Flatulence treatment, diagnosis & prescriptions
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Can a doctor treat flatulence on Maple?
Yes, a doctor on Maple can suggest flatulence treatments that could help reduce excessive flatulence.
The doctor may want to discuss your medical history or regular dietary habits to help pinpoint the causes of your flatulence.
If the doctor believes an underlying condition could be causing your flatulence, they may suggest additional testing in addition to your flatulence diagnosis.
Can I get a prescription on Maple?
Yes, our physicians can prescribe flatulence medications online during your consultation. Once you accept a prescription, you’ll have the option to pick it up from any pharmacy or to have it delivered right to your door at no additional cost.
You can visit our How it works page to learn more.
What is flatulence?
Flatulence occurs when swallowed air or gases, resulting from the breakdown of digested foods, builds up in the digestive tract and is released through the anal passage.
Everyone experiences flatulence, and sometimes we even flatulate without knowing it.
In most cases, flatulence is totally normal. In some, it can be the result of more serious underlying conditions.
What are the symptoms of flatulence?
The most common symptoms and signs of flatulence include:
- Abdominal or stomach discomfort
- Feeling full or bloated
- Smelly or loud flatus
- Abdominal distension
- Rumblings from the stomach or lower abdomen
- Passing wind often
These flatulence signs and symptoms are normal, but should be reported to your doctor right away if they become severe, painful, or persistent.
Normal flatulence frequency is 10-20 times per day in healthy individuals.
What causes flatulence?
There are a number of normal, healthy causes of flatulence, such as:
- Normal digestion
- Intestinal bacteria
- Swallowed air
- High-fiber foods or supplements
- Intolerance of short-chain carbohydrates
- Lactose intolerance
- Celiac disease
- Artificial sweeteners
- Carbonated drinks
- Foods that produce high levels of gas when digested (such as beans)
These flatulence causes aren’t a cause for concern. However, some other conditions can cause flatulence as one of their symptoms. These include:
- Gallbladder problems
- Gastroenteritis (or other intestinal infections)
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Some hernias
- Hirschsprung disease
- Some types of cancer (which cause intestinal blockages)
If the doctor believes one of these other conditions could be what causes your flatulence, they will likely suggest additional testing to check for these underlying conditions.
How is flatulence diagnosed?
Receiving a flatulence diagnosis is fairly simple as flatulence symptoms are common.
However, the doctor may request additional testing on the digestive tract to help determine the exact causes of your flatulence.
Some additional tests they may suggest could include:
- Upper GI series or barium swallow
- Blood tests
- Stool cultures
- Abdominal X-rays
- Keeping a food diary and tracking signs of flatulence
How is flatulence treated?
Suggested flatulence treatments will depend on what the doctor believes could be the cause.
Some common flatulence treatments include:
- Suggested changes to diet
- Over-the-counter flatulence medications
- Reducing how much air you’re swallowing (through avoiding things like gum and hard candies)
The doctor will likely have you try some over-the-counter solutions, before offering any prescription flatulence medications.
If the doctor believes that your flatulence is being caused by an underlying condition, they’ll try to identify the condition causing your flatulence symptoms, and then treat that condition to help reduce your flatulence.
When to see a doctor for flatulence?
You should never be embarrassed to talk to a doctor about flatulence. It’s normal and everyone does it.
A doctor on Maple will be happy to talk to you and can suggest simple solutions like dietary changes that could substantially reduce the frequency of your flatulence, without requiring a flatulence prescription.
However, you should definitely talk to your doctor right away, if you begin to experience more severe symptoms alongside flatulence, such as:
- Bloody, black, or tarry stools
- Greasy, foul-smell stools that float (steatorrhea)
- Abdominal, stomach, or intestinal pain that doesn’t go away or occurs at night
- Weight loss
- Symptoms become more severe or changing
- Treatments no longer working, which used to be effective
What is Maple?
With Maple, you can start talking to a doctor about your symptoms in a matter of minutes. We’re a healthcare platform for fast, convenient 24/7 access to Canadian doctors.
Simply log in, tap a button to request a consultation, and we’ll immediately connect you to a doctor via live chat or video. You can visit our How it works page to learn more.
Our doctors can assess symptoms and provide treatment, including prescriptions as necessary.
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