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Fart

Not ready to invest in activated charcoal underwear yet

By Kat Avila
Published on LatinoLA: June 21, 2005


Fart


I'm not Walter the Farting Dog, but I'm starting to feel like I've traded bodies. In April, I wrote about how my high blood pressure reading had scared off a dentist from cleaning my teeth (http://www.latinola.com/story.php?story=2568). I started doing at least three 20-minute walks each week and reduced the sodium in my diet, which meant reading food labels more carefully. I ate stricter and healthier. Finally, my blood pressure returned to my usual borderline hypertension, but there was an unexpected side effect.

The side effect was I started farting all over the place. This is not cool, especially when you're helping a retail customer. You're pretending nothing happened, and your customer is too polite to say anything to your face. So you try to waddle away from the offending gas cloud as quickly as you can. When a co-worker hugged me from behind and I farted on her, I decided I needed to learn more about flatulence and its causes.

Seems like my body needs more time to adapt to the drastic changes in my menu. I hadn't known that many healthy foods I'm now shoveling down, including soy milk, tofu, oat bran, and high-fiber are "gassy" foods. I visited the web site of a digestive enzyme supplement called Beano at www.beanogas.com and discovered complex carbohydrate intolerance (CCI). Apparently what was occurring was incomplete indigestion, followed by fermentation in the large intestine.

"Gas is the exhaust fume of digestion," writes E. J. Carstensen, M.D. Intestinal bacteria produce gas as they break down undigested food. Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, notes, "Most animals, birds, fishes and insects also fart." It's a natural part of digestion, and the average Joe passes gas about 15 times a day.

I'm not at a point where I'm ready to invest in activated charcoal underwear yet. And the farting appears to be tapering off. Still, I would advise a cautious approach to any affectionate co-workers.

About Kat Avila:
Kat stayed up all night to read Jessica Cutler's THE WASHINGTONIENNE when she really should have finished Lois P. Frankel's NICE GIRLS DON'T GET RICH.




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