Can Flatulence Be Related to Serious Health Problems?
Published on May 6, 2013
People experience varying levels of flatulence for varying reasons. Although most flatulence is a normal part of digestion, sometimes flatulence can indicate the presence of health problems. Everyone’s body is unique and only a visit with your healthcare provider should be used to identify health problems. However, for the sake of discussion, let’s take a look at a few examples of when flatulence may be related to more serious health concerns.
1. Flatulence May Be Caused By Intestinal Imbalances
The human gut contains millions of microorganisms that either fall into the category of healthy probiotic colonies that support digestion, or unhealthy bacterial overgrowth that produces abdominal discomfort, bloating and flatulence.  Obviously, beneficial flora is more desirable as it aids digestion and will not produce the same intestinal ailments. Many people have found that adding a probiotic supplement to their nutritional protocol helps to encourage a balance of healthy intestinal flora that decrease bloating and flatulence.  Additionally, performing a harmful organism cleanse can help your body’s natural defenses against harmful invaders that are clogging your body and affecting your digestion.
2. Flatulence May Indicate Disease
It’s important to stress that most flatulence is normal and being flatulent doesn’t mean you’re ill. However, gas is a common symptom of several gastrointestinal disorders:
- Diverticular disease, an uncomfortable ailment of the colon, is recognized by abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and flatulence. 
- Lactose intolerance, triggered by the ingestion of dairy products and one of the most common digestive disorders, may produce nausea, cramps, and flatulence. 
- Intestinal gas can be an early indication of pancreatitis. 
- IBD suffers have reported experiencing flatulence with strange odors. 
3. Flatulence Affects Quality of Life
Flatulence should never ruin anyone’s day, but, unfortunately, persons who suffer from flatal incontinence often report feelings of embarrassment and isolation. It’s an intimate problem and can affect the most intimate areas of life, including social interactions, self-image, sexuality, and psychological well-being.  Surveys among colostomy bag users indicate that flatulence and odor are two of the top five fears they face on an every day basis.  Women who have experienced childbirth have an increased risk for pelvic floor dysfunction, which increases the likelihood of experiencing flatal incontinence; a condition many have reported as significantly reducing their quality of life.   Although many people appreciate the humorous side to flatulence, for some folks who can’t control it, it’s just not funny. Sensitivity and respect for all people, especially those with medical issues, is appropriate protocol for all of us to follow.
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM
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