My stomach rumbles a lot

Passing gas 2 to 4 times every day is normal for the body. But passing excess or foul smelling gas becomes troublesome and embarrassing. There are many reasons for formation of excess gas. The most common cause is indigestion. Taking a heavy meal, eating fatty food, consuming foods with high sugar content eating late in evening, incomplete evacuation of bowels, drinking alcohol, drinking sodas and soft drinks in excess, taking tea or coffee in excess, are some of the common causes.

Dear Doctor,
My stomach is always rumbling and I tend to pass out a lot of gas. What causes this, and how do I overcome it?Mimmie

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Dear Mimmie,
Passing gas 2 to 4 times every day is normal for the body. But passing excess or foul smelling gas becomes troublesome and embarrassing. There are many reasons for formation of excess gas. The most common cause is indigestion. Taking a heavy meal, eating fatty food, consuming foods with high sugar content eating late in evening, incomplete evacuation of bowels, drinking alcohol, drinking sodas and soft drinks in excess, taking tea or coffee in excess, are some of the common causes.

Avoid taking a heavy meal and switch over to taking small frequent meals. Also avoid foods with high fat or sugar content. Foods with high fiber like fresh green vegetables, fruits, whole grains, provide fiber and aid in digestion. They also help in prevention of constipation and complete emptying of the bowels. Papaya is a very good fruit in this regard as it has natural digestive and laxative properties.

Avoid excess of tea and coffee, avoid alcohol. Sodas and soft drinks as such have very high sugar content, which is not healthy and also produce flatulence. Hence they should also be consumed in a limited quantity. Drinking adequate quantity of water prevents constipation and helps in digestion. Therefore it is important to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water every day.

Some pharmaceutical preparations are available in syrup form which contain multiple ingredients that provide relief from heart burn and flatulence. If problem of gas is persistent or severe one of them can be used.

Dr Rachna Pande is a specialist in internal medicine at Ruhengeri Hospital