Mothers, Grandmothers, Gas & Smelly Bathrooms 101

My grandmother was a fabulous seamstress, always willing to help me sew, and very talented in a thousand ways that I remember well. One thing, however, (that no one wants to be remembered for) was her terrible farting and smelly gas.

How she suffered and and how that poor little bathroom smelled! We remember my Mom, who inherited those weak bowels, trying to help her, standing at the bathroom door, and calling “Mother, are you all right???

Oh, golly … Grandma on the potty, Mom standing at the door.  And us as teenagers with rolling eyes … we can all laugh now but it wasn’t funny!

Long story short: How Grandma would have LOVED the tea!  How Mom would have LOVED being able to help her and truly needed it herself …How I would have LOVED to help them both with this sad and stinky situation.

My sister and I agree … “Grandma’s whole life might have been different! Not to mention those who shared the bathroom with her!”

Thank goodness, we were able to help Mom with the tea!

How It Works:

The average healthy person will pass gas about ten to fourteen times per day, producing anaverage of half a liter of gas – though some people can produce a liter or more if they consume certain foods.  (How this  could ever be measured, I have no idea!)

When malabsorption (reduced food absorption) occurs due to certain medical conditions, excess
gas in the intestines and excessive flatulence (farting) could be a symptom of these disorders:

  • diverticulosis that leads to an overgrowth of bacteris
  • celiac sprue
  • pancreatic disease
  • short bowel syndrome (where part of the bowel was removed by surgery)

Gas is caused by fibre, starch, and some complex sugars which aren’t easily digested and pass through to
the colon where they are fermented by bacteria which produces hydrogen, methane, and hydrogen
sulphide gases. Yeast tend sto produce odorless carbon dioxide gas, but the farts can pick up odors
from rotting vegetable material and putrefying meat stuck to the walls of the colon (mucoid plaque).

The foul smell of flatus comes from various sulphur-containing compounds. The compounds in a typical smelly fart are usually hydrogesulphide or methanethiol. The “rotten eggs” smell comes from hydrogen sulphide gas, and a “rotting vegetables” smell comes from methanethiol. Yet another sulphurcompound, dimethyl sulphide, actually smells kind of “sweet”.

Cauliflower, eggs, and meat are most likely to produce the smelliest farts. Beans produce a greater quantity of gas, but not particularly smelly farts. In general, foods with little fiber produce very little gas.

Giardiasis, an infection by the Giardia protozoa parasite, can produce the most nauseating farts and belches, along with extremely foul-smelling watery diarrhea.

Another cause of excess gas can be a lack of the enzyme lactase which is needed to digest a simple sugar called lactose or “milk sugar”.

In a person who lacks this enzyme, consuming milk and dairy products which contain lactose can leave the dairy foods poorly digested and not absorbed by the small intestine. As it moves through the large intestine it becomes food for yeast and putrefactive bacteria -organisms which produce gases like carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, or methane.

When there is a yeast overgrowth in the colon, even more gas is produced.

People who cannot digest lactose are said to suffer from lactose intolerance. An hour or two after consuming milk or dairy products they can experience uncomfortable cramps and excess gas in the abdomen. This problem is compounded when the use of antibiotics kills the probiotic Lactobacteria which help digest lactose for us.

While cheese, milk, ice cream and frozen yogurt can cause the cramping, regular yogurt does not, because the live bacteria culture which fermented milk into yogurt breaks down the lactose so we can digest it.

Some foods which are considered “high flatulogenic foods” (the suffix genic means “creating” or “causing”) are the ones most likely to cause excess gas in the small and large intestine, an uncomfortable or painful “gassy” feeling in the abdomen, and excessive flatus or farting:

  • milk, cheese, ice cream, frozen yogurt (not regular yogurt)
  • most beans, such as baked beans, lima beans, pinto beans, navy beans, soy bean
  • sauerkraut, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, radishes
  • prunes, onions, carrots, raisins, bananas
  • bagels, pretzels, wheat germ.

Foods which are moderately flatulogenic include:

  • ·foods that contain wheat and wheat products, such as cereals, breads, pastries
  • potatoes, citrus fruits
  • carbonated beverages, sodas.

Well, there you have it.  Kind of a stinky topic (a little pun) but we know what to do! Just drink the tea regularly!

As little FYI — we DO eat a lot of legumes and beans, but gas is not a problem here.  We’re sure it’s because of the tea.

After reading this, do you need tea  We’re right here to help!