Flatulence

Symptoms of flatulence

The symptoms of flatulence are usually only considered troublesome if:

  • you experience frequent episodes of flatulence,
  • you pass an excessive amount of wind during an episode of flatulence, and/or
  • you consistently produce foul smelling wind.

With regards to the first two symptoms, there are no medical guidelines defining what is the normal frequency, or volume, of flatulence. Therefore, you are probably the best person to assess your symptoms. If you think that your symptoms have become troublesome, you should seek treatment for them.

When to seek medical advice

Most cases of excessive flatulence are not serious and can be treated using some self-care techniques.

A visit to your GP is usually only recommended if you have additional symptoms that may suggest that you have an underlying digestive condition. These symptoms include:

  • persistent abdominal pain and bloating,
  • recurring episodes of diarrhoea or constipation,
  • unexplained weight loss,
  • bowel incontinence,
  • blood in your stools (faeces), and/or
  • symptoms that may suggest that you have an infection, such as a high temperature, vomiting, chills, and joint and muscle pain.

Glossary

Anxiety
Anxiety is an unpleasant feeling when you feel worried, uneasy or distressed about something that may or may not be about to happen.
Stomach
The sac-like organ of the digestive system. It helps digest food by churning it and mixing it with acids to break it down into smaller pieces.
Last updated: 04 October 2011

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