Mon | Feb 17, 2020

Dear Doc | fart too much!

Published:Sunday | June 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Q Dear Doc, I have a problem. I fart frequently. It has become very embarrassing. Is there anything I can do to fart less?

A Everybody farts! But some persons, however, find excessive gas to be embarrassing or uncomfortable.

The medical term for it is flatulence, and there is a wide range for what is considered to be a normal amount of flatulence.

While many may feel they have excessive flatulence, the average healthy adult farts up to 25 times per day. People often pass gas without noticing, and healthy gas is harmless and has no odour.


What exactly is flatulence?


Approximately 75 per cent of intestinal gas comes from fermentation of undigested foods in the gut. When gut bacteria 'feed' on undigested food particles in the large intestine, gas is produced.

Therefore, two things that can control flatulence are diet, and gut bacteria.

So no need to fart around anymore!

Flatulence can be avoided by not eating foods that are likely to cause it. Foods containing carbohydrates that are easier to digest are bananas, citrus fruits, grapes, lettuce, rice, and yogurt, for those who are not lactose intolerant.

Other ways to reduce flatulence include:

- Eating smaller meals

- Eating slowly

- Avoiding gum and carbonated drinks

- Not smoking

- Choosing low-lactose dairy products

- Doing exercise

- Probiotics have also been proven to be beneficial. Probiotics are bacteria that occur in certain foods and supplements that have been shown to help balance gut bacteria and may help reduce the amount of gas, as well as associated pain and odour.

If lifestyle and dietary changes are not enough to improve flatulence, over-the-counter medications that may help are charcoal tablets. Charcoal absorbs gas in your gut, and reduces the symptoms of flatulence. Charcoal supplements can, however, interfere with absorption of other drugs. For this reason, activated charcoal supplements aren't recommended unless first discussed with your doctor.

Luckily, excessive gas typically responds well to diet and lifestyle changes, so you don't have to fart around any longer.


No interest in sex after baby


Q Dear Doc, I really need your help. Ever since my wife had a baby, she has no interest in sex. I don't want to seem selfish or unreasonable to demand it, but it has been a few months, and everything I used to do to get her in the mood before having the baby, doesn't seem to work anymore, and when I try to bring it up, she gets upset. Is there anything that either she or myself can do?

A You are not alone in your concerns and this is a common complaint of couples who have recently had a baby.

The problem is a natural response to a woman having a baby, and mainly a response to the hormonal changes associated with the process. Luckily for you, her sex drive will return with time. However, I can tell you some other common reasons why your wife is no longer interested in sexual activity and give you some suggestions.

First of all, having a baby takes a toll on a woman, and it can have huge effects on a woman's mental and physical state. While her body is still recovering from childbirth, she may not feel as attractive as usual. From stretch marks to weight gain, these can have a dramatic impact her body image and make her feel less sexy and desirable, and sex will be the last thing on her mind. Reminding her that these changes are temporary, that stretch marks will fade, and weight will go and that either way, they don't matter to you, can do wonders for how she may be feeling, and is a good way to get her back to feeling in the mood again.

Another reason she may no longer be in the mood, is that she may fear becoming pregnant again, as well as fearing that having sex for the first time after childbirth will be painful. Encouraging her to speak with her doctor about effective birth control, as well as reassuring her that once she is healed, it is safe to resume sexual activity, is a good way to go.

Third, she may be mentally pre-occupied with being a mother. Breastfeeding and caring for a newborn, especially for a first-time mother, can be overwhelming, and some mothers find it difficult to step away from their new mother role. A simple distraction like a night out for dinner and being away from baby for a while, can be a reminder that she is not only a mother, and bring her to the realisation that it is okay to take a time out from mommy duties.

The good news is that this decrease in libido is temporary, and with time and patience, you and your partner can rebuild a satisfying sexual relationship.