ZocdocAnswersFor five years, I've had excessive flatulence. Are there any medications that might help?

Question

For five years, I've had excessive flatulence. Are there any medications that might help?

It's such an embarrassing problem to have at school and at social activities. I've tried Gas-X, Beano, Phillip's Colon Pills, Schiff's probiotics, Digestive enzymes, activated charcoal, and Curing pills. I've also tried altering my diet and exercising more, but nothing seems to help my flatulence. Do you have any recommendations on medications that I could buy online or get a prescription from my doctor that are really strong and could help my situation??

Answer

If you are concerned about excessive flatulence or other bowel issues, I recommend that you see a gastroenterologist or other healthcare provider for formal evaluation. Complaints of excessive flatulence is common, however, most individuals have a normal amount of gas, they are just more aware or sensitive to it. Nonetheless, there are multiple causes for increased flatulence, and it appears from your comment that you have tried multiple modalities to remedy your situation. Bowel gas is caused by the metabolic byproducts of gut flora (bacteria in your intestines, particularly the colon), and as such, the amount and quality of bowel gas is determined by the type and amount of gut flora and their exposure to different food types. As you mention, a common cause of increased flatulence, and conversely, remedy, is change in diet. Typically foods that are high cellulose and other fibers promote bowel motility and prevent constipation, which results in more frequent bowel movements and less caustic flatulence. However, if changes in diet do not help, supplementation with probiotics may help to change the type and amount of gut bacteria, promoting "good" bacteria, which means bacterial species that studies have been found to be associated with bowel regularity and lower infection. Although there are not studies to correlate probiotics and flatulence, this may help with excessive gas. However, it is important to see your doctor before trying any new medications or treatments.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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