Embarrassing Gas Problem. Help!

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I'm not sure what exactly GI issue is, but I can tell you that this is the very worst thing that I have had to deal with in exactly 9 years now. I say 9 years because this is the length of time that it has been ever since the very first time it totally embarrassed me in public - in a classroom setting. But I've suffered from this issue ever since childhood, and I'm 39 now. Not sure if your case was anywhere near as bad as mine is; I'm currently still dealing with the embarrassment, and it's getting worse - I fart loudly whenever I doze off, and it doesn't matter where I am. The only way I clue in to the occurrence of the embarrassing loud fart is from the unfriendly stares or jokes by people around me. The worst part of my ordeal is that it often happens at work, which is where I spend most of my time. I have been able to survive the stress it causes me because I have to work to survive, otherwise I would have quit my job the very first time it happened. By the way, the incident has repeated so many times that I have lost count.

Anyways, I'm not even sure exactly what my GI issue is (Crohn's, IBS, colitis, etc), but it is very bad. I strongly believe it is IBS because of my symptoms: frequent bloating, gas/fart, hyper and high-pitched bowel growling, unsteady appetite, irregular BM, occasional constipation. I've been on a one-a-day probiotic formular for a little less than two weeks now and I'm yet to see its full benefits. BM is more regular now, but that's it for now.

As it is, it's a difficult life to live with this issue causing me major embarrassments, robbing me of my self confidence, and ultimately taking a toll on my social life. I'd been to the doctor quite a few times in the past, the last time being about 2 years ago and ending up with a big medical bill. The worst part is that they couldn't figure out what was wrong with my GI. But I'm still suffering till this day. Could someone suggest something, please? This issue is ruining my life.

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  • Posted

    David,you need to keep a food diary and write down everything you eat for a week at least.   Then eliminate one of the foods and see if there is a difference. If no difference then eliminate something else.        The problem you are describing is usually due to something your gut finds difficult to digest so you have to find it.     For a start,cut out all alcohol,especially beer..this is often the culprit. If no improvement, try cutting out all dairy produce.      Then go on to the cereals...you may be gluten intolerant.  And so on and so forth.     It can take a while to find out what the problem is but its worth it in the end. If you decide to cut out dairy products you will have to read all the ingredients on packets of food,same with cereals. Good luck.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for the reply Marina

      I will try eliminating things from my diet to see if it will make a difference. I can't help thinking that I swallow more air than I normally should, which I believe happens unconsciously. I try to get my mind off it just so it won't turn into a psychological problem and worsen my issues. But then, I realize I've been gulping in air, and within a short time I will be bloated. Now, if ever doze off, the result will be a noisy eruption of gas.

      I will try your suggestion. Hopefully it works. I appreciate your concern.

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  • Posted

    Yes,air swallowing can be a problem as well . Sometimes associated with being very anxious.   If you think this is you then try to find a way of calming down and slowing down especially when you eat or drink. Have you tried yoga?  Also if you are a mouth breather then try to make a conscious effort to keep your mouth shut so you are not taking gulps of air. Sleep on your side and not your back. Obviously keep off any carbonated gassy drinks.   If you are finding it difficlt to breathe through your nose then maybe you could get a nasal spray that will shrink any tissue obstructing your air flow. Have a word with your pharmacist.
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    • Posted

      You are awesome, Marina! You must be in the Healthcare field, because you definitely know the likely behaviors that could be the culprit. I've heard about Yoga a lot and how beneficial it is to people with my kind of issue, and I think it's high time I enrolled in one.

      Yes, I sleep on my back. In fact, this has been my most comfortable sleep position from time immemorial, although I try to adopt side position but end up somehow on my back.

      I use a very efficacious nasal spray every now and then to clear up my nasal passage whenever congestion gets in the way. Carbonated drinks - I take one every once in a while - are a nightmare to me because of the high gas contents and the immediate bloating that they cause.

      As far as the anxiety, it's very difficult to work on it because I make conscious effort to not fall asleep at work. Saddest part is that I don't even realize when I doze off. I'm only aware of my short abrupt sleep when I see the time on the computer change quickly by 6 to 10 mins, then followed by people around starting to look strangely at me; some of them become hostile. It's just an array of behaviors that I have to endure. The whole ordeal is emotionally stressful because they clearly have no idea how much concerned I am about my condition and wish that I didn't have it.

      Now, if I could go through the day without dozing off I would hardly ever have to deal with this public flatulence embarrassment because then I'd be able to hold it in until I'm able to relieve myself in the restroom.

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  • Posted

    David, I didnt pick up on the daytime falling asleep problem but this could be narcolepsy.    Do you go to bed at a reasonable time and have a good nights sleep? Dont use a computer late into the evening either. A warm bath before bed can help to relax you.

    Again narcolepsy is associated with anxiety.  There is no absolute cure but again yoga can help,and also group counselling with others who are experiencing the same problems.  I hope you dont drive and experience the "falling asleep" problem.     This could maybe account for why you are farting when asleep as the muscles are totally relaxing.           

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for the reply, Marina. I strongly believe the farting is because my muscles relax and go to sleep as well, which explains why I have control when I'm awake.

      I can't help thinking that narcolepsy plays a role here because I didn't experience these sleep episodes in the past; all these started about 9 years ago. Truth is that I had serious computer use habits, which usually took me far into the night, and it was most nights. Although I have greatly minimized my late night computer use, I still use it often as most things are now done online. Your suggestions make absolute sense, and I'll try to cut it down to zero, unless where it is highly crucial that I have to use it on a particular night.

      As far as driving, I do not let it interfere; I know to take a break when sleepiness goes from minor to somewhat moderate. But yes, I can't exclude the possibility that this is narcolepsy, which unfortunately has no cure.

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