Help me manage my farting
January 22, 2018 4:10 AM   Subscribe

I've recently started having a lot of gas. I've tried eliminating various foods and tracking what I eat to see what causes it but it just seems to be a universal consequence of existing for me at the moment. What can I do to lessen my flatulence?

And I mean I'm really farty. I feel like all I do is fart all night in bed and it's hard to manage during the day. I know about the yoga wind removing pose and using activated charcoal and while they help somewhat they are not a total cure.

Please tell me any and all your anti-farting techniques. It's getting to the point where it's seriously affecting my quality of life!
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (27 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Let's get the obvious part out of the way: have you talked to your doctor? Excessive flatulence can be caused by medication or by a health condition. And since it's affecting your quality of life, that makes it doctor time.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:41 AM on January 22, 2018 [12 favorites]

Peppermint leaf capsules. Peppermint is a natural anti-spasmotic and gas relief.

I have IBS and GERD - and other issues including a candida overgrowth in my past. I take up to 6 capsules a day (1 to 2 with food BEFORE YOU EAT to avoid heartburn.) It helps SOOO much. Note that other types of peppermint, oils etc, can cause more heartburn. I've had stomach problems my whole life, surgeries, a billion tests, and peppermint LEAF capsules have reduced my symptoms SO much that it doesn't even seem real. When I take them before I eat I get no heartburn or peppermint burbs or anything. My husband also has IBS and gets farty, it's helped him as well though he has just finally started taking it seriously after he saw my doc and told him to do what I told him to do. [shrug]

Gas X is a go-to for bad days. It works really well, though since it has peppermint oil it can cause heartburn so you may want an antacid with it. My doc has said it's pretty safe and it's fine to do the antacid on top of it. (I am not your doctor.)

I also wrote about a way to relieve gas using some movement and stomach massage. It works really well. Walking around helps too.

My favorite tracker is Cara btw. Very easy to use. Eliminate the main causes of gas which are lactose, wheat, sugars including fruits, artificial sweeteners, carbonated beverages, etc.

Anyway, I've had stomach shit my whole life. This literally has been the thing that FINALLY has helped after YEARS of suffering and getting pills thrown at me. Peppermint. Leaf. Capsules.
posted by Crystalinne at 4:44 AM on January 22, 2018 [26 favorites]

And yes, see a doctor. But many GI doctors are kinda shit - pardon the pun. Find one with good reviews or recommended by a friend or trusted doctor. If you happen to be in Utah I've got a great one! (Offer open to anyone else who needs it.)
posted by Crystalinne at 4:51 AM on January 22, 2018

Just eat less. Like way less. Especially sugar and carbs, cut those right out. Do that for a week and you'll see, no more farting. Pooping may become an issue, you'll need to manage that, but farting becomes a thing of the past (as long as you don't substitute sugar with maltitol: if you do that you'll still fart.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 5:09 AM on January 22, 2018 [5 favorites]

Be super careful with the charcoal tablets: they can affect the absorption of medication, eg anti-depressants, oral contraceptives.
posted by Murderbot at 5:31 AM on January 22, 2018 [5 favorites]

As a young adult, I could drink a quart of milk without flinching, and without repercussions.

In my late 30s, continuing through today, I can't have so much as two ounces of milk or cheese without, um, adverse effects. However, lactaid completely quells this.
posted by notsnot at 5:54 AM on January 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

The things making the gas are making it out of sugars. That includes fructose from fruit, lactose from milk products, and glucose etc. from carbohydrates. If you can seriously cut down the amount of sugar you consume to almost zero, it could help a lot. A _lot_.

Also: probiotics. Get the kind from the refrigerator section.

If you _must_ eat cheese, eat the kind that's very hard; most of the lactose will have been eaten by the cheese-making bacteria. And only eat a tiny, tiny bit.
posted by amtho at 6:00 AM on January 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

I've had great success with fennel tea. You can use your pantry-fennel in a teabag or reusable tea infuser, or you could buy fennel tea bags.

If I'm eating something with cauliflower or beans, I try to have a mug before and a mug after dinner. I also like to drink it cold - it has a subtle licorice flavor.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 6:14 AM on January 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Beans – add epazote in last five minutes of cooking.

Avoid milk, fruit, candy sugars.

