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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm pretty sure my gas is caused by bacteria in the gut. Since I have tons of gas do I have the wrong type of bacteria? When someone has an overgrowth of bacteria does that mean it's too much of the good kind or too much of the bad kind? Thanks!
 

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quote:I'm pretty sure my gas is caused by bacteria in the gut.
It sounds like you are right.
quote:Since I have tons of gas do I have the wrong type of bacteria?
How much gas is tons of gas? It�s important to quantify this because when most people complain of too much gas it turns out they have a normal amount.If you really do have an abnormal amount, the next step would be to have hydrogen breath testing done for each of the simple sugars lactose, fructose, sucrose and one done with lactulose. By comparing the gas produced to the lactulose result, you can determine whether you are malabsorbing sugars.Unfortunately, it is diffucult to determine from the lactulose test whether bacterial overgrowth is present, although it is probably unlikely to cause excess gas and just excess gas. If malabsorption were not the problem, it is probably the case as you suggest that you have the "wrong" bacteria.That would probably show up on the lactulose breath test as high colonic peak value.
 

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Most people produce a lot of gas. Most of that is from the bacteria in the gut fermenting the carbohydrates that we do not digest well.The average fart frequency is in the low double digits, so unless you are farting many times an hour every hour of the day you are still in the normal range for gas production.Bacteria aren't really "bad" if they make gas from carbohydrates and "good" if they do not. Everyone has a mix of types. Some also produce smelly gasses and for some people the volume isn't really that off, but the smell is so bad that even small volumes can be a big problem.A couple of things to look at.How much undigestible carbohydrates do you eat in any given day?Do you eat a lot of starches other than rice, beans, cabbage, milk, fruits (esp apples pears peaches prunes/plums) or high fructose corn syrup?If so it may be that cutting back on some of the undigestibles may help.The other tactic tends to be trying to add more of the bacteria that produce less gas from carbohydrates. These are the "probiotic" or so-called "friendly" bacteria. I don't know that they are any better for you health wise then having bacteria that make a lot of gas, but they are sometimes talked about as if they were the only good guys and everyone else is a bad guy.If you think it is odor rather than volume that is making the problem (a few really foul farts a day can be more disruptive than 30 odor free farts a day) then you may want to try taking pepto bismol tablets to see if they block the odor. Many people find that dealing with the odor is the part they really want to deal with.Now the other issue. EVEN IF your volume is normal, you may still have symptoms from gas IF you have IBS. Gas can trigger spasms, diarrhea, and other IBS problems even when present in NORMAL amounts. So for some people reducing gas volume below the normal range may help with the IBS.AND for some people the problem isn't so much the volume or other symptoms, just that they can't hold a fart (rectal hypersensitivity) so that they find they fart more publically than other people do. Reducing volume can help with that problem as well. It is the "no one else farts" syndrome. EVERYONE farts...EVERYONE farts A LOT. Just if you have normal rectal sensitivity you can hold it until you can release it privately, which is often not an option for IBSers (some have the I can hold it, but the rolling around doubled over in pain isn't all that socially acceptable
)K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Flux and Kmmotus for the info. I know when I went on the Atkins diet a while back I had very little gas but unfortunatly I felt very sick on that diet and had to go off of it after a week. It does seem like carbos are the culprit. Too bad!
Kmmotus, I'm not sure if my gas volume is greater than other people but it sure seems like it. Either I have tons or have trouble keeping it in so that makes social situations very difficult. Your right about trying to keep it in when you have IBS - talking about pain!
 

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Kitty--have you ever tried Culturelle or any of the other probiotics out there? It seems to have helped me somewhat with my gas problem (as long as I stick to plain bland foods). At first some people say that they have more gas and rumbling but it seems to go away in time. I also have trouble holding it in, which to me is the worst problem
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No, I've never tried Culturelle but I have tried probiotics before (don't remember the brand) and it made my gas a lot worse. But I really don't think I gave it a chance - I was so uncomfortable with the excess gas that I quit after about a week. How long does it take before it the excess gas goes away? I was thinking about trying Probiotica (from the makers of Immodium) because it seems to have helped a few people on this board.
 

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Kitty--some people have said that the gas seems worse for a couple of weeks before it starts to get better. I've seen Probiotica in the drug store, but I've never tried anything except Culturelle. I was tempted to change to another brand when Culturelle raised their prices, but decided against it. I know it's hard to stick with something that's making you so uncomfortable, though. I remember when I started taking Lotronex when it first came out. Oh boy! the gas pains were unbearable
I had to stop after a few days. Lotronex may have worked well for some, but it was horrible for me!
 
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