THE GAS MAN

My husband toots a lot. I don’t know if this is normal for most men in their fifties. He’s the only fifty-something man I hang around. Growing up, my mother and father were old school when it came to anything to do with body functions. Things like that were never discussed and only occurred in private. So, I must take to the Internet and explore the regions of cyberspace to find out just how common my husband’s condition is. Must I accept the “farting fifties”?

One thing I’ve discovered is that eating healthy is directly related to being gassy. Flatulence researchers report that about ninety-five percent of “healthy eating” Americans are aware that their high fiber diet is giving them cramps, gas and various other digestive issues.  Well, my husband may as well add his name to the list. He definitely eats a high fiber diet because it is very important to him to be “regular”. Hence, he is now an “old fart”, literally.

So, just how much tooting is considered a normal level? Well, the U.S National Institutes of Health cite that, on average, a person toots about fourteen times daily. Some of this is caused by swallowing air through things like chewing gum or drinking carbonated drinks. Most of it, however, is created by digestion. And the large intestine is the place of most of the action.

What exactly is a toot? It is a mixture of four gases: carbon dioxide, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Some people, about a third of all tooters, are the real stinkers, producing methane gas.

As a child I remember this little rhyme: “Beans, beans, the magical fruit. The more you eat the more you toot. The more you toot, the better you feel. So eat some beans with every meal.” So, of course, almost everyone knows that beans are a prime culprit for creating gas.

However, for vegans, vegetarians, or even meat eaters who make a point to eat a healthy, vegetable rich diet, well, they are all just asking for it. Pretty much all of the most popular vegetables are going to make you a gaseous offender, albeit a very healthy one. I’m talking about foods such as: Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, onions, cabbage, and cauliflower.

Even fruits should be looked at with a suspicious eye. Apples, peaches and pears can all result in a gaseous reaction. Are you eating whole wheat? Yes, you are probably going to toot whole wheat toots. Are you trying to control weight by eating and drinking things sweetened with sorbitol? Well, expect to make quite an impression wherever you go.

All of these foods are on my husband’s weekly diet plan. It seems I am destined to live out the rest of my life with an old fart who farts and farts and farts. And, I may think he raises the roof more frequently than seems normal, but, the news is, as he ages, it’s only going to get worse!

As we age, our digestive process slows down. That results in more gas being created as the food moves through slower, sits longer, and just gets stinkier. Nothing can change any of this but there are a few things that may alleviate the amount of gas produced. Drink lots of water, chew thoroughly, and eat yogurt daily for the benefits of probiotics. But, most importantly, love each other farts and all.