Poorly Absorbed Carbohydrates
Hydrogen and carbon dioxide are produced by colon bacteria in the presence of poorly absorbed carbohydrates. If flatulence is accompanied by diarrhea and weight loss, it may indicate a malabsorption disorder such as lactose intolerance or pancreatic insufficiency, and should be evaluated by your primary health care provider.
More common is excess flatulence after eating large amounts of poorly absorbed carbohydrates such as beans or foods that you have a sensitivity to. Common carbohydrate sensitivities include milk, and wheat products.
1. Chew food carefully. Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth. Any work your teeth don't do, your stomach will have to do later.
2. Try an elimination and challenge diet, under the supervision of a health care practitioner. This is a diagnostic diet to help you find out which carbohydrates you may have a sensitivity to.
3. Consult your primary care provider to rule out malabsorption disorder if you are also experiencing weight loss and diarrhea.
Gas and Flatulence After High-Fat Meals
Carbon dioxide is produced in the small intestine when bicarbonate is released to neutralize stomach acid and fat during meals. Eating a high-fat meal can generate a large amount of carbon dioxide, some of which is released as gas.
1. Eat 5 smaller meals instead of three large meals.
2. Avoid high-fat meals. In general, fat intake should be about 30% of total dietary intake and should include plenty of monounsaturated and essential fats. Unhealthy saturated or hydrogenated fats should be limited.
3. Consult your primary care provider to rule out the possibility of fat malabsorption. Signs of fat malabsorption include loose and light-colored stools.
Odorous Flatulence and Gas
Gas that has a strong odor usually results from the metabolism of sulfur-containing proteins and amino acids in the intestines.
1. Chew meat and other protein foods carefully. Avoid excessive protein in your diet.
2. Taking activated charcoal tablets can help to remove the odor.
3. Chronic malodorous gas may be a sign of difficulty digesting protein. Consult a naturopathic doctor or other qualified professional to evaluate your level of stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes, and colonic bacteria.