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For Sufferers of GI Disorders, Holidays Are Anything But a Gas

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#1 Jeffrey Roberts

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 05:06 PM

Dec. 21, 2005For Sufferers of GI Disorders, Holidays Are Anything But a Gas BY DRU SEFTONc.2005 Newhouse News Service The crowded room is decked out in its seasonal best, as are your fellow partiers. There you are, chatting away, your buffet plate bulging with rich goodies. And then you feel it -- the bloated beginning of a rumble in your abdomen.Not gas. No, no, no, not now.This may be, as the song proclaims, "the most wonderful time of the year," but face it, it's also the gassiest. Everyone is offering -- and eagerly devouring -- high-calorie, yeasty, sugar- and alcohol-laden treats. Entire parties center on tables of foods that challenge the healthiest digestive systems.But for folks with gastrointestinal problems, this season can be perilous. The thought of embarrassing gas keeps many in their homes, and drives others to try the myriad products popping up to help them cope.According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, millions of all ages are affected. One malady alone, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), plagues up to 20 percent of adults. A host of other problems -- celiac disease, lactose intolerance, diverticulitus, food allergies -- can lead to isolation."Some people avoid social situations out of embarrassment or fear that an episode is imminent," said Audra Baade of the nonprofit foundation, based in Milwaukee. One of its surveys revealed that 68 percent of IBS sufferers "missed leisure activities" due to pain, diarrhea or constipation, and gas.Gas is particularly tough to hide after over-indulging."Four helpings of stuffing, two plates of turkey or roast beef, that's begging for an explosive response," said Bill Downs, who blogs about flatulence with a touch of humor at (motto: "Trafon, spell it backwards!").Downs, of Lederach, Pa., has a background in nutritional biochemistry and years ago had a clinical nutrition practice. He noticed that nearly all the patients struggled with gas."Although it's a cultural phenomenon that fosters embarrassment and humor, it is, in my opinion, one of the most serious health issues," Downs said.His holiday advice: "Watching your diet is crucial, unless you want to develop a new career as a flatulence master."For instance, dairy combined with "easily fermentable starches" -- say, cheese and bread -- is "a formula for explosive fun." Sugar alcohols used to sweeten treats cause "a dramatic increase in gas."Of course, refusing holiday treats is tough. That's why this is a busy season at Flat-D Innovations Inc., in Cedar Rapids, Iowa."This is our best time of year; we do huge sales," said Frank Morosky of Flat-D, which is among companies offering gas-deodorizing, activated-charcoal pads and products. "Mainly because people are with family in close quarters, like watching football games together. Or traveling, sitting on planes or in the car next to each other."The firm's biggest seller is a reusable underwear pad that absorbs gas ($12.95, details at embarrassment specifically centered on the bathroom, William Edwards sells The DROPS through his company, Toilex, based in Valpariso, Ind. (More at"I've heard of people at their family's house saying they have to go to the store, then going and finding a bathroom to use somewhere else" to avoid smelling up the place, Edwards said.The DROPS' discreet vial may be carried in a pocket or purse. The user drips several drops into the toilet water before sitting down, coating its surface. "When you sit on a toilet, you actually create a seal," Edwards explained. "This cancels out the smell before it starts."Jeffrey Roberts understands. He's founder and president of the IBS Association, and heads up its active international support groups at Roberts, 44, has suffered with the condition for "well over 25 years now," he said from his home in Toronto."When it was bad, I didn't think I would get past it," said Roberts, who battles sudden bouts of painful diarrhea. "My panic threshold was very low, so I just didn't go out."Now, he attends parties with his wife, "who knows when I'm feeling discomfort." Her presence eases his anxiety."When people get to the point where they can talk about this," Roberts added, "they realize that all people suffer the same symptoms occasionally."As for the worst-case, formal party, horrible gas-attack scenario, Bill Downs suggested:"You could probably try to, as ladies are accustomed to doing, excuse yourself to a room where you can let it all out."Relax, stop fretting, remember you're only human, and, as Downs said, "enjoy the methane moment."(Dru Sefton can be contacted at


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Posted 28 March 2006 - 08:13 PM

I ordered Flat-D,but it doesn't work for me. It failed in very first moment. Need something bigger.


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Posted 29 March 2006 - 09:18 AM

Hello and welcome gal Posted Image


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Posted 12 April 2009 - 06:21 AM

oh my god thanks alot to the funny writer!! I really enjoyed it!!! I was laughing my head off!


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