Monday, November 4, 2013

Aging Old Farts!

Okay, let us state right up front that I'm not as young as I used to be.  I kind of expected the things that everyone sees on the surface which go along with aging.  The wrinkles around the eyes, the tissue paper thin skin over my arms and hands which also seem determined to shout my age by developing those little "age spot" thingys.  Aaauuuggh.

Then there is the lovely "redistribution" of body shape...hmmmm...gravity alone is responsible for part of this, lack of the proper exercise and maintenance is responsible for the rest.

But farting? Farting which seems to get worse with every single year of life! Yep! It's another one of those wonderful "golden age" delights that NOBODY warns you about or wants to talk about. 

I decided to do a little research on the matter after a particularly embarrassing moment on a walk I was taking with my daughter, sister and son-in-law.  They are probably going to disown me for telling this sordid tale, but here goes!  We had all piled out of the car to walk down to the reservoir near Ogden.  It was a lovely evening, and the girls and my hubby and gone ahead of us down the path and were already playing on the shoreline.
I, unfortunately was walking out front when a HUGE fart (and believe me, I was trying to hold the sucker in!) decided to come forth!  Well, that would have been embarrassing enough, but my son-in-law who was actually at the back of the pack, broke out in laughter!  Oh Lordy!  One of these days when he is an "old fart" I hope he remembers that day!  Well, upon hearing him erupt with laughter my daughter and sister also started.  Well, I guess I had had too many gassy foods that day because I also started to laugh which immediately caused more farts!  OMG!  We all became hysterical with laughter as I tried to explain that sphincters and old age just don't get along well.  I did get even a little as the two other girls laughed so hard that they wet their pants!  (Hmmm early sphincter issues?)  All of this while son-in-law ran for the hills!   Okay, okay stop laughing or you will wet YOUR pants!

Anyway, to continue on my explanation of flatulence, I found the following:
The National Institutes of Health tell us that the “average person passes intestinal gas 14 times a day and produces about 1 to 4 pints of the stuff.” It is a normal occurrence and comes mostly from two sources: air we swallow and as a byproduct of digestion.

So, like it or not we all fart!  Unfortunately, this condition worsens as we age due to less efficient digestion.  Oh my. Then I read further to find that all that BEANO and stuff works differently with different individuals, so it may or may not be of any help for all you old farts out there.  Sigh.

The gases involved are hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and, according to WebMD, “in about one-third of people, methane.”

Methane, well, that is the "stinky" one!  My doggie, Buddy the Boston produces more methane than the average COW!  Believe me, stinky, can empty a room in minutes!
But, I digress.

You probably know most of these but for the sake of thoroughness, here is a list of some foods most likely to cause excess gas: Beans, of course, and
(don't stop eating them - they are all good for you)

Brussels sprouts


Whole grains
Carbonated drinks
Fruit drinks
Foods with sorbitol (an artificial sweetener) (that's a sneaky one!)

I don't know if it is true or not, but apparently WEBMD states that the German Word for
Pumpernickle stems from an old German word meaning "goblin which breaks wind."  Hmmmm better stay away from that pumpernickle bread!

So in case you are one of the younger ones reading this, guess what you have to look forward to!  If you are one of the "old farts" then maybe a few of these suggestions might help a little, but probably not a lot:

1. Probiotics sometimes help with digestion
2. Chew slowly and take your time eating and you may swallow less troublesome air
3. Take a walk after eating
4. Yogurt, Kefir and Tempeh

And tell those kids to quit laughing - they will find out SOON ENOUGH that being an old fart has its benefits AND its drawbacks!



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