Dear Dr. Gott: I suffer from extreme gas. It never goes away. I have tried many different prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs, but nothing has helped. I also try to watch my diet carefully in an attempt to avoid common gas-causing foods. I read your column regularly and have noticed that you offer some really good suggestions to people with all sorts of medical problems. I hope you can offer me some help.
Dear Reader: Gas can have several causes, from the foods we consume to medications to medical conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Sometimes, as we age, we simply have more gas, as well.
In your brief note, you don’t give your age, any health problems you may have or list any medications (including herbals and OTCs) you may be taking. I can, therefore, give only general advice.
First, watch your diet. Beans are notorious for causing gas. But broccoli, cucumbers and other vegetables can cause gas, too. This doesn’t mean you should stop eating them; simply reduce your intake, especially if you are consuming them on a regular basis. Even something as simple as milk and other diary foods could cause a problem for those who are sensitive or who are lactose intolerant. Don’t forget to avoid carbonated beverages.
Food allergies are a leading cause of gastrointestinal distress (including gas). They are also likely to be underdiagnosed. To determine whether this could be the cause of your gas, keep a food journal for a month or two. Be sure to record what you eat, when you eat it, how much you eat and whether your flatulence is worse or better than normal. Once you’re finished with the journal, you should be able to look back and see a pattern. Then you can start experimenting by eliminating certain foods from your diet to see whether you experience any improvement.
Medication could be another cause. If you are taking any prescriptions, herbals, supplements or over-the-counter drugs, check the side effects carefully. If increased flatulence is listed, you may wish to find an alternative. Your local pharmacist may also be aware of side effects that may not be listed, especially on OTCs.
If there is no identifiable cause for your gas, you may simply be one of the unfortunate people who gets “gassier” with age. There are several remedies for this, however. Products such as Beano can be added directly to food. Chlorophyll tablets, which can be found at most health-food stores, can eliminate the odor of your flatulence. Another easy remedy is to simply add baking soda to water and drink it. The gas should disappear shortly thereafter.
To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report “Compelling Home Remedies.” Other readers who would like a copy should send a self-addressed, stamped No. 10 envelope and $2 to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title(s).
Dear Dr. Gott: My son developed a boil on his heel from his shoes rubbing. My 80-year-old mother was visiting at the time and told me to put a small piece of raw bacon on the sore and cover it with a 4-inch-by-4-inch piece of gauze. Within a few days, the head of the boil lifted, leaving a large hole. This then started to heal from the inside out. It cost nothing, unless you count having to smell bacon day and night for a few days.
Dear Reader: This is a new treatment to me. I am not sure how sanitary it is because raw meat can harbor several organisms, such as E. coli. I cannot argue with results, though. However, I recommend anyone who tries this remedy be prepared to face any consequences that may develop. Eating raw or undercooked meat can lead to diarrhea, vomiting and several potentially serious conditions. In much the same way, these organisms may be able to enter the body through an open wound.