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Accumulation of gas in digestive tract.
Persons most commonly affected: All age groups and both sexes.
Organ or part of body involved: Stomach and intestines.
Symptoms and indications: Expulsion of gas through the mouth but the air is more likely to pass through the intestines and anus when the person is lying down.
Causes and risk factors: It occurs when a food does not break down completely in the stomach and small intestine. As a result, the food makes it into the large intestine in an undigested state. There, it meets up with billions of hungry bacteria we all have in our large intestine. These bacteria are happy to digest this food. They produce a variety of gases, in much the way that yeast produces carbon dioxide to leaven bread. Gases such as methane, hydrogen and hydrogen sulfide are common gases that these bacteria produce. Hydrogen sulfide is the source of the odor we associate with flatulence. Certain foods produce more flatulence than others because they contain more indigestible carbohydrates than others. Beans, as you might expect, are particularly well-endowed in this regard. On very rare occasions, flatulence may be caused by peptic ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a hatius hernia or Crohn's disease.
Prevention: Exercise helps to prevent the gas in the colon from becoming trapped and causing discomfort. Avoidance of flatulent producing foods in the diet, drinking lots of fizzy drinks and rushing meals are also helpful in preventing flatulence.