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4 Ways to Get Rid of Gas

Why do we pass gas, and what can we do about it?

By
Rob Lamberts, MD
Episode #070
holding nose

How to Get Rid of Gas

So what can be done for the sufferer and the many co-sufferers?  Here are my quick and dirty tips on coping with gaseous emissions:

Tip 1: Keep a food diary. Beans are famous for causing childhood entertainment, but many other foods can cause gas too.  A sudden increase in fiber intake, while it may be healthy, can make it very dangerous to take long rides in the car (especially with others in the car).  Write down what you are eating and see if you can find the culprit.

Tip 2: Consider a medical approach. Activated charcoal pills may be helpful in absorbing gas--especially the foul-smelling kind.  Adding Beano to your food--especially if it is rich in vegetables--can reduce the gas the food produces (although it must be taken along with the food).  Other medications, such as simethicone (found in Gas-X and other OTC products) have limited benefit, but it doesn’t hurt to try them.

Tip 3: The nuclear option. If all else fails (and I am not kidding about this), there are charcoal-lined seat cushions and even charcoal-lined underwear for those whose problem is unfixable. 

Tip 4: Consider others. The Modern Manners Guy did a great article about the polite ways to pass gas.  Of course, you should always avoid elevators if you have a problem with gas, and perhaps consider buying a convertible or moving to the country.

As always, your doctor should be able to help you figure out if there is anything more serious going on.  Persistent diarrhea, significant changes to your bowel habits, and weight loss are signs that other more serious problems may exist.

If you have topics that you want me to cover, send them to housecalldoctor@quickanddirtytips.com, or you can submit them to me on twitter (@housecalldoc) or my Facebook page.


Let me once again remind you that this podcast is for informational purposes only.  My goal is to add to your medical knowledge and translate some of the weird medical stuff you hear, so when you do go to your doctor, your visits will be more fruitful. I don’t intend to replace your doctor; he or she is the one you should always consult about your own medical condition.

Catch you next time!  Stay Healthy!

Here’s the promised list (from Goofball.com)

    1.    Anal Salute
    2.    Beep your horn
    3.    Blast the chair
    4.    Blat
    5.    Blow Mud
    6.    Blow the big brown horn
    7.    Bottom blast
    8.    Bottom burp
    9.    Break wind
    10.  Butt burp
    11.  Butt trumpet
    12.  Butt tuba
    13.  Buttock bassoon
    14.  Cut a stinker
    15.  Cut the cheese
    16.  Cut the wind
    17.  Drop a bomb
    18.  Fart
    19.  Flatulate
    20.  Flatulence
    21.  Float an air biscuit
    22.  Funky rollers
    23.  Gaseous intestinal by-products
    24.  HUMrrhoids
    25.  Honk
    26.  Let a Beefer
    27.  Let each little bean be heard
    28.  Mating call of the barking spider
    29.  Mexican jet propulsion
    30.  One-gun salute
    31.  Pass gas
    32.  Pass wind
    33.  Poot
    34.  Puff, the Magic Dragon!
    35.  Rebuild the ozone layer one poof at a time
    36.  Rectal honk
    37.  Rectal shout
    38.  Ripple Fart
    39.  Shoot the cannon
    40.  Singe the [noun] (e.g. carpet)
    41.  Step on a duck
    42.  The colonic calliope
    43.  The gluteal tuba
    44.  Toot your own horn
    45.  Trouser cough
    46.  Trouser trumpet

There are many more I can think of (most notably, the SBD - silent but deadly).  If you have more you would like to enlighten us with, visit my Facebook page.

As a bonus, here is an excerpt from the Merck Manual of Medicine, a respected medical textbook.  It seems they employed middle-school aged boys at some point.  Enjoy:

Flatulence, which can cause great psychosocial distress, is unofficially described according to its salient characteristics:
(1) the "slider" (crowded elevator type) , which is released slowly and noiselessly, sometimes with devastating effect;

(2) the open sphincter, or "pooh" type, which is said to be of higher temperature and more aromatic;

(3) the staccato or drumbeat type, pleasantly passed in privacy; and

(4) the "bark" type (described in a personal communication) is characterized by a sharp exclamatory eruption that effectively interrupts (and often concludes) conversation. Aromaticity is not a prominent feature. Rarely, this usually distressing symptom has been turned to advantage, as with a Frenchman referred to as "Le Petomane," who became affluent as an effluent performer who played tunes with the gas from his rectum on the Moulin Rouge stage.

Flatulence and Bad Smell images from Shutterstock

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About the Author

Rob Lamberts, MD
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