Movies from "Dumb and Dumber" to "Blazing Saddles" and "Caddyshack" have moments of humor that stink. Whether you find characters passing gas amusing is highly personal, but you cannot deny how common it is, on and off the screen.
Flatulence, stomach rumbling, belching, halitosis, difficult gas evacuation, abdominal distention, and bloating and abdominal pressure affect 89% of adults daily; 80% say the symptoms are so bad they reduce their quality of life. Most folks report experiencing three or more symptoms a day -- and stomach woes aren't all that's unleashed. Such gastro-woes are associated with anxiety, depression and nongastrointestinal symptoms such as headache and fatigue. That is the conclusion of researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, who interviewed 5,978 adults in the U.S., the U.K. and Mexico ages 18 to 99.
Potential causes range from diet (too much saturated fat, not enough fiber or eating indigestible fiber -- hello, Jerusalem artichokes), microbiome dysfunction (caused by inflammatory foods like red meats, added sugars/syrups or medications), food sensitivities (lactose intolerance, for example), autoimmune conditions (celiac disease), Crohn's or ulcerative colitis, diabetes (gastroparesis is a complication), or eating fructose or sorbitol and drinking carbonated beverages.
To reveal possible causes, keep a log of what you eat and your gastro-symptoms. Then consider seeing a gastroenterologist. Your symptoms could be simple to remedy or could indicate a more serious disease that requires treatment. Either way, your life improves when you know what moves, or blocks up, your gut and causes all that noisy discomfort.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.
(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.