Papaya enzymes & other digestive aids.
posted by fritillary at 6:17 AM on January 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Beano can work wonders, just add a drop or two to your meal. If necessary, you can add it to every meal.

Unlike many of the remedies proposed above there is a clear biochemical mechanism and proven effectiveness for this enzyme product.

Also Gas-X is very safe and effective, you can use it on babies.
posted by SaltySalticid at 7:01 AM on January 22, 2018 [5 favorites]

The FODMAP diet may be of interest to you. It is a rigorous temporary elimination diet.
posted by aniola at 7:30 AM on January 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

I have a great GI doctor too, if you're in NYC. Feel free to MeMail.
posted by holborne at 7:35 AM on January 22, 2018

And don't chew sugarless gum!
posted by donaken at 8:04 AM on January 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

One weird trick: If this corresponds to you doing a lot more manual labor all of a sudden, spend a day off lying flat on your back as much as possible. I have no idea what the mechanism is, but I've had some luck with this.

+1 to stomach massage if you're getting gas build up in your stomach / bloating

Gas-X will break up the bubbles in your stomach so you can more effectively get the gas out, often by burping (which is why the mint flavoring is good). This will relieve pain but you will still have the "I'm being gross in public" aspect.
posted by momus_window at 9:35 AM on January 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thirding cut out sugars/carbs. That is the ONLY thing that really noticeably causes me to not fart.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:46 AM on January 22, 2018

Drink lots of water. Helps keep everything lubricated, so things do not get stuck as easily.
posted by KaizenSoze at 9:59 AM on January 22, 2018

Munch a spoonful of fennel, cumin, or anis seeds, best a mix. Or use it for an infusion. Or spice your food with them, especially cumin (eg to mitigate the effect of cauliflower or beans). I’ve seen the mix at some Indian restaurants, offering a spoonful after the meal.

And cut down on sugars, yes.
posted by meijusa at 10:18 AM on January 22, 2018

If you have eggy burps, or the gas is especially sulfurous, you might have a protozoan infection like giardia. I know it doesn't happen that often in the developed world with clean drinking water, but I've gotten it a handful of times after drinking water from half-drunk bottles that have been sitting around for weeks. (I know! I'm dumb.)
posted by ApathyGirl at 11:10 AM on January 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

Many people become lactose-intolerant and it's easy to test. A few days with no dairy at all, no milk, cheese, butter. Then have some milk, cheese and butter. You'll have an answer within 30 minutes. Lactaid pills don't work well for me, so I just don't eat dairy. Eggs are fine.

Being constipated causes farting. Bran muffins, dried fruit, way more veg.

Exercise stimulates the colon and will get you to release any stored gas.
posted by theora55 at 12:52 PM on January 22, 2018

Nthing cooking beans with Epazote, but it also has an earthy taste that not everyone likes. I love it, so I use it all the time.

If you can't find it locally, it can be ordered from Penzey's.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:14 PM on January 22, 2018

Second avoiding sugarless gum. I can only have a couple of pieces a day if I don't want to go insanely gassy.
posted by Peach at 7:34 PM on January 22, 2018

This happened to me in my late 30s. I tried like half the suggestions here. It turned out I had developed celaic disease. The most bullshit of all the diseases as a) you cant eat pizza or drink beer anymore and b) you have to keep asking if things are "gluten free". But at least I don't have room-clearing gas anymore!
posted by fshgrl at 9:12 PM on January 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

Seconding fshgrl. Don't take this lightly, do a gluten intolerance test.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 8:12 AM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thirding. This was my life until the other symptoms set in, which were even more unpleasant. Don't eliminate gluten until you get tested, though, as it can affect your results.
posted by BlueBear at 12:37 PM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Get tested for SIBO; that was most of it for me. The rest is eating slowly and watching portion size.
posted by capricorn at 5:15 PM on January 23, 2018

I had this recently. It turns out that for me it was lactose. I'd have milk with coffee often enough that I was consuming a lot of lactose without really being aware of it. I didn't expect this since I don't feel nauseous. I thought an intolerance would manifest itself in some kind of malaise, but that's not necessarily the case.
posted by cotterpin at 2:27 AM on January 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also, read ingredient lists. We put lactose and/or milk in freaking everything in this country. I'm trying to get into the habit of taking a Lactaid anytime I eat anything unless I am 100% sure it's lactose-free.
posted by COD at 12:31 PM on January 24, 2018

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