme cases of gas and flatulence due to digestive problems and may have to find ways to deal with the issue. There are pads which are worn on the undergarments which contain charcoal and may help neutralize odors.

When severe gas doesn’t improve with dietary and lifestyle changes, it is a good idea to consult a physician. Flatulence which is not remedied with proper eating habits is uncommon, but can occur with certain digestive conditions. Treatments may be available for the underlying issue upon diagnosis by a doctor.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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